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By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Issue 132 - Different Roads

6 Oct 2016

Hi everyone,

Now that fall has arrived, the only thing left of summer are some warm memories.

In the last episode of KaTsZoNe, I mentioned getting sick while Larry and I were on vacation in Grand Bend and Sarnia.  I thought it was just a little cold.  Well, that annoying bug got a hold of me for over a month.  I thought I would not be able to get away to Sauble Beach!  But, the winds of Lake Huron, the beach and sun were calling me.  And, sure enough, we got everything -- heavy winds, beach, sun and rain!

On the night before Larry and I were suppose to leave for Port Elgin where we were staying, I was coughing and still sniffling a lot.  Larry said, he could not cancel the hotel reservation as we needed two days notice.  I could not subject him to my cold.  He just got better.  So, I said, maybe if I was better in a couple days, I will drive myself to Port Elgin.

Larry arrived in Port Elgin on Thursday, August 18th.  I decided on Thursday night that I would just pack and hope for the best.  While still coughing and sniffling, I mentioned to my friend, Tracy, that I was sick, so, Larry would go to Sauble Beach by himself.  I told Tracy, if I felt better in a couple days, I may drive myself and meet Larry.  Tracy said, Sauble Beach might be what the doctor ordered.  She's so wise!

I also told my friend, Abigail, that I was feeling guilty that I was not going to Sauble Beach with Larry.  Abigail, a long time friend, who attended York University the same years as me, and majored in Psychology as well, asked me why I was feeling guilty?  Oh boy, short therapy session via text ensued.  At first, I said I felt bad because I was not going with Larry.  Did I feel insecure about that? Well, no.  I was sick, but, I said I would go if I feel better on the weekend.  That's okay, since I was not feeling well.  So, why am I feeling guilty?  After beating around the bush for awhile, I said, I did not want to go to Sauble Beach in the first place.  So now, I am sick, and really might not be able to go.  I had complained to Larry that we've gone there for several years - maybe 5 or 6.  I'd like to go somewhere different.  Why do we go year after year?  Abigail reminded me that Larry does not get a lot of time off.  He needed a break.  Yes, I was not against going away, but, I wanted to go somewhere different!  Abigail asked if I knew why Larry wanted to go to Sauble every year.  I did not.  I thought about it and said, perhaps, it was a place he had gone to with family and friends in his childhood and youth, and it was a happy time in his life.  As we grow older, with all our struggles, frustrations and physical weariness, many of us simply want to escape to places which made us feel good at a different time in our lives.  He was familiar with it.  He felt comfortable going to a pleasant beach and it was a nice, slow pace. 

After my chat with Abigail, I became more determined to finish packing that Thursday night.  I was not feeling 100% yet, but, I will go to Sauble Beach.  I was determined to get away and be with Larry and get better.  I packed my clothes, my beach shoes, my metal detector and some drinks.  Doesn't sound like a lot but my trunk was full.  Lake Huron can be unpredictable at that time of year.  I had heard the weather forecast for rain that weekend - another reason for me to cry, Bah humbug, and the Scrooge isn't even suppose to appear until Christmas!  But, I tried to block that from my mind and packed extra clothes and jackets.  My friend, Margaret, also heard about possible rain and had cancelled a camping trip that same weekend in Port Elgin.  We were not camping, we would be staying indoors.  No problem.

Larry suggested a route which he thought would be shorter than the one he took.  On a Friday summer afternoon, if I could avoid Hwy 400, it sounded good to me.  I took my time and headed up to Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket for lunch and then headed west on Hwy 9 to Hwy 10 (Orangeville).  The rest of my route was different than than the ones Larry and I have taken in the past.  It was a nice, clear route.  Not much traffic at all and definitely not stressful!  I reached the hotel at around 8 p.m.  Larry was waiting for me after spending the day at Sauble Beach.

Larry and I went to Boston Pizza for dinner after I arrived.  It was not suppose to rain on Friday night, but, it did!  The restaurant was just across from our hotel, but, we did not bring a raincoat or umbrella!  While we ate, we did not realize it was pouring outside!  Fortunately, the rainstorm moved very quickly!  I was not concerned about getting a little wet, once most of the storm had passed.  Larry insisted on making two Boston Pizza paper hats for us before we left.  The hats were given to kids to put together -- LOL.  Well, there we were, with our "BP" hats as we hopped over to a convenient store at a gas station next to BP.  I asked the cashier if she liked our hats!  No response.  Oh well -- that's okay.  I was having too much fun pretending to be a SUPERHERO - Larry's choice of word.  I have a special shield from getting wet - a cool gladiator-looking "BP" paper hat!  Sorry, Larry won't even let me share a photo of us in it.  You just have to take my word for it!

In previous years, Larry and I went hiking at Spirit Rock, took a boat/lighthouse tour of Chantry Island, visited the lovely and famous hedgehog, Wiarton Willie, watched car races at the Sauble Speedway, etc.  This year, we thought about visiting the Bruce Power Plant.  We did none of the above this year.  The car races at Sauble Speedway were cancelled on Saturday night because organizers thought there would be a storm.  We went to Sauble Beach every day and also walked along a boardwalk at Southampton one day.  What a laid back kind of vacation - walking on the beach and boardwalk, going in and out of shops, having a meal beside a beach.  Although we did not get rained on that whole weekend other than Friday, Sunday was blustery!  The waves of Lake Huron were high!  The water swept far up the beach!  And, there we were with my metal detector, trying it out for the first time!  Larry is more of a trooper than me, but, he convinced me to go along.  Soon enough, I was hanging on to my hood and the metal detector.  We only found bottle caps, but, that's okay.  Perhaps, on another day, we may get lucky!

Although we did not do excursions or travel far this year, at least I felt like I was shaking my cold.  So, even though we had planned to leave on Monday, I decided to stay an extra day.  Luckily, Larry did not have to be back until Tuesday, so, he agreed to stay too!  The manager of our hotel had no problem with us staying an extra night.  By Monday night, I was so exhausted!  I'm sure that my cold made me tired but even the slow-paced days on vacation and walking around exhausted me -- in a good way!  I had not been able to sleep right through the whole night without coughing until Monday night!  Tracy was right!  For me, this trip was just what the doctor ordered!

Larry and I left the hotel on Tuesday and, as per our usual custom, we had our final brunch at Kit Wat Marina Motel and Restaurant in Sauble Beach.  We headed home from the restaurant.  We usually swung by along the beach past the Sauble Beach sign and then head off.  So, I followed Larry's car and did the same route as we've always done.  We wave to the beach and the sign for another year. 

Larry and I agreed to meet up in Orangeville at Wendy's/Tim Horton's.  I followed his car up to a point -- that's another story! LOL.  I passed Larry and arrived at Tim's where Larry arrived only a few minutes after me.  Heading home would be a shorter journey. 

Sauble Beach - somehow you are good therapy for me.  You also contributed to healing me from my cold.  Even my psoriasis cleared up a lot.  Larry said, there's not as much pollution there.  After I came home, my cold lingered and it did not disappear right away.  My voice was still not normal after another month or more.  Now, psoriasis is inflamed again.  I think I will go back to Sauble Beach again!  I think I started to see what Larry has seen and experienced.  I wish I had time to go back this summer after our trip!  Well, it's something to look forward to next year!

After 10 years together, I sometimes wonder whether Larry and I are on the same path.  Are we meant to be taking a journey together in life?  After my mom passed away in September, 2013, I've wondered if I was meant to be going to different places and taking a different course in my life.  Sometimes, I wondered if Larry would still be with me as I take a different path.  Sometimes, I just don't know whether to go or stay.

Life is full of detours.  It takes love, patience ... lots of patience to go through a journey with a partner.  Yes, you can sympathize with Larry.  I can be a big handful.  I have blamed my mood swings on hormones -- or lack of it!  I'm sure my girlfriends would be giving me a shake!  I am grateful to all of you who have been my sounding board and shown me lots of love and patience.  I am thankful for Larry -- I should say, Saint Larry!  If there is any miracle that Larry can claim, it would be a change in me and helping me to heal physically and mentally -- by introducing me to Sauble Beach!

Just two more months till Christmas!  Plans are already in the works for our annual Christmas Tea (afternoon tea) at the beginning of December.  My girlfriends and I have not settled on a venue yet.  These past couple years, we have tried different places for afternoon tea.  I will let you all know in December's episode of KaTsZoNe where we will be going!

Hope to hear from you with your stories about your summer vacation and plans for the fall and winter. 

Peace and good health,


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