Thu. Jun 20th, 2024

My husband, Paul, and I’ve spent every week on Penobscot Bay in the identical trip rental for the previous 21 years.

We’ve grown older and misplaced our moms. Each accompanied us on our first sojourn; my mom continued coming as much as Maine from Rhode Island till 2008.

Three canines who hung out on the cottage are additionally gone.

Due to these recollections, heading out for our week away at all times is bittersweet. However this 12 months, I had one thing else on my thoughts. I questioned: What, precisely, is a trip?

We had been taking alongside our 14-year-old (plus eight months) canine, Martha. Though she is sustaining her joie de vivre, there’s no denying that Martha is having issue standing, and experiencing different senior canine points.

In the meantime, cats Teddy (16) and Leo (13) would stay at dwelling. Although they’d be within the palms of a really succesful caregiver, I might nonetheless fear about them. Ted has been experiencing an ear drawback and Leo requires every day thyroid remedy.

I additionally was involved concerning the climate. A profitable week at a trip rental is closely depending on the climate. I can pull out all my positive-thinking expertise and push them to the restrict, however the reality stays: If I don’t get out on my kayak at the very least 3 times, I’m not having an excellent week.


The climate in June didn’t encourage confidence for a vivid and sunny July trip.

Lastly, I questioned how retirement would have an effect on my emotions about trip this 12 months. What was I vacating from? I left my job as a college librarian in June 2022, however I didn’t actually really feel “retired” final July. I simply felt like I used to be on my regular summer season break. Additionally, I’d had my proper knee changed in March of that 12 months, and was scheduled to have the left one changed in August. I wasn’t getting round all that nicely, and didn’t even carry the kayak with me.

In 2022, the climate was superb and Martha was nonetheless doing nicely sufficient that we might take a number of day journeys. This 12 months, we deliberate to remain near the cottage as a result of we weren’t positive how she was going to deal with the change of surroundings.

In different phrases, I used to be carrying loads of baggage as we headed off.

The holiday didn’t begin nicely. As soon as we arrived Saturday, we realized we had forgotten a number of important gadgets. Paul deliberate to move again Sunday (an hour’s drive) to retrieve them. Martha was stressed and stored circling the home. Her nails click-clacked incessantly for a number of hours. Transferring in with all of the meals, pet provides and baggage is at all times an ordeal. Then, I attempted to prepare dinner supper, however the oven didn’t work. We needed to order pizza.

The following morning was overcast and gloomy. Paul headed dwelling. Martha, miraculously, had slept by way of the night time, and was now resting comfortably. I sat in entrance of the massive lounge home windows and seemed on the fog over the bay. I noticed, with a begin, that I felt at peace.


Huh? Because the week advanced, my sense of contentment solely grew. Martha settled rapidly. She truly reached some extent the place she seemed to be having fun with herself. Again at dwelling, Ted and Leo had been doing nicely.

The climate was high quality. The one main rainstorms got here at night time, together with a violent thunderstorm within the early hours of our final day there. I used to be in a position to take the kayak out 4 instances.

On one among my paddles, I used to be alone in our small part of the bay. The sky was hazy and I felt I used to be encapsulated in a filmy aqua gauze. A bald eagle flew overhead; a cormorant held its wings out, perched on a buoy; a heron stood, watchful, on the finish of a dock.

Though I’d seen faculties of pogies earlier than (the fish collect on this space presently of 12 months), I’d by no means seen so many. I encountered an enormous group of them — they shaped a protracted line, and dozens jumped within the air abruptly. The sound was like an enormous wave hitting the shore.

I used to be in awe. I believe it was the most effective paddle of my life.

Again on shore, I mirrored that I may not be vacating a job this 12 months, however I had left behind my on a regular basis life. Retirement could be amazingly busy. I’m not even positive how that occurs. However as soon as I obtained dwelling, I had dental, veterinary and medical appointments scheduled. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.


On a regular basis life awaited me, massive time. My backyard was going to wish my consideration. A good friend’s husband was having surgical procedure; I’d be on pins and needles about that. After all, my seemingly unending decluttering tasks could be ready for me. I couldn’t simply mess around with my journal. I’d need to get again to critical writing.

I’m happy to say I used to be in a position to put all these ideas out of my thoughts whereas on the cottage. I visualized placing them on a cabinet shelf. I closed the door. There could be loads of time to open up that passel of considerations after I obtained dwelling.

Associated Learn extra columns by Liz Soares

We did little or no throughout our week away. I used to be comfortable to have hours to learn, to go to with the sheep of their paddock down the road. Generally, I simply sat on the deck or the seashore and stared into the space.

There, within the waves, was my reply: It is a trip.

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