I've learned that doing this blog thing is about finding the story...and this summer I've had a difficult time finding the story. It hasn't really been a typically "me" kind of summer. Bad weather, weak enthusiasm, busy, and half-funky half the time...so the story's been hard to filter from the intermittent sunshine and accidental entertainment we've mostly endured...and then it struck me...it's up to me to write the story. I already knew that, and still...
I suppose my only issue with the responsibility of writing your own narrative is that it's sometimes not met with the kind of enthusiasm you'd like to see, or you end up standing there empty handed, or with egg on your face (why is that even a maxim?), and in those moments you wonder why you ever scribbled a line. I try to make as much luck as I can, and ever since I was old enough to know better I understood that opportunity and hard work are usually the same thing, but this particular summer has felt, at times, like a lesson in futility.
Yesterday I woke with all of the enthusiasm in the universe safe in my pocket, so we packed up and lit out for territory, as Huck would have said, with no idea where we were going, or what we would do, we just turned the car onto the highway and started driving East. We ended up in Six Nations, almost totally on a whim, so that I could lay my hands on what I will surely paint more poetically than others might care, a new wooden lacrosse stick. That's another great story for another great blog post. We pulled back onto the road by literally shrugging our shoulders and turning the steering wheel reluctantly to the left, then drove on. We followed the Lake Trail along Lake Erie all through Haldimand County on our way to Niagara Falls. Why Niagara Falls? Why not?
We drove in bright sunshine past the coolest, seemingly most forgotten stretch of wicked shoreline and cottage awesomeness in that part of Ontario, and were stoked to be headed to The Falls...until we got there...then the crowds, the price of hotel rooms, and the rudeness of a few locals I wished painful deaths upon, mixed with the suddenly completely overcast and grey skies, not to mention the drop in temperature of about ten degrees, steered us out of that trashy haven for malcontents and honeymooners, and towards Toronto to catch the Red Sox game. After a few tortuous telephone calls to ascertain which tickets we would have to buy so that we could walk around a bit...sitting for nine innings with a four year old and an 11 month old is not fun...we became flustered. We just wanted to know what tickets we needed to be on the most wide open concourse with the most space to walk around and explore and keep funsters busy. No one could give us a straight answer, so we quietly told the Toronto Blue Jays organization to get stuffed, and turned the car towards home...thinking to ourselves:
1. How #$%ing hard is it to answer someone's simple question?
2. Thank God our home stadium is fan friendly Comerica Park.
3. We might never, ever return to Niagara Falls. It's over the top offensive these days.
4. Why isn't this impromptu day wrapping up as awesome as it started and mostly was?
5. I wonder if Dustin and Kelly are home so we can visit and not drive seven hours for nothing?
6. If not Dustin and Kelly, there's always our friends in Guelph.
7. My God our kids are amazing!
We headed West and hoped to wrap the day up decently, and we did, stopping at our good friends house to wish Kelly a happy birthday, have some amazing dinner, and leave much too late to get home. The day began with a stupid idea of just driving somewhere and finding some fun..at about 10am...and ended at exactly midnight back in our own driveway. We had driven for nearly ten hours in total. That's the equivalent of Sarnia to NYC. Finding the story sometimes looks like that.