I had planned to go to Newfoundland this weekend but changed my mind and decided to stay home. Those of you who know me, know that I am a home body. When I decide to go on a trip I get anxious from the time I decide to go, until the time I get home. I often change my mind and don’t go at all, as in this case. Then I feel as if there is something wrong with me for not wanting to go. Especially to Newfoundland, which is where I grew up, and a place that I love. I could make all kinds of excuses. I could tell you that I am afraid to fly, but I am not really. Once I let go, I let go. My husband says my biggest problem is that I say yes in the first place to going somewhere. He might be right, but I forget what I am like, and think this time will be different. It never is. I hate to say it, but Robert Mansour is right. Did I just write that? If you see him, do not tell him you read it here. I think that I want to go. I like the idea of going. I enjoy seeing new things, just that after a day, I want to go home, no matter if I am in Halifax, or Galway, it’s all the same to me, I just want to go home.
I could tell you that I get nervous at the thought of leaving home, and that would be the truth. I start to get lonely a week before I leave. I say my prayers and then I wish that I was back from the trip already.Then I start thinking of my summer as before, and after the trip, and that the thought of leaving weighs heavy on me. That would be true. Now is that sensible? Whether it is or it isn’t does not matter. It is just the way I am. I wrote about it in my book , “Inspired”. I struggle with myself sometimes to relax and have a peaceful mind. That is the honest truth of it. We all have our struggles and that is mine. I worry.
Some might say that when you don’t like to travel you let your world gets too small. I never feel like my world is small. I feel like I have lots of ideas and people in my life. I feel connected in all kinds of ways. I am active in my community. I have a big community of rug hookers from all over the place, who thankfully like to travel, and come here to see me, bringing their experiences here to visit the studio and to workshops. Just this morning, I spent an hour with Lee Karrow, who traveled from Illinois and we had a lovely visit. Until today, Lee had been someone I spoke to on the phone, or read a comment from on my blog. Today she was here. Thankfully she likes to hit the road. I love seeing the people who read the blog come visit.
Years ago, before I had kids, and still liked to travel quite a bit, my friend Karen, who had three little boys at the time, said, “I don’t want to travel. I just want to be here in my own little world.” . At the time I never understood but I accepted that about her. Years later, nearly twenty now, I know what she was talking about. At forty seven I am approaching new stages in my life. Knowing my kids are happy is enough to make me happy. Knowing that they are cozy and happy and in their beds is actually enough to make my life feel complete. It is a simple recipe and every mother knows it. I want to wake up in the same place as my daughter. If my son comes home for the weekend I like to be around to cook a bit, to see him, to make a home. He might say I like to be around to keep an eye on him, but truth his I just like to look at him. After I have been away for a few nights I even like the sound of my husband snoring.
When I called my cousin Donny Fitz a few weeks ago to say I planned to come to Nfld, he said, he had ran into my friend Helen, and she and he were making bets as to if I’d actually come. Well they were right. The homebody won out, not because I do not love Nfld, because I do. I just love it here too. In twenty minutes this afternoon, I will drive to Amherst Shore and throw on my bathing suit and dog paddle along the warmest waters north of the Carolinas. I’ll pick up new potatoes somewhere along the way and boil them for supper. I’ll see a friend. If I wake up in the middle of the night because I can’t sleep ( welcome to forty seven) I’ll listen to my husband sleeping beside me and be glad I am home in my own bed. You might say it is a small life, but it is not as if I don’t know the world is out there. It is not as if I have never been anywhere. These might be excuses, but for me they are reasons. I want to be where I am. I love where I live. I love my family, my home, my art, and my business. I try to take advantage of what is around me. I try to live fully, right here where I am.
I feel a little “small ” sometimes because I no longer like to travel. Especially since most of my family, and friends seem to love too, then I remember that not everyone loves to travel. I look around at my neighbours in the county and I realize that many people travel very little. My father, never went back to across the bay to his home in Paradise after he left as a young man, a two hour boat ride away. The furthest he ever went was to come to Nova Scotia to see his daughter. His brother, my Uncle Andy, (Donny Fitz’s father) also hates to travel. As he says, “I’d never go anywhere.” I am like them I s’pose. I write my Uncle Andy regularly but we never visit, being that we are both happy at home. My mother in law, Alexandra, came to Canada from Lebanon when she was twenty three. She returned to Lebanon a couple of times, but mostly she was happy going between Amherst and Amherst Shore. Her sister Vicki, and brother George, also immigrants were very much the same. As she would say, I came so far, I am just happy to be settled. Fifty years after that first journey, she felt pretty much the same, happy to be home.
I am also glad that so many of you like to travel and do come here to the studio and make the trek to my workshops, or just a a studio visit. You make my world quite a bit bigger. Thanks for coming.
my back stoop
The way it really is….
my old gallery is now where I read
A rainbow over my friends’ house