I'll be up late tonight packing my bags - getting ready to catch a flight tomorrow morning. Gotta get the laundry all clean so that everyone has clothes to wear while I'm gone. Marcel is pretty capable of coping with everything in my absence, but the laundry is still usually my job.
I'm off to the East Coast for a few days - Halifax, Truro, Annapolis Valley, PEI, Peggy's Cove. These are all places I've dreamed of visiting some day and now I get to. The beauty of it is I don't have to spend a penny of my own money doing it. :-) I'm going for business reasons - travelling with my Atlantic-based staff member - visiting supporters and volunteers and getting to know the region a bit. On Saturday, I'll be picking pumpkins. A community group in Annapolis Valley grows a field of pumpkins which they sell and donate the proceeds to our organization (which, for those who don't know, delivers food aid to developing countries).
I consider myself pretty lucky. Not only do I have a great job, but I get to travel to interesting places and meet interesting people. One of the greatest feelings I know is the feeling I get when I hop on a plane bound for a place I've never been before.
And my luck doesn't end there. I have an amazingly supportive husband who forgives me for abandoning him now and then when I have to travel. (Thanks Marcel.) He's gotten pretty used to being the primary caregiver for the girls. Nowadays, ever since I took off for three weeks in Africa, he barely blinks when I leave for ONLY a week.
The girls have adjusted to Mommy being gone too. They don't love it, but they cope. Tonight Maddie tried to find every reason she could think of to convince me I REALLY should bring her along. "They probably have little kids in Halifax, so I should go along." "I like lobster, so I should go with you." (I don't think she's ever EATEN lobster, but she's seen them in their tank at the supermarket and she calls them her friends.) "Do they have sheep? I'd like to see sheep, so maybe I should go too."
I love to go, but in the end, there's always a bit of a churning in the pit of my stomach when I leave my family behind - a mixture of guilt, worry, and a longing to bring them with me. It doesn't last, though, and I don't dwell on it when I'm gone. Thankfully, I do it just enough to keep me happy and not so much that my family resents me.
So, for now, good bye.