The days are going by fast – and I’m finding it hard to keep up. One pictures long leisurely hours of writing while the boy naps, but there are trips to prepare for, interruptions by unexpected roofers, sickness, laundry, etc. Tomorrow we leave for San Francisco. Oh my.
This past weekend was Dan’s birthday and I don’t ever want to forget it. We drove to Jasper – James Henry Jasper’s namesake – on Friday. This weekend was everything I love about being married to Dan: lucking into a great place to stay, 5 o’clock beers followed by wine with an incredibly delicious dinner, outdoor adventure and now, the added bonus of having our little bean in tow for it all.
I booked us little Otentiks – essentially heated canvas tents – or what we call ‘glamping’. But upon arrival, we were told that our particular Otentik did not have heat. And that they’d refund us if we found a place to stay. It was going to get down to freezing that night. Friends, I used to be into roughing it. But these days, I have nothing to prove. I tried to stay positive and point out all the clothes I had bought for James, the cozy fire we could make outside. We ran around to the hardware store to see if we could find a heater, we even bought emergency candles – but the thought of a candle providing any kind of heat in our huge posh canvas tent (where I could see by breath by 4 p.m.) was laughable. We lit all the candles in the Otentik and got on the phone pronto. A last minute cancellation scored us a little cabin with a full kitchen and fireplace (Becker’s Chalets, for anyone headed to Jasper) – boom!
On Dan’s birthday, we walked the shore of Maligne Lake to a fishing spot. When we got there, a snow storm blew in so James and I hustled back to the lodge to warm up while Dan cast a line. After the storm blew over, we sat in the sun and chatted with tourists from all over the world.
We made fondue. We ate tiramisu for dessert. We drank port. We watched Pitch Perfect 2.
On Sunday, we drove up to the base of Mount Edith Cavell for a glorious hike around Cavell Meadows. We tramped through snow and it was just cold enough that the trail was not overly crowded. James slept like a dream.
I love so many things about Dan. I love the way he has taught me to hold other people in my mind and always be on the lookout for things that make them happy. Like, how in the line at the grocery store I threw in two Coffee Crisp bars for him because I knew he’d love them. He’s always looking for those little things.
I love his enthusiasm and sweet love for James. He’s shown up in every way possible as a father. I can see James’ face light up every time he sees Dan. They giggle so much when they are together.
And there is something magic that happens when Dan and I hit the road together. We plan just enough to leave room for some unexpected adventure. There’s something so invigorating about sharing a LOVE for doing the same thing – whatever that is. Some people love to golf. Some people love to eat fancy dinners together. Dan and I love to be outside and explore and discover places. It’s a bottomless trove of wonder.
On our drive back on the Icefields Parkway, we both marveled at how lucky we feel to have lived where we do – something we never planned. We never ever would have been able to explore the Canadian Rockies in the way that we have on a week-long visit.
There are so many unknowns about our future. Not knowing used to drive me a little mad. But I feel so much more at peace with it now – with Dan by my side – my partner in crime, my adventure buddy, my lover. I love where we are right now. And the future. The future is open.