Monday, July 13, 2015

You Go East, We Go West

In typical VanBinsbergen fashion, and by this, I mean the four of us VanB's in our household...this week unfolded with time off for all of us and conflicting plans on how to use it. Easton, of all of us, was the only one with a solid schedule for this week and if you know Easton, the irony is there for the taking. As it unfolded over the week leading up to the time off, we decided, to remain consistent in our travel plans and split up over the week.

Easton had signed up to be part of a wilderness camp led by our good friend, Will Hoff. This entails a week of sleeping out in the bush, hiking and packing in your own supplies and basically living off the land and whatever candy your Mom stashed in your pack for the week.  For a kid who's summer itinerary (written down and posted on the fridge no less) included daily time for: relaxing, learning something new, being creative, being active...this camp includes a bit of each with an emphasis on learning something new because let's face it, the kid's not had a lot of exposure to the great outdoors. 

So, with time constraints on Jason and Aidan's jobs, Easton and I packed up the car Saturday night and headed west early Sunday morning to get him to the Alberta foothills by late afternoon. We had such a great road trip, which involved far more bathroom breaks than it would have if Jason had been driving, and musical selections that we went full throttle with dramatic actions and gestures, much to the amusement of any who we happened to pass on the road. We laughed a lot and if there's one thing I have to commend Easton on travel wise, it's that he's a great navigator and co-pilot, his steady stream of chatter both educational and entertaining. Most of what I know about Dr. Who and Marvel super villains comes from travelling with Easton. 

Jason and Aidan and of course, Charlie, headed east to spend a couple of days at the lake with the cousins. Aidan hasn't been feeling well and in contrast to our trip, Jason messaged me the following pic of his travelling buddy.

Even when he's sleeping, he looks pretty cool. Of course, how's that for good company?
At one point during our trip, Easton asked me what I thought Aidan and Dad were doing right now on their road trip. I said, "Listening to SHINEDOWN and dashboard drumming..." and Easton agreed. Little did they know how much more exciting our trip was? While yes, I agree that driving through the prairies is fairly equal for seven hours in each direction. The view is the same...canola, wheat and flax fields, grain elevators and train sidings, gas stations and small towns....but at the end of our seven hours, we had a lovely 45 mins along the Red Deer river, through pine forests and amongst the ranches of the foothills and it was lovely. Dropping Easton off, I'll admit, was harder for me than for him. I drove away trying not to blow him kisses as I watched him immediately engage in the game at hand going on in the adjacent field. I played it cool and gave him the Hunger Games salute, cause I'm hip like that. 

So, while Easton is at camp, I'm nicely settled into the Hoff loft and writing this effort to put some solid framework on a book that may never see the light of day, but begs to be written. 
I'm so thankful for the space I've been given to come and rest and create and people watch and more thankful for the friends who share it so easily.  Jason and Aidan's days will be more adventurous than mine, spent on the tube behind the boat and laughing with the cousins and coaxing the dog from the lake, and Easton's will be great as well...spent with new friends and one of his favourite people in the world... and mine will hopefully be...productive.  Most importantly, for each of us, I hope it is restful and relaxed, for we've all been in a season of hard work and challenges. If nothing else, it will give us all a lot to talk about and to catch up on when we gather again around the kitchen island in a week's time. 

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