Surprise! I’m back (a little early!). I just can’t stay away. We had a great time in Niagara-on-the-Lake with my husband’s parents and enjoyed seeing Niagara Falls cloaked in a cool, gray mist. The weather was beautiful over the weekend, but we actually got snow outside Buffalo on Tuesday.
No matter. We toured around, ate too much, shared Easter candy and enjoyed hanging out. Like all vacations, it was over too quickly — but there’s something comforting, even joyful, about returning to routines.
My current routine? Reading! I finished Katharine Grant’s Sedition (bawdy, titillating and fun) and have made great strides with Frances Mayes’ Under Magnolia. I’ve really hit my groove again and can credit long waits at the airport for some of that, of course; it’s easy to get absorbed in a book with an hour or more to do nothing but sit and read (or people-watch, but that’s another story).
Speaking of sitting, I’ve gotten much better at it. Not in a lazy sense, exactly . . . although, well, that’s some of it, I suppose. I mean the whole be-here-now, live-in-the-moment stuff at which I was once so horrible. Case in point? I worried about disconnecting for two days while we were in Canada without the pricey international phone plan, but you know what I felt as I flipped my iPhone off for 48 hours?
Sweet, sweet relief.
Since January, I’ve really gotten used to checking technology less and enjoying life more. When I’m out to eat or visiting with friends, my phone stays in my purse. I don’t look at it; I don’t check it. Unless I’m snapping a picture or something, I try not to touch it at all.
As we got breakfast before our Saturday flight, I looked over at a family of five — with three kids under age 12, I’d say — all glued to a device. Parents on iPads, kids on phones or other gadgets. No one was speaking; no one was engaged at all, unless it was with a screen. I don’t like to be judgmental, but it rubbed me wrong.
Turning my phone off — and then turning it back on once we’d crossed the border Monday — was actually . . . exciting. Novel. Fun. I’d handed out emergency numbers for our hotel to my family before we left, so I knew I wasn’t completely off the grid should, you know, a crisis erupt. But for all intents and purposes, I was roaming. Roaming free.
It stung a bit not to Instagram all our meals, as I’m wont to do, but I got over it. And hey! I can still share them . . . even if it’s not in “real time.”
Real time was spent with Spence and our family — at high tea, in tiny shops, over homemade Reuben casserole, along the shores of Lake Ontario.
Who could complain?