A really big load of miles in our U-Haul van
Home: Cat’s AirBNB
Our “vancation” comes to an end, so today is mostly a driving day, returning us to the Nova Scotian mainland from Cape Breton, and then returning to the Halifax area to return the U-Haul from the place where I picked it up. We have an AirBNB booked for three nights in Lower Sackville, a Halifax suburb, so the plan is to drive there, drop off Rett and all of our stuff except my bike, then drive to the U-Haul center, and bike the ~12 miles back to our AirBNB. Except, Canadian kindness aborts that plan.
Our host, Cat, not only comes to help unload all of our bags and bring them into the house, she also says it’s silly for me to ride, so in the middle of her workday she drives her car ahead of me, waits while I go through the (smooth, on-line) process of returning the van, and then drives us back to her house. It turns out that she’s an avid cyclist (soon to go for a group bike tour in Croatia, which she semi-seriously invited us to join!), but I think she’s also just a generous human who would have helped anyone in this situation.
Days 2 and 3
We’d stopped at Wal-mart on the drive in, so we were well-stocked on groceries to do our usual “we have an oven!” pizza and vegetable roasting for multiple nights of dinner. That meant we barely left the basement apartment for two days.
The main exception was Rett dutifully going out after dinner each night to continue the re-development of her cycling skills. The residential suburban neighborhood we were in felt nearly identical to Chicago’s Schaumburg, which I suppose was surprising and strange only because we haven’t seen anything close to a “modern” residential development in all of Nova Scotia until now. That meant the “street-grids-are-boring” curvy lanes were nearly deserted at night, so, beginning with pedals-off again, Rett was able to get in a lot of good starting practice, and then even progressed on her own to improving her turning skills (left turns remain easier than right). The willingness and effort she put into doing that work told me that she’s committed to giving this biking thing another serious try, and I think it shows that our idea to “pause” wasn’t just a way to put off an inevitable end; instead, as we’d hoped, it opened up emotional, mental, and physical space in her that didn’t exist a couple weeks ago, restoring some capacity to rebuild positively, rather than our previous approach of patching leaks in a moving boat as it sunk deeper and deeper into the water.