Hope you don’t need a drive

Tri-County Vanguard - - OP-ED - COL­UMN Tina Comeau

I have to ad­mit, com­ing back to work from va­ca­tion last week was tough.

Es­pe­cially since it got off to a de­layed start.

Of­fi­cially our va­ca­tions “start” on Mon­days, but when peo­ple leave the office Fri­day at 5 p.m. it’s con­sid­ered that their va­ca­tions are un­der­way.

But I still had so much work to fin­ish that not only did I work all week­end and a full day on Mon­day, Aug. 20 – the “first” day of my va­ca­tion – but I didn’t fin­ish all of my work un­til noon the fol­low­ing day.

I did tack on an ex­tra day at the end of my two weeks off to make up for the false start. So where did I go?

Not far. I’m usu­ally al­ways a stay-cation type of per­son and this time I re­ally stayed close to home. My hus­band and I gave our front ve­randa space a much­needed up­date and I spent most of my va­ca­tion plunked there. So what did I do?

I read. You might think, con­sid­er­ing that I deal with words ev­ery sin­gle day, that on va­ca­tion I’d want to take a break from words. But I find read­ing in­cred­i­bly re­lax­ing. So much so that I read 10 books dur­ing my two weeks off.

Not that I was hav­ing much luck go­ing any­where, any­way. On Day 3 of my va­ca­tion my 2011 Edge, on which I’ve logged more than 250,000 km, up and died on me and had to go in for re­pairs. My par­ents lent me their car for the first part of my va­ca­tion.

The first thing that struck me was how their car still has it’s ‘new car’ smell, be­cause since it seems like they’ve had it for two years. The next thing that struck me was try­ing to fig­ure out all of the con­trols. Be­cause it was so hu­mid I didn’t drive any­where with­out air con­di­tion­ing. But for the first few days I couldn’t fig­ure out how to turn down the fan. I must have looked like I was in a per­ma­nent photo shoot with my hair con­stantly blow­ing in the wind.

Then one night the front wind­shield sud­denly fogged up. I tuned the ra­dio to five chan­nels, ad­justed the tem­per­a­ture six times, and fi­nally fig­ured out how to de­crease the fan speed be­fore fi­nally find­ing and hit­ting the right but­ton to de­fog the wind­shield.

Even­tu­ally my par­ents needed their car back but be­cause my car re­pair had in­volved or­der­ing parts, I was still car-less. So my hus­band let me use his truck.

In case you’ve never seen me in per­son, I’m ver­ti­cally chal­lenged. There’s hardly a time when I go to the gro­cery store where I don’t have to seek out a tall em­ployee or cus­tomer to reach some­thing on the top shelf for me.

When we got mar­ried 24 years ago, at the re­cep­tion my hus­band stood up in front of ev­ery­one and said, “I’m go­ing to keep my speech short . . . just like the Comeaus.”

While it’s not as high as other trucks I’ve seen, my hus­band’s truck does have a lift. Which means I ba­si­cally have to chan­nel my in­ner moun­tain goat when I climb in­side of it. Some­times I have to lift my leg so high my knee is prac­ti­cally touch­ing my chin. For­tu­nately there are things to grab onto when I hoist my­self in­side in a clumsy twohop ma­neu­ver I’ve con­cocted.

Then to get out it some­times feels like I should strap a para­chute to my back to jump out. Okay, maybe I’m ex­ag­ger­at­ing, but in all hon­estly, not want­ing to jump out for fear of screw­ing up my knee, I’ve mas­tered this odd type of slid­ing mo­tion to “grace­fully” (and I use that term loosely) get my­self back on the ground with­out hav­ing to go to physio the next day.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great truck and once I’m in­side it’s a smooth and com­fort­able ride.

But dur­ing my va­ca­tion I was very anx­ious to get my car back, es­pe­cially since I was putting off a lot of er­rands since get­ting in and out of the truck is a chore in it­self.

Af­ter a few days, it did get eas­ier to get in and out.

Per­haps dur­ing my va­ca­tion I ex­pe­ri­enced a growth spurt . . . at the age of 49.

Yeah, that must be what hap­pened.

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