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Day 270

I am sitting at the airport, drinking a cup of coffee, waiting to board my flight to Canada. It is getting harder and harder to say that I am going home, when my wife drops me off at the airport, and I am leaving her… She is my home. I know that until the US State Department says I can, I cannot really call Dallas home. That does not change where my heart lies… it is here, with my beautiful wife. I should be going to bed with her, waking up with her, eating with her… every day. We should be getting into each other’s way and getting annoyed and making up. We should be able to look at each other across the room… we should be able to touch each other. We should be able to do all of this without smartphones. When will that be? I think the best optimistic guess is that the coming winter might be my last one in Canada… but there is a good chance that this one will not be my last autumn in the country of my birth.

I know what you are probably thinking. You have to ask, ‘Mitch, how can you be looking forward to living far from your children?’ The simple answer is that they live with their mother, and I get to see my son the younger for a few hours every couple of weeks, and my son the elder… at his whim and convenience. It was hard to live so far from them during Covid, when I was living in California and not able to visit Canada. It was hard, but I endured. They can come to visit anytime they want, and I will be able to come to see them as well… and I will, on a fairly regular basis. I will be able to chat with them and keep up with them every week, but that is again at their whim… which seems to not be very often. My wife, on the other hand, wants to be with me… and if I talk to my kids and don’t hug them it is hard, but to not be able to touch to hold to kiss my wife is not what either of us signed up for.

My weight bumped up this morning, but only by .2lbs… what pollsters would refer to as within the margin of error. I was good yesterday, save for dinner – and a late dinner at that. We went for sushi, which meant a lot of rice. I also had mochi ice cream for dessert, which I know I should not have done. The fact that my weight essentially stayed the same is not really a surprise. Today is a travel day, so I might eat properly all day and still gain two pounds tomorrow… or eat like a chazer and lose a pound. I am going to do my best to eat properly, and whatever the scale says tomorrow morning I will take with a grain of salt.

My son the elder is picking me up from the airport, and it will be great to see him. I am sure he will ask, and I will gladly pay for his gas. I will pay him what I would pay for an Uber, and I will get to spend some time with my son. Depending on the timing, I might ask him to take me to the store to buy food for dinner, but that is a big if. We will see how it goes. I am scheduled to land at 4:30pm, which means that between Customs and Immigration and waiting on my suitcase, I can optimistically hope to be in his car by 6:00pm, and home at 6:45pm. If we stop along the way, then we add 15 minutes to that. If we do not, then I still have to go shopping, as I have been gone nearly a month, and have nothing to eat in the house.

I did do something smart when packing my kit this time. I have two meal replacement bars that I will have access to in my carry-on bag. Actually, I have several dozen of them, if we count both bags… but two is the maximum that I will need. That means that I will not need to ask for the extra cookies when the flight attendant comes around. The plane will board in 45 minutes, and I expect that I should be okay until then. I might have a meal replacement at the beginning of the flight, and another at the end… but that should tide me over. If all goes well, dinner will be late, but it will be my regular homemade chicken with a side salad.

I am working this week! I have a week-long class that I am delivering, which I did not expect… and which will provide much needed income. I do not mean to say that I am going broke, but I am glad to be earning money. I also have a contract that starts in December, for a training centre that I worked with over the summer. It is always a good sign when companies ask for me by name. I love knowing that they were happy enough with my delivery the last time to ask me back. There are far too many trainers out there who can deliver the courses that I do, and I know that a lot of them will work for a lot less money than I do. The only way to keep working is to keep reminding them that I really am pretty good at what I do.

Leslie laughed at me last night as I was packing. I came down to Dallas nearly a month ago, with a suitcase that was overflowing with groceries – treats for Leslie and her son. Between that, and the clothes that I planned to leave at her house (the summer is over, and I doubt there will be many days in mid-October when I can comfortably wear shorts in Canada), I expected to leave Dallas with a half-empty suitcase. What I neglected to consider was that I was bringing home a lot of meal replacements (which take up a lot more room in my suitcase than you might think), two boxes and two bags of cigars, my sports jacket and shirts and pants (which I am hoping will not fit my lithe frame by my next visit in January), and a bunch of other stuff that I picked up… both here and in California. Had I been flying back to Canada with the same luggage that I came with, I would have been overstuffed, and would have had to borrow a suitcase from Leslie. Fortunately, I had loaned her my large carry-on bag a few months ago, which needed to be fixed (which I took care of at the beginning of this trip, and which was now ready to fly). It is full, nearly completely with meal replacements. To quote the Bard: all’s well that ends well.

While I do not enjoy it, I am always less stressed leaving the USA than entering it. The USA might one day refuse me entry. The worst that Canada can do is charge me duties for whatever I bring back, and I do not think I have anything to interest them – I am ten cigars over my limit, and they are not expensive cigars. Even so, it is always a relief to get through airport security without secondary screening. To be sitting in the terminal, even when I have a long wait, is a lot less stressful when I know I am going back to the country of my birth.

It was raining this morning in Dallas. Yesterday was gorgeous and hot, but it is also the last such day I will experience until… well, I don’t know when. It is easy to think that Texas is warm or hot all year round, but I know that is not the case. The ten-day forecast for Burlington, Ontario shows two days with high temperatures at or over 65° Fahrenheit, with four days at or below 50° Fahrenheit. It will only be getting cooler and then colder. I am not sure what walking is going to be like this week, but it is almost time for me to join a gym if I plan to keep my exercise routine going… and I do!

It is almost time to board, so I am going to walk over to the gate. Have a great day folks!

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