It's been over a month since I last sat down to write a blog post. I thought about it many times, but it never felt right. I don't know if many of you have experienced unemployment before, but as someone who chose a career in writing and opted several times to move to crazy places for the person I love, I've become quite familiar with it. It usually follows the same pattern. The first two weeks are great. Maybe you sleep in a bit later than normal, but you accomplish all of those projects that you've been meaning to get around to, like organizing your filing cabinet and cleaning out all of the closets. You take your dog on more walks. You cook elaborate meals that take up half of your day.
But around week three, your emotions begin to shift. Questions like "What am I doing with my life?" and "Why am I living in a town of 4,500 people - five hours into the middle of nowhere?" began to pop in my head. The newspaper was the only writing gig in town, and as the pattern goes, I was beginning to feel despondent.
So I planned a trip. I mapped out a route from Red Lake to Jasper and Lake Louise with stops in the Great Sand Dunes of Saskatchewan and Dinosaur Provincial Park (badlands with an incredible array of fossils) in Alberta. I picked up a copy of Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck and prepared myself mentally for a camping trip across Canada with just me and Daisy in the Subaru.
The thought of getting out on the road again gave me a renewed sense of purpose, but the universe had a different plan. In what I can only describe as a bittersweet turn of events, the newspaper was bought by a new owner and I was asked to return as Editor. In two stressful weeks, two of us got things up and running again at The Northern Sun News and completed our first two issues with everything that could go wrong, going wrong. I don't think I've ever worked that hard in my life, but we pulled it off.
After all of that hard work, I was rewarded with a fall-foliage trip to Vermont that we had planned several months ago. It was amazing, and exactly what I needed. We stayed at the hip Hotel Vermont in downtown Burlington, ate incredible farm-to-table meals, and tried more craft beers and ciders than we knew what to do with. We rented a car and drove through the mountains and farm country. We roamed an apple orchard, sipping warm apple cider and munching on apple cider donuts before hopping back in the car to visit another brewery nestled in the countryside.
We hiked to a beautiful peak in the ski-town of Stowe with red, yellow, and orange leaves casting a glow on the trail as we trekked to the summit and were rewarded with a 360-degree view of the trees and lakes below. We sat on the sidewalk outside a convenience store waiting for the delivery of the highly-praised Heady Topper Double IPA, the Pliny the Elder of the East Coast you might say, which some people camp out overnight to buy. We rode cruiser bikes along the Lake Champlain promenade with an old friend. It was one of those trips that was just so perfect, writing about it feels too much like bragging. So I'll leave it at that.
Though part of me did consider neglecting this blog for good, the comments and emails that I got from a few readers in my absence really warmed my heart. Thanks for following along. Really. Sometimes a break is what you need to remember why you started something in the first place.