Trees and rocks slip past us as our train speeds towards Calgary. The gentle rocking of the train and warmth of sunshine on my cheek lull me to sleep for a quick nap as I hold my two boys close. I’m so thankful that they’re still wanting to snuggle. This closeness won’t last forever, I cherish it while I can.
After our nap we make our way to the dining car. I order a V8 and a cheese sandwich. Daniel, such a predictable creature, asks for a California roll and a bowl of miso soup. Andy, still being so little, is content with mashed potatoes and gravy. We must be in the Rockies now, the mountains tower above us in their grandeur.
Of course we’re all excited – we’re going to meet Daryle at the train station. He’s been working in Calgary for a few weeks now and we miss him terribly. The boys have been having a difficult time staying in their seats and I’m beginning to run out of the dollar store toys bought to amuse them. On the positive side, we’ve only got another three hours to go. As a family, we’re going to play tourist in Calgary; visiting the zoo, going down to Drumheller and so on. Then we’ll continue the train journey all the way to Halifax before returning by plane in a month’s time.
We’ve been saving up for a long time for this holiday and I can hardly believe it is going so smoothly. The usual angst is missing. The children are cheerful and I’m relaxed. I think we’ll try to leave the van behind more often when we go on vacation.
What is that? I hear raised voices and the train seems to be rocking a little more aggressively. The motion and noise continue to increase to the point of becoming very irritating. What is happening?
For Heaven’s sake! My eyes slowly adjust to the grey of the gloomy, rainy day. I wake up. Yes – wake up. All four of us are in the van, travelling down a very bumpy road, full of pot-holes on our way to the bottle depot. I can’t believe I fell asleep! Andy’s yelling away at no-one in particular and Daniel is shouting “grAAAH”, to distract and amuse him. So much for my lovely holiday; instead, I get to endure the racket from the back of the van, listen to Daryle bark about how to stack cases of juice tins and count dirty, smelly bottles, and then attempt to wash my hands using cold water. Ick.
I wonder if I can return to my dream on the way home?