Today I had a dentist appointment in Baddeck. My dentist, Stuart MacDonald, books cleanings something like six months in advance, so back in June when I had my last cleaning, they booked my next one. “Does it matter what day it is?” The receptionist asked. “We can do December fifth.”
“Nope, doesn’t matter,” I said at the time, not knowing what exactly I’d be up to on that day in six months’ time.
Then a month ago when I was looking ahead at my schedule, and December 5th was getting close, I thought I might cancel the appointment. After all, it’s right at the end of the term, only one more week til this semester is done, and there is a fair bit still to do on the assignments that are due next week. (The Graphic Design program doesn’t have exams, but we do have a big end-of-term project for each course.)
But I’m so glad I didn’t cancel the appointment. I let the teachers know I wouldn’t be there today, made arrangements for notes (thanks Jacquie!) and went up to Baddeck. To my hometown. North Sydney is my home now, but Baddeck will always be my hometown. It’s different in winter than in summer, of course – more snow, no tourists, and its quieter, overall. It can give me a sad feeling to be there in winter, or it can feel good, more like a village than like a tourist town. It depends on my own mood I suppose.
So it was a lovely day. I took a short walk on Water Street. I visited with friends before and after my appointment. I saw Flossie at the marina. I stopped in at the Drug Store and bought deodorant, and said hello to Beth and Joyce. I stopped for gas at MacRae’s and said hi to Jimmy Bradley, and Jared. I stopped by the library for hugs with Kate and Laverne and hello to Larry. I had tea with my brother and a visit with my Mom.
It was the kind of day that reminds me to take a bit of time away from the ordinary, daily to-dos, and go and physically see the people who I love and miss. Facebook and texting and email and the phone are all fine and good, and they are better than no contact at all. But being in the same place at the same time, smiling at one another, being able to hug one another, is so, so important.
Hearing everyone’s various news of the last few months reminded me, too, that we are not alone. We are all human, we all have foibles and mishaps and difficult times. There is stress in every household. Admitting that to each other, and laughing about the shitty, silly things, may just be one of the most important things we can do.