The cost of heating my home is astronomical so I generally set the thermostat just enough to stop my pipes from freezing and only warm the place if company is coming. Summer is beautiful here but at the onset of winter my body rebels against the chill and I go through a growly “why am I living in this big 150-year old uninsulated house,” phase. In times past, it was warmed by a roaring wood stove and filled with the happy sounds of my three rambunctious kids, but the fire is long out and the kids have grown up on me. Now, it’s just me and the ghosts rattling around and I yearn for a small, tight, super-insulated living space. But it always boils down to the same thing – I love the blueberries and don’t want to give them up. So I accept the trade-off, put on another sweater, and hunker down to plan my next adventure.
This year I am going to New Zealand for three months with my boyfriend to hike the Te Araroa, a 3000-kilometre through-trail that travels the length of the north and south islands. We won’t have time to do the whole thing so we will leapfrog across the cities. It will be a see-how-it-goes sort of thing. We are excited, but we also have individual reservations and concerns. Gord isn’t a hiker and because he played competitive rugby until he was 50, his body is beat up, but he’s tough and tenacious and wants to do this. “It’s just walking,” he says, “I can do that.” I touch his cheek, “such a sweet summer child,” I respond back.
I am eager to return to the middle of nowhere, carrying everything essential on my back, ‘tramping’ to exhaustion up and down mountains on a rugged and remote trail, eating little more than twigs and berries. It’s hard to sugar coat that. The goal will be to find a balance that works for both of us. At least it’s an English-speaking, first world country, which will be a cool change. January 5th is d-day, and as always, I will blog the real deal.
Blueberries and adventure! That sums up my life these days. And a damn chilly house.