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  Earlier this year, Sarah and I had a rare experience: a long car ride without the kids. It was just the two of us in the car for over four hours – with no kids shows playing in the background, no interruptions, no little ears nearby.   And we spent four hours just talking about us. I don't quite remember how it started, but it became this moment-by-moment retelling of our relationship from the very start – from back in high school as we were just becoming friends. For decades she has been my favourite person in the world, my best friend, the heart of all my best memories, and you'd think there wasn't much more we could learn about our story. But maybe through complete honestly, new perspectives earned over time, and Sarah's still shockingly good memory for details, we both learned things we didn't know. When we got home, I pulled out a box of old letters and it became this archeological dig. The words I’d written, I'll admit, were shockingly juvenile at time
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Understatement: Sarah is a reader. True statement (which may sound exaggerated but isn’t): Sarah has read over 200 books so far this year. She’s the voracious reader I wish I was and imagined I’d be when I was younger. Real books, e-books, audiobooks – she eats them all up. The area beside our bed is a minefield, where she’ll have 30 or so books within reach. (She only reads two or three at once, but she likes to have options.) Her interests are broad , and it’s easier to list off what she doesn’t like: sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. She also doesn’t love depressing fiction, but she has read some of the most depressing-sounding non-fiction that you’ve ever heard of. Falling Home: Creating a Life That Catches You When You Fall, If I Knew Then: Finding Wisdom in Failure and Power in Aging, Invisible Women: Data Bias In a World Designed by Men; What Happened To You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resistance, and Healing . True story – one night in bed, I rolled over around three in the morni
My first draft of this began, "Sarah is not afraid of having difficult conversations." And from the outside, that seems very true. When she argues with someone who's being deliberately ignorant, or when she tells a friend or family member something they need to know but don't want to hear – she does it with  confidence and conviction. These are the conversations that most people would rather dive off a cliff then have, and she marches right into them, seemingly without fear. But that’s only the way it appears. She feels the same deep discomfort as you and I do, but pushes through that to say what needs to be said. About half the time, it’s the choleric in her that makes her speak up. When someone is promoting a mistruth, especially a dangerous one, she’s all over them. Anti-vaxxers beware because (in her own words) vaccination is the hill she will always die on. She regularly takes on relatives (of mine, sadly) who post White Lives Matter-style garbage on social media

Adventure of the Seas - Fall 2019 - Day 6

Day six of the cruise is Halifax, and we make no plans other than to see frieeeeeeends! I’d emailed Pat two weeks before (because I’m a disorganized piece of crap) to let him know we’d be in Halifax for the day… and would love to see him… but we understood that it was crazy last minute so no worries if he couldn’t… but we would love to see him, and further easygoing yet pleading statements followed by ellipses. Supercool guy that he is, he cleared his schedule for the day so he could be with us. It had been eleven damn years since we’d seen each other, when he’d passed through Ottawa on a road trip, and we were beyond overdue to meet up again. He met us near the dock, looking unaged in a way that was criminal (which did not surprise me in the least). I hugged him until he pooped, and then we went for a walk. There’s a very nice public park near his apartment and we started there, catching up a little bit on life and career stuff. Emerging from the park, he drew our attention to the
I love the way Sarah moves. She’s a hand-talker, but none of her motions are wild or flailing: she’s precise. If she’s talking about a sequence or an order of things, her hand does a dicing-vegetables motion. If she’s talking geography or anything spatial, she’ll drape her hands over imaginary items, moving them from place to place. If she’s not doing that, she’s plucking things from the air, spreading her palms over the expanse of something, or chopping both hands at the sky in unison. When she overhears strangers talking and realizes she can help them out (with directions, facts, or general knowledge), she’ll literally tiptoe over to them, put her wrists down to her hips with her hands spread parallel to the floor, and she'll tilt her body the one side as if she’s peeking out from behind a curtain. It’s her delicate approach where she physicalizes her awareness that she’s been eavesdropping, and she’s sorry to interrupt but I have knowledge to share! When she dances,

Adventure of the Seas - Fall 2019 - Day 5

In Saint John, our plan is to follow the river walk and reach the Reversing Falls. This is an area where the Saint John river meets the Bay of Fundy. As a result of the difference in elevation (up to 50 feet depending on the level of the tide), the resulting effect can include whirlpools and crashing waves. The name given for this phenomenon is the Tidal Bore. It’s a hike and a half to get there, which is okay because I’ve got more than my share of meals to walk off. Once upon a when, the walk was just industrial wasteland, but there’s now a well-maintained brick path with various playgrounds, art installations, and informational signage along the way. While we take in relatively little of the informational tidbits along the route, we catch a shit ton of Pokemon, so at least there’s that. After about forty minutes of walking, we make it to the Reversing Falls. We get there relatively early in the day, so the water isn’t doing crazy things, but spectator-wise, the area is also fairl

Adventure of the Seas - Fall 2019 - Day 4

One of the downsides to travelling on cruise ships frequently is that you’re likely to dismiss an entire city based on your very limited window of experience. If a city isn’t screamingly unique right off the bat, or if the last city was amazeballs and this city is noticeably-less-amazeballs, it’s easy to check out mentally. In my head, I briefly wrote off Portland. Probably because we started with a long walk through all the rubby-dub sections of town -- areas where heavy construction had been started but them seemingly abandoned. Sarah needed to find a TD Bank and then she wanted to visit a Trader Joes, and this dictated the path we took. I remember checking the time on my phone thinking we still have seven hours to spend in this damn port! But then we took a Lyft back to our ship, dropped off the 15 pumpkin-spiced somethings we bought at Trader Joes, and effectively rebooted our visit to Portland from there. Sarah arranged a foodie tour for us. There were I think 12 of us o