My birthday this year is really special to me. It’s a culmination of a life time of work. I’ve always looked forward to this time with anticipation. I never really thought to retire but I thought that this year would mean I’d really done my duty. I felt when I became a physician I had a responsibility to use my training. I’d taken a limited space and felt that I had made a covenant with my community to serve. Now I feel like I still want to serve, at least another five years or so but it’s a different sort of relationship. I’ve done my time.
I’ve always been self employed. I regret now in some ways that I didn’t work for the money or focus more on my self. I could now be having more options but I’d not feel the way I have, that feeling of being of service. I wanted to be a missionary doctor but I also wanted to pay my way. I took Dr. Jack Hildes suggestion to work in the areas of ‘greatest need’.
I’d bought myself a 2017 Ford F350 Lariat edition 4x4 crew cab and long box white truck, trading in my 2007 Ford F350 Harley Davidson edition. It was a gift to myself and served to anchor me. I wanted to just keep on working and this would keep me working to pay off the debt. An anchor of sorts. So often dealing with the bureaucracy I really want to run away to sea again. In a few years but not right now. Gilbert loves the truck and a trip down to Bellingham would give Laura a chance not only to see it but to also appreciate it’s spectacularly smooth rise. The sound system with Hillsong and Amy Grant is spectacular.
Bellwether Hotel was another gift to myself. Laura and I had not seen each other for a couple of weekends. She’s been working weekends as I have been. We both live in tiny places and a weekend at a hotel gives us the reprieve from our own claustrophobic quarters.
A Bellwether Hotel weekend was an oasis to work towards. I’ve been literally exhausted each night falling asleep sometimes at 7 and other times waking with nightmares in the wee hours of the night. I’ve needed the breaks to just survive the stress of work right now..
Laura and I enjoyed the drive down to the States with the magnificent little one eyed pirate of a dog.. Gilbert. He seems to be adjusting better to his loss of sight and need to sit still three times a day while I give him drops for his glaucoma’
We had no difficulties crossing the border. The American’s were inviting. Probably after all the nonsense of Canadian leftist liberals being stopped after arrogantly telling the American border crossing guards that they want to go to the US to protest their president and start riots they were glad to have us.
"Where are you going?"
"The Bellwether Hotel in Bellingham."
“What is the purpose of your visit"
“We’re going down for the weekend to celebrate my birthday”.
“Well, have a great birthday."
“Thank you sir.”
The Navigation System on the truck was awesome. it was dark and raining and we really would have missed a turn were it not for the clear directions. The navigation actually shows up not just on the central screen but also on the dash view directly in front of me where speed and gas usage are recorded. This is so incredibly safe. I didn’t have to look away from the road once.
The staff at Bellwether were delighted to see us. Lovely ladies. I left Laura and Gilbert and the luggage in the lobby to drive off and park the monster truck. They have free underground parking but my truck is too big for that. . There was parking nearby though and no problems all weekend.
The rooms were fabulous. So elegant. Spring and autumn colours. Subdured. Luxurious. A balcony looking over the marina. A fireplace. Huge tv and huge king sized bed. The whirlpub tub put Laurain heaven. I like a shower myself. But we’d use every bit of the room by the time the weekend was done. I had reports to write and papers to read, a half dozen hours of work which I did either at the desk on my lap top or sitting on the balcony or in the soft lounging chair where I read. They had a mat set out for Gilbert and food and water bowls. He loved his stay.
We had room service dinner from their extraordinary kitchen. I can’t recall how long it’s been since I had such an awesome filet mignon. it literally melted in my mouth. We loved everything about the meal. It was a Mel Gibson weekend. We love Mel Gibson. These were the ones where he plays a cop with Glover. The next day we had a delicious turkey bacon sandwiches with perfect fries for lunch.
Each day I walked Gilbert around the sea wall. It’s a great walk. Gilbert loved the lawns and bushes. Heather was already blooming. A friend told us they loved Anthony’s restaurant nearby. I saw it but we were happy eating in the hotel room with Gilbert. I really enjoy the decadence of room service. Giuseppe’s was another restaurant I saw.. There were several others all within walking distance. The area is it’s a popular uptown sea side place. a bit like Granville Island, right inside Bellingham on Bellington Bay..
Laura had a cold too, cough and sniffles, so she really enjoyed the down time.
We did get out for a drive in my new Ford F350 Lariat Edition Truck. The sun had come out on the Saturday. Lovely cloud formations but lots of blue sky. We drove the Chuckunut Road , winding along the coast. In the truck I thought how our drives in the Miata and on the Harley had been more suited to the narrow lane. With the sun roof drawn back, Gordon Lightfoot playing on the sound system, it still was a delightful drive with the most beautiful views of forest and sea. Laura got to enjoy them more because I really did have to pay attention to the road. The daffodils in the fields beyond hadn’t blossomed but in weeks they and the tulips will be shouting spring. I took the highway back as sleet began. We were listening to the latest Paul Simon on the highway. New York sounds that reminded us of our recent trip there. . Back in the room se actually ordered a pizza which was perfect too. A pizza was what I really wanted and it was my birthday. .
I really felt that this weekend was just what the doctor ordered. A special day and a reprieve from the excessive stress of office moves,January and February psychiatry. and the fentanyl overdose deaths. It’s all taking it’s toll. I feel like I’m working on the ‘front’. The sad part is the enemy is oneself, and the drug dealer.
Sunday morning I was up early and walked Gilbert. They had delicious coffee each morning in the lobby and in the afternoon ice cold lemon water. There were all these thoughtful details at the Bellwether and the staff were always so caring.
Laura is a beautiful companion too.. Even with her cold I enjoyed her presence. Gilbert and I think the world of her. We chat about the most inconsequential matters. It’s just comfortable to be together. She spoils Gilbert with doggie massages and treats.
All too soon we were packing up and on our way. A snowstorm had hit the north while we were enjoying balmy weather by the sea. Stopping at Gilbert’s favourite restaurant we got cheese burgers to eat on the ride north.
I actually thought of not writing about Bellwether because it really is the sort of perfect little place you want to keep a secret. It really is like a great little fishing hole. Such a place for catch after catch after catch!
The staff at Bellwether made my birthday weekend unforgettable. Laura and I had a wonderful time. Gilbert was so happy but he’s always so happy and especially happy when Laura and I are together.
At the border the agent was vigilant. Justin Trudeau is encouraging terrorists to see Canada as their new safe house so I rather liked that the custom’s agent at least was alert.
I dropped Laura off at her place, big fluffy snow flakes adding to the inch or so of snow already on the ground. Gilbert and I were sad to leave her. Now we can’t wait till we get back together again.
Thank you Jesus for this birthday and such a lovely hotel as the Bellwether.