Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow
Well, I am sad to report that I have just hit “send” on a final email to Joanne Buckley, wishing her and her family all the best for the holidays and their future adventures.
For those of you who don’t immediately recognize the name, Joanne is the woman who generously let us follow her, her husband Gerry and their charming dog Hindley on their journey around the Great Loop over the past year. Despite the fact that I never had an opportunity to meet the trio face-to-face, I truly feel as though I know them. I looked forward to the emails landing in my inbox every few weeks, as if they were from an old friend. So it makes me quite sad to see their trip come to a close on the page – surprisingly more so than I had anticipated.
For some time prior to the series appearing in the magazine, our publisher Brian and I had been wrestling with how to include a Great Loop story. A large part of the impetus was Brian and his wife, Katherine, hope to complete this journey of a lifetime themselves some day. The problem was it had been done ad nauseam in various publications, so we wanted to make sure we presented the trip in a new, creative and interesting way.
Around the same time as we were debating the pros and cons of different approaches, lady luck intervened. Brian came home from a week-long vacation in Georgian Bay in Summer 2009 and told us about his chance meeting with the Buckleys. We finally had our story.
Within the month, Joanne had forwarded a handful of emails she had sent home to family and friends. As I read those first few dispatches, I grew more and more excited. This was exactly what we had been searching for and didn’t even know it. The emails gave a true glimpse at the life of a Looper; adjusting to weather changes, spending time with new friends, connecting with old friends, discovering new places to call home, and finding ways to overcome challenges and take advantage of opportunities. Thanks to Joanne’s openness, I feel as though I was following not only a journey on the water, but a journey of much, much more.
So, although I may never shake hands with Gerry and Joanne or give Hindley a belly scratch, I would like to extend a very sincere thank you to the intrepid travellers. Thank you for allowing all of us to join you on board Morningside for your journey. I feel we have done our readers a great service by making this trip we hear so much about truly personal – and, therefore, so much more meaningful. Hopefully, this has inspired all of you out there who have been long dreaming of doing the same but have faltered for whatever reason. As you can see, there is so much out there to experience.
Although it is nice to complete the journey and see Joanne, Gerry and Hindley back at home safe and sound with friends and family, sharing more stories and photos than we could ever hope to fit on these pages, it is most definitely a little bittersweet. I bid you farewell and all the best on all your future adventures.
And so a journey comes to a close, just as our boating season here in Canada does each year. But we all know another is just around the corner. So while it is sad to see the ice on the lake, it provides us with a couple of opportunities – to reminisce about last year’s adventures and look forward to more in the coming year.
Here’s to dreaming of good times and good friends on the water in 2011… until we can make those dreams a reality.