This is me on the beach in Balaton. Have I told you about Balaton? Most likely. It’s the place I named when the anaesthesiologist asked: “Where’s your favourite place to go on vacation?” right before I was knocked out and wheeled into surgery. So this is me, here in Balaton, writing to you.
It’s off season, everything is quiet and the stores are all shut (little kiosks actually, where you can buy langos and soda and burgers), but the water is a very comfortable +23 degrees – or something like that, I just went in up to my thighs no problem, so whatever the actual temperature, it’s most certainly a good one.
This morning Zsolt and I boarded the slow train from Budapest and rode the rails to this little village on the lake (Balaton is the lake, and it’s spotted all around with villages). Riding the train was excellent, serving as both research for a story I’m writing, and just a great way to have fun. The windows were all down and we had a berth to ourselves – I was like a dog in puppy heaven with my face out the window, waving to the garbage man (etc). Trains in Hungary are slightly antique, not all of them of course, but many, and before they arrive at any station – if you’re standing on the platform waiting that arrival – the rails ring out with a metallic snake-slithering kind of sound that announces it’s approach even before that lady’s voice makes a speech over the intercom. Since it’s off peak and a Monday, the train was essentially empty. This, believe you me, is the way to get around Europe. I suppose we should have trained it from England, but – while a great ride – it’s also expensive. Not as expensive as Canada trains, mind you, but still costly.
So here we are in Balaton. I totally dreampt of this place during chemo sessions – imagined myself floating on the water with that hot sun beating down. Hmm, well, I’ve waded – not quite floating, but it’s a start.
Zsolt suggested that I’m getting everything I had wanted too quickly – goulash, Balaton, smoked cheese, train rides, paprika chips, swimming – but I say, can’t get them fast enough. What’s the use in pacing yourself, when good things are available – right there in front of you – just asking to be enjoyed? Can I over indulge in this experience? Frack no. When I’m full of summer rest, then I’ll start diving back into my writing projects. Today on the train I did some writing, not blogging, but story writing, and maybe tomorrow I’ll do it again. Time is this summer’s ultimate luxury.
Anyhow- one year has passed and I’m in Balaton. That’s reassuring. One year, and the whole world can (will) change. But not everything, I guess . . . not this place, at least. Maybe it’s good that I’m here alone today (Zsolt is at the cottage building an IKEA shelf with his father). This way I can say hello to the water, and hello to a piece of me that’s been waiting to come back. Feels good to be here – feels like home. I’m so damn thankful to have made it this far, and I’d like – I want, and I will – make it much, much further.
One year since that stupid dirty frustrating (life saving) diagnosis. Thank goodness. Thank GOODNESS, gracious, and golly gee. And thank you for your support, your kind words, your thoughtful comments, and your excellent company.
Okay, now I’m getting off this computer and am going to stare at the sky. Why not? This is my summer.