Question: How do you feel after a day in town?
My answer: I find it arduous, always. I’m not sure why I find it so tiring to have a “town day,” or maybe I should say “we” because I believe I share this feeling with other islanders, old and young.

Yet I set off hopefully each time, in pure contradiction of my past experience. Perhaps it’s the anticipation that accompanies all travel of encountering something better at your destination. Maybe it’s the prospect of sighting a new product or a familiar face or getting a great bargain like last time.

So I start off the trip with a bit of lilt and, of course, my list. It’ll have 8 or 10 places to shop, pick up things, return things, get things fixed, do the laundry, etc. And it all seems possible as I wait for the first ferry [to Denman Island], and even the second [to Vancouver Island]. I’ve got my partly-finished crossword and partly-read novel and think of these ferry-waits as a luxury of free time I’ve not allowed myself at home.

Thinking my previous malaise could be due to the sequence of the stops I had to make, I set up my list to be more efficient, like not having to go back to Canadian Tire after I’ve already got to the Mall. I think of it as a challenge to get everything done on the list as quickly as possible and then, maybe have time get a slice of pizza at Orbitz (oh, how I miss the Bar None!) or browse at the bookstore. I can’t remember when it last turned out this way.

And do you ever notice how additional things get on the list after you’re there? You can prevent this by never calling home and turning your cell phone off. Nevertheless, it’s guaranteed you’ll think of some things to add on your own, after all, you’re there already and may not be back for weeks. Right?

And have you ever tried explaining these town days to a visitor from the city? Notice how their eyes roll back or they give you a quizzical look. Actually, those city types have the same list as you to complete, but they don’t try to cram it into a single day. All they have to do is drive five or ten minutes to the supermarket or hardware store or video shop. They can do that today and tomorrow and the next day, too. And then find a parking place and fight the traffic each time. No secret why they come to Hornby or why we’re here.

How did I get off on these musings? Well, a couple of times at the recent all-day economic enhancement session, I heard that some seniors have been seen taking the ferry to town to while away their time and spend their income. If they do, they have a lot more staying power than this senior.

The moral of this story: Stay home and buy locally!