Posts Tagged ‘lost’

It was a time before the snows fell, a time when gas was still under three dollars a gallon and there were still only 12 Zodiac signs. The leaves were already off the trees and the forest floor was spongy from the rains. Nairb opened his eyes just before dawn, in truth he didn’t know or care when Dawn opened her eyes, it didn’t matter as Dawn has nothing to do with the tale being told. The sun however, had not yet crested the horizon. One thought entered Nairb’s head ‘check the sump pump!’ It had indeed been checked the previous night but like all things mechanical sometimes the sump pump fails.

Alone and miserable Nairb, fortified in jeans, a sweatshirt, light jacket and a trusty flashlight went out into the cold driving wind and rain. Down he went into the desolate world of spider webs, insulation and cement. The root cellar housed the heating unit for the house along with the main water intake and of course, the sump pump.

The cold dirty water flowed over the tops of his boots. Instantly his feet were freezing. Gritting his teeth against the cold in his boots Nairb sloshed over to the sump pump and deeper water. Quickly he tapped on the hose waking up the sleeping beast.

Nairb waited, his only comfort was the circle of light his flashlight provided. His feet so cold they were tingling, but hunched over the sump pump he waited to make sure the water went down. Eventually he saw the change, the water was slowly retreating. Nairb headed back into the driving rain his freezing feet swimming in his boots. Finally making it to the front porch, looking into the window he saw his beautiful wife, Ecyned getting ready for work after all it was only Thursday. Nairb bent, removed his boots and lifted them so his wife could see as he dumped the river from them. Ecyned’s eyes opened wide.

Nairb opened the front door and peeled off his soaking socks, the door closed behind him but did not latch, DID NOT LATCH! Almost crying from the cold it was all Nairb could do to make it to the bedroom and dry his burning feet. Ecyned, his loving wife and fast thinker got a second pair of socks and headed for the laundry room where she could toss them in the dryer to heat up to ease the pain in Nairb’s aching feet.

The laundry room doubles as Aiouqes bedroom (my apologies, Denyce backwards is hard enough to pronounce Sequoia’s is almost impossible).

In opening the laundry room door Ecyned freed the dog, Aiouqes into the rest of the house. And unknown to all the front door had not latched, THE FRONT DOOR HAD NOT LATCHED! Nairb, trying to warm his feet in the bedroom heard the dreaded call from the front room. “Aiouqes! Get back here! Aiouqes! Nairb Aiouqes got out!” Nairb threw on a fresh pair of jeans, didn’t even bother with socks. Donned his black sweatshirt, slipped his feet into his running shoes, and followed his wife and the dog out the door into the freezing rain and driving wind.

He caught a glimpse of Aiouqes as she darted behind the garage. Nairb followed heading into the woods calling out in his loudest voice ‘Aiouqes! Aiouqes!’ In the distance he could hear his wife also calling for the dog! Unfortunately it was the start of buck season. In central Pa most men live for two only two reasons, hunting and football. Neither Nairb nor Ecyned were wearing orange. Aiouqes with her large plume tale and red and white colouring could easily be mistaken by an overzealous hunter for a buck and both Nairb and Ecyned could easily be shot for running through the woods yelling and screaming scaring all the deer away.

Freezing tired and soaked to the bone Nairb kept trailing Aiouqes it was a difficult task as he would catch glimpses of her but if he followed too close Aiouqes would think it was a game and keep running. But if he gave up it was a good bet that Aiouqes would just run and be lost forever, that is what huskies do, they run.  Finally Aiouqes turned and headed back towards civilization, Nairb chased her through the yards of many neighbours. He spied his wife through the trees; she was in the car driving up and down the road. Aiouqes was heading in the right direction, heading for home via the backyard of a neighbour. Nairb managed to jump up and down attracting the attention of his wife, using hand signals (stupidly he neglected to pick up his cell phone as he ran out the door earlier) he let Ecyned know that the dog was heading towards the house. Nairb turned a corner around the side of a house and lost track of Aiouqes she simply vanished in the driving rain.

Nairb ran onto the street calling her name. Exhausted shivering losing feeling in his fingers and toes Nairb stood on the street calling and calling. From behind he heard a voice. The neighbour in full hunting gear was standing on his door step demanding to know what was going on.

“My dog got away from me”

“The red and white husky? It is a miserable day for her to be out and about”

“Yes I know, I managed to keep her in my sights but lost her in your backyard”

“Well I just got back from my hunting camp and didn’t see her, but I’ll keep an eye out”

Suddenly there was movement from behind. There she is! Nairb was tired and at a crossroads. Aiouqes stood deep in the lawn across the street. Nairb knew that if he approached Aiouqes would run again. He got onto his knees on the wet pavement, patted his chest and called out to her. Aiouqes went into play bow enjoying the game and would not come.

“If I called her would she come to me?” Said the large man in his hunting fatigues

“You could try, she likes strangers.”

He called her name and whistled, Aiouqes unable to resist anybody new moved a step closer. A car was coming down the street, Nairb seeing the possible light at the end of the tunnel stepped into the street blocking the car from advancing, the large man called again. Without missing a beat Aiouqes went running to the large unfamiliar man calling her name. The large hunter closed his front gate trapping Aiouqesvon his porch. Nairb standing in the street frozen, wet and weary asked the hunter,

“Do you want a husky? Only five dollars and I’ll give you the fiver.” The hunter only laughed and Nairb thanked the hunter as he secured the leash to the collar and led the wet dog down the porch. Ecyned drove up the road in the car, relieved to see Aiouqes safe and secure. Ecyned opened the car door, both Aiouqes and Nairb were only too happy to jump in, Nairb thanking the hunter again before closing the car door.

Tonight, gas is up past three dollars a gallon there is snow on the ground, an extra zodiac sign has been added to the zodiac calendar, Nairb and his lovely wife Ecyned sit in their recliners, finally enough time has passed that Nairb can tell this tale without feeling that sick feeling in the pit of his stomach while Ecyned plays a video game.

Aiouqes? She is lying on her back in the kitchen, paws in the air, (like she just don’t care) in her mouth is a utility bill which she has grasped by the corner and is wiggling on her back making the paper flop back and forth across her cheeks. I think I’ll keep my five dollars and my dog. But now, no matter what we make sure the door is latched. THE DOOR IS LATCHED!

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I have a lousy sense of direction.  When I interviewed for the job I am currently in I was informed that we cover not only State College but Lewistown, Huntingdon, Lockhaven, Lykens, Tyrone and we help out our sister warehouse, (who my supervisor also supervises) Williamsport. I was asked if I had issues if asked to travel to any of these destinations.  I was perfectly honest about it and told them that I had no issues about traveling to any of the locations.  Lykens, being the farthest out is only two hours away.  So really it’s no big deal. 

“Nope, no problem” I responded.  However I immediately started thinking about the time I showed up to work at the bank and they asked me to help out in the Avis office. I wasn’t sure what a bank teller was going to do at a car rental agency, but what the heck. Then I remembered that there is a place called Avis Pa.  I had been there once before and my wife was driving.  I was told just go towards the mall and keep left, it should take an hour.   If you look at Google, to get from the State College branch of the bank to the Avis branch you would see it is a basically a straight line.

Two hours later I found myself at the Jersey Shore!  I had no idea when I crossed into Jersey, I didn’t even know Jersey was so close!  What I did know is that something went desperatly wrong.  It turns out that just as there is no Port in Port Matilda the Jersey Shore is not actually in Jersey!  Oh I’m sure there is a shore in Jersey but it is not this Jersey Shore which is probably a good thing because as much as I didn’t want to be lost, I really didn’t want to be lost in Jersey, (new or old) I didn’t have a GPS, I didn’t even have a cell phone, I was in the wilds of Pennsylvania and lost, eventually I had to (gasp!) ask a man at a local business how to get to Avis.  The man was very nice and pretended to understand how I missed the exit.  After all, it is really hard to see that large glaring Avis exit sign.  I think he saw my eyes gloss over as he gave me directions which were basically, ‘drive down this street and make a right’ And this very nice man got in his truck, yes a beat up red truck and had me follow him to the bank. 

In Montreal I never got lost.  Not that my sense of geography or direction was any better, I just didn’t drive.  I got from point to point by walking, transit, or bike.  And if I did get lost all I had to do was find the giant cross on top of the mountain and head for cross.  Once at the top of the mountain I knew where home was.

In Vancouver I never had to travel.  Everything I needed was in a four block radius.  And if I wanted to go downtown I took the skytrain which only went in two directions.  Even I could navigate that. 

My wife and I were hesitant about a GPS. Our only experience with one was through my father.  My folks came to visit, my father had a Tom-Tom and loved it.  We wanted to go to a restaurant in Altoona called Don Pablo’s.  My father punched it into Tom, we explained it wasn’t necessary as the only reason we ever go to Altoona is to go to this particular restaurant and it is easy to get too, it is right off the exit.  But my father insisted.  I watched Tom-Tom as we drove and I too was soon in love with the machine.  But Tom got it wrong.  It had my father get off the highway an exit too early.  We told him no, but he was going to listen to his buddy Tom.  Fine, it was just going to take a little longer.  Then Tom told my father to turn Right.  This was totally the wrong directions.  Images of a cab ride of long ago came to mind.  We convinced my father to disobey Tom.  Lucky my wife has a great sense of direction because now I was as lost as Tom.  My father refused to admit Tom was wrong.  He informed us that there must be another Don Pablo’s.  Why yes, yes there is as Don Pablo’s is actually a chain.  The next closest one to us is in Virginia!  We got to the restaurant and my father still refused to admit defeat, (he is loyal that way) and told the waiter what happened and if there was another Don Pablo’s in the area.  Yes, yes there is if you consider Virginia part of the ‘area’. the waiter understanding my father’s predicament did offer a way out.  He mentioned that there is a Mexican community on the other side of town and perhaps Tom-Tom new a Don Pablo that lived over in that direction.

Of course my father only listened to Tom when it was convenient.  For example we knew how to get to Don Pablo’s but on that occasion my father decided Tom knew better.   However when we were looking for a restaurant in Lancaster Pa, a restaurant non of us had been too, in an area non of us had ever been before, a time when we were at the mercy of Tom-Tom to guide us through the back roads of the Amish country side was the time when my father decides to disregard Tom’s directions with all of Tom’s fancy global positioning.  Tom was telling my father:

“In 500 hundred feet turn left”

“In 200 hundred feet turn left”

     …no turn signal

“In 100 feet turn left”

     …no turn signal no turn.

“Turn Left now!”

     …No turn.

“Recalculating, make a u-turn in 50 feet”…Father continues to go straight. 

Eventually and with enough of us pestering him he makes the U-turn and Tom leads us safely to the restaurant.

I was offered, and accepted the job two days after the initial interview.  My date of hire was a few days before my birthday.  We also had made plans to drive down to California to visit my father-in-law.  All things considered it seemed a great time to purchase a GPS. 

Stay tuned for Part 2.

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One Second

Ever have one of those ‘oh shit’ moments?  You know, the ones where you wish you could take back that one split second that would make life so much easier?

Here is one of mine.

I was transferring our husky from her zipline to her leash,  only to late did I notice that I had not actually connected the clip to her collar.  I will never forget that millisecond where we looked into each others eyes the clip between us, each sharing the same thought, she is free! Just as the thought formed in my head to reach out and grab her, she was gone. 

I stepped back into the house just long enough to inform my wife of the situation.  I made a dash for the fridge and grabbed a hotdog with the thought of bribery in mind.  I saw husky head off towards the neighbors I was in pursuit,  the neighbor came out and made an attempt to intercept husky but it was not to be.  Up she went around his house and across the street to the famous rooster place (once before she was on the loose and was stopped by a rooster, she thought it was a toy and while playing with it my wife was able to grab her, rooster is no more).  I went around one way, my wife was coming up the other.  There was husky, stopped dead in her tracks face to face with two other dogs.  I put the breaks on, this was my chance as her entire focus was on those dogs.  I moved slowly but once I got within striking distance she was on the run again.  My wife was going to get the car to patrol the street while I followed husky into the woods calling her name and waving my hotdog in the air.  Husky would keep me in sight but wouldn’t allow me to get close, the hotdog wouldn’t even give her pause.  Husky’s run, not away from anything, not towards anything, they just run, and that is what she was determined to do.  Down the side of the mountain we went.  Eventually she disappeared from sight I stumbled upon a small brook surrounded by mushy ground.  My tracking blood, (keep in mind I couldn’t even find a train on the tracks) kicked into overdrive as I scoured the ground for paw prints.  I was not sure where I was in relation to my home except that I had to climb the side of the hill, why is it that home is always up hill?  At least I wouldn’t starve, I had my hotdog.   I climbed the hill calling out every now and again but I knew it was a waste, even if she heard, she wasn’t coming and the hotdog was offering no help.   Finally I made it home no dog, no wife, no car, totally exhausted  I dropped to the ground placing my hotdog by my side, (now my only dog), placing my head in hands trying to catch my breath and just wishing I could take back that one second.

Eventually my wife drove down the driveway with husky proudly sitting in the back seat. I was so happy to see them both, the thought of killing the dog quickly left my head. Turns out while I was playing tracker in the woods husky looped around me and went back to the famed rooster place and settled on one of the deck chairs.   My wife with dog securely in the car spent some time driving around looking for me, explaining to the neighbours she found the dog and was now looking for her lost husband.


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