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Posts Tagged ‘travelling’

Do you prepare? When I am cooking I need to be prepared.  I have to figure out what I am going to make, find the recipe make sure I have all the ingredients and then I follow the recipe to the letter.  I bought a cook book and only after I got it home did I realize it was published in Britain and most of the recipes called for things like a dash of salt and a knob of butter and a smidge of things.  My measuring tools do not measure in quantities of knobs and smidgens.  The book looks impressive sitting on the counter but it will never be used by me.  My wife on the other hand walks into the kitchen with an idea and magically knows what ingredients will go with others to make something good.  She will walk through the grocery store and pick up some new item and says, “This looks interesting I’m sure I can use this with something” and in the cart it goes.  In this case it was orange curd.  Two weeks later she was making a cheese cake and decided to throw in the orange curd.  It was one of the best cheese cakes I ever had. 

When we travel the rolls are reversed I want to hit the road and go.  My wife likes to plan, when we went to California she took out a map decided where we were going to stay and called and made reservations.  (we made the trip in 3 days) Admittedly if she had not done that there was a night in Moab where we would have been sleeping in the car.  When we were dating and I was living in Vancouver I would buy a plane ticket two weeks ahead of time.  My wife would be bugging me for weeks, she wants to get the tickets a month in advance.

while I follow a recipe for cooking, I had no plans for the dog house I hadn’t figured out what materials I would need I just started hammering stuff together and it all worked out.  My best friend and I built a deck on the side of his parents house, no plans just an idea a saw and wood.  Last time I was in Montreal (20 years later) that deck was still there.

When my wife and I play video games she reads the directions watches all the clips and follows the plot, I just jump in start killin’ stuff and hope for the best.  When putting items together such as dog kennels, entertainment centers and the like we both believe the instructions are just manufactures suggestions.  I find it odd how we respond to different situations in such different ways 

We were out to dinner last night with some friends and in the course of a story he told us at one time he was a scout leader immediately I went back over 25 years and recalled a story I hadn’t thought of in at least 15 years. 

While visiting a friend in Ontario, we decided to go camping on Big Bear Lake.  We packed up a bunch of stuff took the little boat out and found a chain of islands used by the boy scouts for camping purposes . We found one complete with an outhouse, (for those who suffer from Crohn’s disease bathrooms are always on the forefront of every thought).  Even though it was an island there are still bears and other scavengers so we put up the tent put all our food in a bag and hoisted it into a tree.  Mike decided to use the outhouse.  He was in there for a bit when I heard him calling. He needed the toilet paper.  I tore our luggage apart but I finally had to tell him that we didn’t have any.  “Check the bag with the food”  I unhooked the rope, lowered the bag knowing it was all in vain, sure enough no toilet paper.  There was a long pause after I informed him of the bad news but he finally responded, “Can you bring me my checkbook?”  Brilliant I thought, he we are on a tiny island in the middle of a huge lake and we forgot toilet paper but managed to bring a checkbook.   “Nice going Mike, you forget toilet paper but bring along your checkbook.  I really don’t think you are going to be able to buy any toilet paper out here.”  Mike, while an odd sort of fellow was very resourceful as he replied “I’m not going to write a check with it, I am however going to clean up my deposit”  Really didn’t need to know that but I did have to give him credit.  Good thing debit cards had not been invented yet or he would have never brought a check book. 

Unknown to us, sometime after we made camp a troop of boy scouts made camp on a nearby island and must have been paying attention. The next day we took the little boat to a nearby ‘town’ purchased some toilet paper and headed back to camp.  Imagine our surprise when we found 6 rolls of toilet paper stacked up in front of our tent complete with a note.  Always be prepared,  Boy Scouts of Canada.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships and what makes them work.  I’ve been told you should go on a canoe trip with your significant other and that should tell the tale.  I believe it, my ex-wife and I couldn’t even drive the car into uncharted territory without getting into some sort of argument.  My current wife and I have no trouble driving to new places and the canoe trip was a walk in the park.  It took us 2 days and lots of swearing to put together a dog kennel which the instructions said should take two adults two hours to put together.  We never swore at each other, well perhaps once or twice under our breath seriously though it was the total lack of instruction that was frustrating.  The point is that we were able to accomplish it together.  I guarantee that if we had to do it separately it would have never gotten done.  We also know when to back off and let the other do their own thing.  For example I built the dog house from scratch.  A few ideas I ran by my wife just to get a different perspective but in the end I pretty much did it myself.  I’m quite proud of it,  it has its own front deck, louverd windows, ceder shingles two rooms, fully insulated.  But thats enough bragging.  My wife knows how to decorate the house.  She has a great sense of what goes with what, Me? I would buy the cheapest paint they had in the store throw it on the wall and hope for the best.  Point is we know where our individual strengths and weaknesses are and how to work them together.  That is not to say we don’t have our moments, but we work them out and let them go and if the need should ever arise I’ve a pretty nice dog house I can move into.  Of course any relationship is more than the sum of its parts there has to be that thing!

When I was quite young we were driving by a cemetary my mother said, “Look, it is the dead center of town.”  My father replied, “People are just dying to get in there”  I probably won’t live this down as this is the first time I’m going to admit it, but I didn’t get it I figured cemetary’s marked the center of town and they were fenced in to keep all the people out.  eventually I figured it out.

For our honeymoon we went to Vermont.  It just so happens that there are a lot of cemetaries in Vermont.  I decided to see if my wife would take the bait.  We passed a cemetary and I made the comment,  “Oh look a cemetary it’s the dead center of town, people are just dying to get in there.”  There was no response except for The Look.  My wife is smart and she knew me long enough to know something was going on, after all she figured out that a beefmeoak is a porcupine  and ceilingchaos translates to a floor plan not to mention the host of others that I previously thought only my family and possibly Victor Borges could work out on their own and find funny.   Each time we passed a cemetary I said the same line.   It must have been the third or fourth cemetary we passed that my wife shocked me into silence:

Me:  “Look its the dead center of town and people are just dying to get in there.” without pause my wife responded completely dead pan: “I’m betting its the underground economy”

We sat in absolute silence for about 30 seconds before we both broke out in fits of laughter.  But in those 30 seconds a whole new door opened for me, I remember the exact thought that went through my head, It doesn’t have to stop there!  To this day I’m not sure when my wife figured it out but obviously she had been thinking about it for some time.  The very next time we passed a cemetary it started in earnest:

Me: “Look its the dead center of town, people are just dying to get in there”

Wife: “Must be the underground economy”

“Yeah and they listen to that 60’s music after all they are a bunch of dead heads”

“And you have to worry about catching a cold with all the coughin’ (coffin)”

“And the gambling! they really like to roll them bones”

With each cemetary we passed we kept adding more and more lines.  Not long ago we drove to California from Pennsylvania it got to the point where we could hold a 25 minute dialogue going back and forth with the puns.  I believe it was when we finally hit New Mexico where whoever was not driving would pretend to be asleep at the first sign of a cemetary.

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