Posts Tagged With: humor

Sleepless in Anchorage

Last night Lynda and I decided to have a snuggle night and with my tv (she won’t claim to own one) we decided on “Sleepless in Seattle”. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.. Innocent enough, and Lynda mentioned she had never seen it.

For those of you that have not seen it, the story is about loss and renewal. The story is of a husband who loses his soul mate to some undefined disease. The opening scene is from a graveside service with the boy and the dad standing at the grave site and his dad is trying to explain to his son that there didn’t seem to be any specific reason for his wife dying, that it was simply life being random in its selection of those it takes. and even more so: “If we start asking why, we’ll go crazy”.. I quit asking why her very, very quickly. Anger is an emotion that can spin out of control.

While Lynda and I lie on the couch, the year 2001 came roaring back in vivid color. My emotions, while under some sense of control, was given the reminder of what it means to lose a soul-mate. Something, even as I write can cause my eyes to leak. The movie went on that since his loss, “Sam” the person that Tom Hanks plays, cannot sleep. I remember that well. At the very best,  I could catch 1/2 hour cat naps once or twice during the day. And for those that know my penchant for sleeping at the drop of a hat, that is a big statement.

At that point in time, as far as I was concerned, my married days were over.  Sure, I would date, but the idea of finding another soul mate in this life time was zero. I had my time in the sunshine, Connie was my girl and she was gone, much like Sam’s in the movie. Eventually I became functional, but the words that Tom Hanks uttered hit home harder than I expected.. he was quoting me… “Wake up, take a breath, remember to breathe out, take another step”.. repeat. and remember to breathe in.. and take another step.

It was if “Sam” and I had walked in the same shoes down the same dark trail. Scary indeed. Lynda checked in with me a couple of times, but I was determined to watch the movie through. I can remember doing much like the character, lying on a couch talking to Connie as if she were standing right there. that was my new normal.

At some point in the movie there was a part where Sam was about to get mixed up with the wrong person, and his son fixed it for him. I can remember coming dangerously close to the same thing. Someone I was dating was looking for much more than I was willing to give. But in the end that ended well.

As the movie progressed it told of “fate”. of “knowing” when you have met someone that you have no doubt you will love for the rest of your life. That you have “found home” even knowing you had never seen it before, that this was where you were meant to be.

To quote Sam: “I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home… only to no home I’d ever known… I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like… magic”

When Lynda and I reconnected, I was nervous.. scared. Worried that again, I was making a mistake in reaching out to someone, but the funny part? I knew it deep in my bones that Lynda was the only one on the planet that had a chance of pulling me out of the world I had grown into.

When we met at the airport, that world began to melt away, the darkness, the loss, the hurt suddenly began to dissipate, evaporate. The passion was there, but there was something else. Like with Connie, when I heard her laugh at that restaraunt, I knew something was about to happen, and when I laid eyes on her, I knew.. I knew in my heart, that she was going to be my wife.

Lynda and I left airport terminal and went out to my truck. We hopped in and I started the engine. I reached over and took Lynda’s hand and the world stopped. I mean it stopped cold. That touch, that hand hold, took both our breaths away. At that point, I realized two things.

One.

I had judged every hand I had ever held based on that very same hand that I held from my high school days. With no doubt, every girl I dated, every female I had ever held hands with, that hand, Lynda’s hand, was what I judged every woman on, for better or worse. It was one of the most wonderful epiphanies I have ever had

Two

I had just become the luckiest guy in the universe. I had found what I deemed impossible, a second soul mate. I mean that. When you meet someone, that one person, you know it. There is, and was, no doubt, that Lynda and I would spend the rest of our days together, however long those days would be.  I describe it as the world suddenly “clicking” into place and the hands of fate had come full circle.

The movie helped me to remember that sometimes, when you lose something special, that in that moment, the universe is by far the most cruel thing there is. And in the next moment, when you find yourself staring at a magical place in time, that you use that memory to reach out instead of hide.. take that leap of faith and see what may be.

There is magic in this world, just remember to keep your eyes open to it. Sometimes it is something as easy as an email to someone you haven’t seen in 22 years.

May your new year be just that, a new year, full of excitement, adventure, fun, and love. Keep those that you care about close to you, never let them doubt how you feel, and live with a sense of urgency… Live the life that you dream of, and keep your eyes open.. The universe is stranger than fiction.

 

 

Advertisements
Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Cancer, Downhill Skiing, Family, Hiking, Hot Tubbing!, Love, Reconnection, Religious, RV Travel, Scuba, Ski, Spiritual, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Road trip from Hades

Trip from Hades…

 

Lynda and I left St Cloud, Florida, a nice quiet little lake in Florida that had herons, cattle egrets, and Sand Hill Cranes galore.. Even had a couple of gators and their buddies the turtles that would hang out on the beach during the day and just sun. Very relaxing, but also eye opening. Lynda realized that she no longer had the attraction to Florida that it once held for her. For me, this was a huge deal as we almost bought property there sight unseen.

We finally agreed that we liked the idea of Colorado as home, we had discussed that as teenagers. Then, Lynda’s uncle, Dan, had met his hot new 77-year-old honey and they had bought a home together and he was selling his at a pretty good price. Lynda woke up one morning at 3 am and had an idea. (She at least waited until I woke up later on) and asked “Why don’t we buy Dan’s house”? and the decision was made. We called her uncle and made our proposal.

I flew back to San Diego to see my doc, and to pick up Lynda’s car to drive to Grand Junction.. woo HOO Chrysler Crossfires do haul buns and handle nicely.. I spent an extra day in Vegas to hang with our friends, Vicki and Brad. What a great time. I left Lynda’s car in Grand Junction, landed a job at the same time (being late to the interview due to my own scheduling snafu) then flew back to Orlando where Lynda picked me up and the next day? The Hades launch was made.

I had noticed a slight vibration in the rig that seemed to be increasing, just a bit each day. And that there was a lurch of sorts when we took off from a stop.. I just chalked it up to the truck weighing a ton (3 tons to be precise). And off we went. We traveled through Georgia and into Arkansas with little issue along the way, other than changing the route a couple of times, but all in all not a big deal. We stopped by her nephew’s place where they had just had a little kiddo and we wanted to see everyone and that was very pleasant.

We loaded up into “Koko” and off we went. The vibration getting more noticeable and I wasn’t feeling a hundred percent. We pulled out of a KOA in the middle of the night, not knowing the way out of the park, with my truck in tow. I rounded this rather sharp turn, and instead of saying “honey, I can’t see shit, spot me outside”, I just said screw it, “I got this” and CRUNCH. Stopped the rig Lynda hopped out the back and sure as shit, I had swiped one of the poles that were already tilted from other hits on the side of the curve. I had mashed the running board on my truck. 15,000 miles or so with some close calls and Walla, I had finally run out of luck.

I jumped out, tired and frustrated and had to work with a hammer to get the truck disconnected from the rv. Got it parted, and backed the truck up. Still runnable, just cosmetic damage. So decided I would keep it, have a new paint job and some bodywork and keep it for a while longer. I also noticed I was getting warmer as the evening progressed. Later as we were coming into Oklahoma, I came off an off ramp that had a serious left turn, and the guy in the outer lane to me, just didn’t budge an inch, so I had a choice, take out the truck or take the curb with the back wheel. I took the curb

Ever been in an RV when you run over a curb on the rear wheel? It rocks like nothing you have ever sat in.. I thought shit was going to fly out of every cabinet and cupboard… Lynda went “HOLY SHIT” and I said a lot worse… but just a curb.. We arrived at the RV site in Oklahoma City and I am seeing stars… funny stars, when Lynda leans over and says, “Honey, I think you are running a temperature. I kind of ignored it wondering what has spilled out over the curb dance we had done.

Lo and behold the shower filter I had haphazardly installed had snapped off. It had been installed on the water pressure valve that keeps the water pressure down in the shower. Small plastic spindle that screws into the shower handles that when you turn them allows water to flow through the showerhead. I looked at it and thought, “ok, I knew I half ass installed that, so penalty box time”. So I went out and got my new trusty toolbox muttering to myself the entire time, and Lynda says “Honey, why don’t you take a nap”? Again, ignored her, then finally said, “Hey, I gotta fix this if we are gonna shower”.

In the meantime, the inverter gave us an error message and was beeping out loud. At first I thought the system was just goofed up from one to many bounces so I reset all the breakers and checked what I knew to check and to no avail, the beeping continued. Lynda finally grabbed the inverter manual and I read up on that. Turns out that the reason it was beeping was that the batteries were at a minimum charge and were not accepting anymore. I.e.? Your batteries are toast. Which means if we get new ones it is a 700-dollar investment and we are about to park the rig for 2 years. Something else we both knew was coming, we were just hoping to get to Grand Junction. So, solution? Turn off the inverter and use the generator.

I turned back to the shower in a temperature-laden haze and looked at the piece of plastic still screwed into the shower faucet. The only way I could figure to get it out was to get a knife, tap it down until it got a bite, then turn it and screw the plastic piece out. If that didn’t work, I can just replace the entire faucet and call it good, but the plastic piece is only 5 bucks the handles and plumbing are more like 50 bucks or better.

I pulled out my trusty scuba knife and opened it up.. thought I heard the “snick” of the blade locking into place and I put the knifepoint down into the hole where the plastic piece was screwed in and brought my hand down on it forcefully. Not real hard, but enough to get a substantial bite into the plastic.

 

Snick

 

The blade folded and closed and my finger was in it. Blood shot across the shower and all I can think is “Shit, this might be bad, that is a REALLY sharp knife”.. and I quickly reopened the knife, which sent more blood shooting across the shower. F&*K F&*K F&*K and I am trying to find a towel, anything, and find a washcloth. In the meantime, Lynda has a business call in two minutes and she sees the little spurt of blood in the shower. Now she is a little frustrated with me as I ignored her in the first place.. remember the “nap” suggestion? So she is scrambling trying to patch my stupid finger up and take a call and I am standing there somewhere between a really good fever and being pissed that I just cut myself AND haven’t fixed a damn thing in days.

Magically Lynda gets a couple of band aids on my finger and I just toss the knife into my tool bag, look at her and say “Know what? Gonna go take that nap”. And off I go. She looks at me like “DUH” and goes and takes her call. Over the next three days I let the temperature go where it will and finally on the third day I take some ibuprofen to dampen down a splitting headache. Next day? Starting to feel better. We decide we can fix all this crap when we get into Grand Junction. So other than a mild hack and a temp that comes and goes, I don’t feel all that bad.. Normally I would be flat on my back with bronchitis, but Lynda has learned a few things in alternative medicine, and while I may be skeptical, this is the second time I have stayed on my feet and haven’t ended up with bronchitis or worse. She is on to something

We finally end up in Albuquerque, and visit my sister. We go out to our favorite Mexican restaurant called Sadie’s, and I order a Chile Relleno. GREAT food and safe for me cause I am not allergic to them! Woot woot says I… They bring the plates and we dig in, laughing about the trip from hades and then I notice a taste.. something I haven’t had for…. Years. Potatoes… mmmmmmm and I am allergic as hell to them. They cause asthma in my lungs. Son of a …. So I take Benadryl that night and wake up, no problems.. I am impressed! Woot woot says I, dodged that bullet. We bid my little sister adieu and head off to Grand Junction.

Now that vibration? Is getting really bad. We pull over in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico so I can look at nothing I truly understand. The first time I look at the U joints? They look ok, not loose, not goofy, so nothing makes sense. We go down the road another 10 miles and I say ok, I have to look again. This time? Oh shit, the U-joint is breaking up. One of the clasps that keeps the yoke in place are broken. I don’t think we will make it much further.

We agree to take the Toyota off the back and have me drive it and follow Lynda to Farmington, New Mexico, 77 miles away. The entire way we are both saying “Just a little further, just a little further”. We pull into Farmington and I Google truck repair. We find Bruckner’s Sales and Service for large trucks. We pull in and they say “Yep, we can work on your rig, no problem”. Later the shop manager comes up to us and says, yeah, you’re right, your U-joint is out, and so is the Yoke, and we are checking the driveline. Turns out the driveline is fine, but the U-joints and the Yoke need replacement. They tell us that they can order them and have them in the next day and have us on the road by 1 or 2. GREAT shop. We get a motel room and just relax.

The next day we get to the shop and they are doing a great job, quick and the labor was pretty cheap. The parts? Not so much. All things said and done the job was about 1300 dollars for the job. About what I figured it would be. And the reason it failed? No grease. I thought a shop in Washington had greased it for some reason when they changed the oil. Live and learn. We pulled into Grand Junction and my list of repair work is finally stabilized.. and my finger, thanks to the fingernail being in the way is still attached.

The road trip for a lifetime is winding down for now, and the house trip for a lifetime (or for at least two years) is winding up. Stay tuned, Lynda’s uncle has agreed to teach me how to remodel a house… Anyone know where I can find my scuba knife to pound a nail into a shingle?

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Cancer, Downhill Skiing, Family, Hiking, Hot Tubbing!, Living Passionately, Love, Reconnection, Religious, RV Travel, Scuba, Ski, Spiritual, Thanksgiving | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I am shamed

I have been incredibly remiss in my writing on our blog. My uncle, the kind and generous (and ORIGINAL) JC has let me know that he is quite entertained with our sordid trips and adventures, so, with some prodding from my dear uncle Jack, here is our latest in adventures…

My wife recently ventured forth into the wilds of Connecticut and went to what she thought was a Vegan non-cooking class. Much to her surprise, and enjoyment, the course was much more than that. It was about healthy living, how to cleanse your body, and a chance meeting with some very interesting people. (And being a blooming Buddhist, I don’t believe in chance meetings, life hands us opportunities, and what we do with them? Well, we do with them). So with that, she met some really nice people and found a new niche that truly fits her passions. Health coaching while she pursues her Masters degree in complimentary and alternative medicine. She found that she had educated herself and helping people became second nature. In her mind, it was the next logical step.. pursuing education, and traveling to find new front yards.

Lynda found that the Masters in that specialty would give her more credibility, as well as better researching skills that are more credible versus “finding stuff” on the internet. This has me congratulating her as I know she has a true passion for this modality, this helping people to help themselves. Lynda spent the week with soon to be colleagues, and companions, and by the time she left the class she already had her first client. This is outstanding says I! Woot Woot! says I. Soon my wife is coming home for some serious Snugglebunnies! woot woot says I!… Of course all this in emails as my wife dropped her iPhone and much to everyone’s amazement, the voice side of the iPhone no longer functions. The data side does, so we are now limited to emails to one another. Woot Woot! says I! we can still communicate! I am a happy man.

Now, I get a phone call, from a number that I do not recognize. It is my lovely wife, and I go from “HEY Baby!” to… “Uh, what’s wrong”? Turns out she missed her flight. The hotel told her what time to be ready, and that she would be perfectly fine and on time. The cab showed up on time, she hopped in and off she went! Flying high and low through the exciting town of Simsbury to Hartford… She arrived at the airport, all smiles, going home! And the plane was boarding as she arrived at the ticketing counter. They lined her up for the next flight, number 2 in standby. Oh, and guess what else was happening at the same time? Come on, guess! Nope, nope and nope. It was Spring Break! and guess what was over sold? Yep, every flight Lynda tried to get on for standby. But m’lady was not to be deterred, with laptop in hands, she goes to Expedia and gets the last seat on the last flight that evening out of Hartford to Denver! woot woot!

Eight hundred dollars later and she is in the air! And we are still communicating through emails as the iPhone has not magically fixed itself. (I will have Steve Jobs look into this in his next life). But I have the time and arrival at Denver, and being in Breckenridge on a good day, is about a 2 hour drive. I decide to get a hotel near the airport and I will leave early as I have absolutely nothing else to do, might as well enjoy a few hours in Denver, and off I go! The snow is falling heavily, and I, being the safe guy, decide as I enter I-70, that slowing down a bit would be a good idea, and I gear down to 45mph. The guy ahead of me in a “dually” Ford (you know the kind that has four tires in the back of a BIG pickup truck) keeping speeds similar, neither of us wanting to test the great snow gods and their penchant for playing slippery games on ice and snow. We rounded a corner and to both our surprise, the traffic is at a complete stop.

The local gendarmes made the intelligent choice of stopping traffic on a curve so that to our amazement, you don’t see it until you are right on top of it. Guess what doesn’t work too well on snow and ice? Yes, brakes! The snow gods begin to giggle… snicker even, as they want to see just how fast the two of us can shut down our trucks before we plow into the waiting audience sitting in the non-moving traffic. Now? The eyes of Denver are upon us, wide and fearful the trucks both begin to slide.. this way, then that way. I am trying to judge which one is better, the sitting traffic, the guy in the truck or the meridian that is not but snow, grass and mud. The guy in the truck ahead of me manages to miss the sitting traffic where the people are in wide wonder with the “O” look on their face.. You know the kind.. the kind that right before a really nasty accident, all the spectators make that OOOOOOO sound as the victim gets creamed.

I use my driving skills from Alaska that would have made Mario Andretti proud. I swing between the still sliding truck and the traffic and launch down the steep embankment of the meridian that only snow, ice and mud, with some sprinkling of frozen grass. The crowd cheers on with that “OOOOOOOO” noise as I fly down the embankment and twist back and forth keeping it from doing a three sixty and tossing me into places that I really don’t want to explore. As the speed diminishes, my heart begins beating again. I look up and the crowd goes wild! I wave them a “Aw shucks I knew what I was doing” look and put the truck in gear and go forward.. Nothing. hmmm backwards. I have traction. Forward. slow, side to side, then nothing. Reverse! woot woot says I, and off we go for a city block, but not UP the way I want to go. Forward, and I find that I cannot climb the bank to the I-70 going West.  Solution? straight down the middle in low four, and to the road where the cops usually sit and up and over I go! woot woot says I, and back to the rig we go.

I return to the rig, no worse for the wear, but wanting a triple shot of tequila, and, knowing I can’t, I settle for just sitting in the comfie chair and relaxing. I will try again in a few hours. Time goes by and my heart slows, and my hands begin to return to their normal state. I can no longer bend steel with them… (or steering wheels). I get back in the truck and off we go to Denver. This time? a little slower and wary of those sneaky assed Snow Gods that damn near scored a home run.

I arrive at the hotel, and to my enjoyment, it is a very nice hotel, staffed by wonderful people. I lay low for an hour then head to the airport and pick up my wife. woot woot! Happiness and Snugglebunnies! We laugh about the day, and head back to the hotel. It is cold and slick but I am wary of those Snow Gods and I drive “vewy vewy cawfuwwy” as Elmer Fudd would say. We arrive at the hotel without any further incidents. The past is behind us. Plan to drive about a mile and a half to a Verizon store, pick up a new phone and head to Breckenridge. and in the distance I hear the Snow Gods chuckling again.

Next morning we jump up, we are invigorated we are going HOME! woot woot! so we pack our bags, say goodbye to the hotel and jump in the truck.. Start her up and guess what? Nope.. not that… Nope.. nope, steering doesn’t work! Seems my steering fluid is gone. but HEY! being the wrenchy kinda guy, I have some spare fluid in the truck no problem. Pour some in it works for about 30 feet, and back to almost impossible to steer. We decide to drive to the Verizon store where I try to figure out what happened. In the meantime, Lynda goes in to look at a new phone. “Mrs. Carpenter, how are you today” is how it started.. Then it went to, “Wellllll let’s see….” “No insurance on your iPhone”, and not time to upgrade, and well, looks like yer little “oopsy daisy” is going to run about 500.00. Not sure if Lynda’s jaw is still on the floor there or not. In the meantime the very nice gal at the store tried putting in a new SIM chip to see if that might work and the iPhone Gods and Steven Jobs were not looking out for her that day.

The gal at the store said, hey, we have options. and this is what they are. We traded in her half working iPhone and spread the cost out over a year. The new and improved iPhone 5? Came to an additional 27.00 a month on our bill. woot woot! (I think) and in the meantime, Mr “I can fixit” decides that this problem is past his skill set, and sets forth to find a solution. Together we decide to do another night at the hotel so Lynda can make her coaching appointments and so I can find a local repair shop. I call what I later discover is a local Subaru dealer who does not work on Toyota’s but, knows someone close by who does. I drive about 5 miles with steering wheel that truly hates to function at this point. I manage to make it to the shop and they proceed to order one hose and replace 3 others. They show me the hoses… cracked from years of use… and the pressure hose? Not sure, but my “Ride of the Snow Gods” may very well have knocked it loose, but they weren’t sure.

Regardless for 225.00 they had me out the door in a couple of hours. I was very impressed. I drove back to the hotel where Lynda had kept all her appointments and at the end of the day? All was good. We enjoyed the evening in the hotel, got up the next morning and played “Ground Hog Day” with no repeats. We returned to our home on wheels, thumbed my nose at the great Snow Gods, and retired to our living room, deciding at the end of the day, it was all good.

However, I had some errands to get done prior to leaving the next day to Kansas. I lept into my repaired truck and drove up to the office of Tiger Run RV Resort. As I stepped out of my truck, once again, I heard the chuckle of the Snow Gods… I brushed it aside, as I am done with you! Nyah! to you I fly the middle finger! Yes! See my poor opinion of you as it flies PROUDLY!.. and in to the office I go. I speak to the ladies at the desk, flirting a bit if you will, as I have overcome the trials and adversities that have beset and destroyed lesser men! We banter, we chortle, enjoying the last day at Breckenridge ready for NEW lusty adventures on the road.

I leave the office with a dance in my step and a smile on my lips. Once again, I hear laughter in the winds.. I pay them no heed. Leaping into my newly repaired and trusty steed, I fire her up and back out.. and the laughter in the wind? Yeah, it turns into one of those damn belly laughs. My steering wheel doesn’t work again. I go from happy as a lark to “I am gonna kill somebody” and head back to the rig. I pop the hood and discover that the mechanic that had worked on my truck (I know he was frustrated) didn’t put the clamp on one of the hoses, and it popped off. I found the clamp, put the hose back on, and clamped the hose down. No problem, “Mr Fixit” to the rescue! However, I was out of power steering fluid and the closest place was 2 miles away.

“No problem!” says I! woot woot! Let’s go for a jog says I! woot woot! So I go inside, dress warmly and head on down the road. Mind you I have NEVER run at altitude and we are at 9500 feet. I make it to the building center where I find two jugs of steering fluid as I blindly grope for them.. Running at altitude does wonderful things to your body.. your lungs, eyes, legs, yeah, pretty much all of it. But I am a tougher man than most! So out the door I go with steering fluid in pack and find the local jogging trail next to the road. (One I had not seen on my way to the center). I am a happy runner! woot woot says I

I return to the rig and realize that I just put every ounce of energy into that run that I had. I poured a jug and a half of power steering fluid into the truck, went inside and passed out. Woke up two hours later with my lovely wife gazing at me with sparkles in her eye and laughter on her lips.. and her loving words?

Over did it, didn’t ya?

and in the distance I hear that damn laughter again.

Categories: Adventure, Adventure Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Downhill Skiing, Family, Hiking, Hot Tubbing!, Living Passionately, Love, Reconnection, Religious, RV Travel, Scuba, Ski, Spiritual | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

What a Ride

Growing up in the 70's 80's and 90's

1 in 8 Thrive!

Food and Lifestyle for Women with Breast Cancer

Pink Tank Scuba

The Underwater Adventures of PT Hirschfield (click a story below)

Live Laugh RV

Our next Chapter

Enlightened Globetrekker

Happy & Enlightening Traveling Adventures

Storytime with John

Pull up and listen...I've got a funny one for ya...

The Boho Chica

Experiencing the world in cultures, cuisines & hiking trails

Bob Schoultz's Corner

What's Bob been thinking about?

For the Love of Wanderlust

Instilling a sense of wanderlust

Two for the Road

Travel. Adventure. Marriage. And other dangerous pursuits. Follow Nik and Dusty on their adventures together around the world.

Ramblin' On

Roamin' Around in a Rock Star Bus

Pura Vida! eh? Inc.

Free discounts and cash back savings for Costa Rica day tours

Boondock or Bust

Full time RVer's who love travel, food and adventure!

I'm Still Breathin'

... my awakening through cancer