We are taking another trip of a lifetime.
When Ren was back in January she pushed and prodded and before we knew it, we had agreed to visit her while she is living in Vancouver. "I will come with you, she said excitedly, and we’ll see Canada together. It will be great." We still had the last bit of Mum’s gift to us saved and decided this would be fitting. Mum loved travel and meeting others and encouraged us all at every opportunity. She would definitely have approved.
"I wonder how far away Cuba is? I pondered, I’d love to go to Cuba."
"OMG if you’re going to Cuba I’m coming with you, Ren said. It’s not far at all".
Then Gilbert said "I wonder how far away New Orleans is? I’d love to go to New Orleans".
"OMG if you’re going to New Orleans, I’m coming with you Ren said. It’s not far at all either", she added.
I went into a travel agent and asked for some brochures, "…oh, and we’d like to go up to Cuba and down to New Orleans as well, I added. "You mean down to Cuba and across to New Orleans" she corrected. "Yes, I nodded. Wherever they are, we want brochures on them too". Jeepers, better look at a map I thought.
"I can organise it all" Ren offered. Flights started to get booked. BnB’s looked at. Clips on Cuba and New Orleans watched, budgets tightened and excitement grew. Turns out they’re miles from each other but too late. We’re hooked on the idea and in that neck of the words anyway. As America won’t let flights come from Cuba to America, Barbados was added as a stepping stone. "Gotta stay a couple of nights", I said to Ren, so Barbados was added to the itinerary. Then Gilbert and I met someone from San Diego and we discover that’s where the HotSprings factory is. We find it’s on the way to San Francisco where we fly out from, so that got added too.
We will have a mighty time, and now Ren’s decided to accompany us all the way, which pleases me greatly. We are now just a short time away from our leaving date and most everything is sorted to leave work so it will run smoothly. There was plenty to do in the garden ready for winter too. I started a list for work, a list for the garden and a list for me, and they grew daily. I showed Gilbert and Simone the garden one and they both looked at me incredulously, but I’ve steadily been ticking them off. The important ones at least.
One thing on the list was a WOF for me. I tell the Dr we are off again and explain my aches and pains that have slowed me down of late. "You’re getting old and things are wearing out, she tells me. Take up Pilates or Yoga but mostly concentrate on lower back and core strengthening. Good muscle strength is important to helping the mechanics of the skeleton to be supported." Great advice. I’ve been making an effort to lose weight by just limiting volume and snacks. Being mindful about what I eat, so instead of being like a pig at a trough, I am thinking about how much I need. It’s worked, and over the last six months I have dropped around ten kilos. It’s interesting to feel hungry. I’m usually a big eater, a snacker, try anything, kind of person. Considering if I need to eat, or how much I need to eat, has been interesting. Feeling hungry at mealtimes and enjoying the tastes and textures has been a new thing. I feel fantastic. Well except for the back ache and pain in the arse.
I remember Mum wanting to loose weight once. She was never very big, but joined weight watchers and weighed in dutifully and talked the talk, weighed the food and did all they recommended…as well as eat what she liked. One day in the supermarket, chocolate got the better of her. She bought a king size bar and after packing her groceries into the boot, she sat back in the drivers seat and ripped open the chocolate and hoed into it. Eating straight from the wrapping, she told us later she was munching through it, when someone tapped on her window. She looked up and it was the lady who ran the weight watchers classes. She pushed the wrapper, chocolate and all down the seat beside her and wound her window down. "Hello there, the lady said. How are you doing?"
Now apart from Mum’s chocolate covered teeth there was possibly no clue she had been eating chocolate, she told us. So the lady may never have known, she reasoned. Yeah Mum, but the chocolate covered teeth might have been a fair giveaway. Mum had a thing about chocolate and even when she gave us Roses chocolates it was often a joke that the cellophane seal over the middle might be pierced. "What happened here Mum?, we’d say after receiving a box. Looks like the cellophane is gone." She tried to tell me once it was like that when she bought it, but when I said I might phone them, she quickly admitted she might have done it. "Oh I just had a couple in the night", she said as we surveyed our seriously depleted range to choose from. MUM!
After the Drs appointment I was walking along and my left foot felt funny. Kind’ve, sunken. I looked down behind at the heel, only to see it was completely munted and the heel gone. I looked back and there it was. A rubbery bit lying on the shop floor. A shop assistant came over to me and asked if I was alright. I pointed laughing at my lost heel and she bent down and picked it up. "Time for new shoes", she said laughing and I hobbled out. Lucky I didn’t have much more to do. Next shop I felt the other one go, so now both feet were kind’ve even. At the last shop I was walking rather strange, and my hips were telling me this new walk was not helping my pain in the arse.
Past their useby date?
No one could accuse me of throwing out before they’re worn out.
…fortunately next up on my list is the guy who does Bowen technique. He fixed my back once before and as its giving me hell, I’m hoping he will do it again. I promise myself to look at core and lower back strengthening…but I’ll give him one more go first. Bowen technique is a bit weird and if he hadn’t fixed me once before, I’d never have gone back, and while he helps my sciatica, he doesn’t fix it all, so it may just be core work I need to do. Damn!
After that is Rob the dentist. His advertising slogan is ‘Got teeth? Call Rob’ God I think that is funny. "I don’t have any pain at all, I tell the receptionist when I phone. It’s just a check up, well over due". I got off the phone and spying a small bag of caramel popcorn the children had left behind, I tipped the last bits into my mouth. Enjoying the sweetness of the caramel, until a crunch of an un popped kernel of corn, snapped the side off my back tooth. God damn it! Then my tongue spent the rest of the day exploring the crater. No matter how many times I told it to get outta there, back it was poking around all the sharp edges!
"I can see you look after your gums and teeth well, Rob started, but we have one at the back there that might need to have a rebuild or pulled. It might be alright for a year or two, he smiled a perfect smile. If you decide to have it pulled tho, I will have to refer you to an oral surgeon as you have exceptionally long teeth" Jesus what’s the odds. He filled the one the corn broke, charged me the same amount as to fly to Aussie return, and said to get back to him if I was worried.
Next up is the podiatrist. After my toe operation my toes haven’t bothered me much but they are growing a little weird. I thought I would get Tracey to maybe grind them back a bit. Like horses hooves they still might need some work. It was either her or Gilbert, and I didn’t fancy my chances with him and a grinder to be honest.
So there I am. All certified for travel.