We’ve received several responses to Mike’s last post, referencing his comment about us laughing more. It’s true, we are a couple of laughing fools lately! We’ve been finding that laughing is like a tonic. We feel better, our outlook is more positive, and we share those “you had to be there” understandings. So, what’s so funny? Anything and everything, it seems. But here are a few things that have sent us over the edge:
-There are these birds, you see, whose antics reduce us to hysterics every time. They are the humble Guillemot, part of the Auk family. Auk, Auk! Funny right off the bat, as is our butchered pronunciation of Guillemot. They are a spiffy looking bird, mostly black with some white on the wing. They are a bit duck-like in that they have appeared floating behind our boat in nearly every remote location we’ve visited. What makes them funny is their rather undignified feet. They are bright red, webbed, and very functional, I’m sure. These guys can fly ok, usually just inches above the water. Perhaps the reason for low flight is that they seem to be still perfecting the art of landing. Here’s their method: From a full flight, pull up, flap wings wildly, put red feet out in front and turn them this way and that, bracing for impact. “Wham! I’m down!” Now you just can’t watch that without laughing. The cares of life pale in comparison.
-After our recent restocking stop in Friday Harbor, we felt ready to expand our horizons. We thought we’d head over to Canada for a few days. Just before we left, I thought I’d check online to see if we were carrying any restricted items. Here is an imaginary conversation with the Customs Agent:
“Welcome to Canada! What items do you have to declare, eh?”
“Oh, nothing. We just have basic food and supplies for our own use.”
“I see. So, no eggs or poultry, eh?”
“Uh, two dozen eggs. But the chicken is frozen. About 2 pounds of it.”
“Not allowed. Got potatoes on board, eh?”
“Just a few. Some of those nice little mini potatoes, and some frozen hash browns.”
“Not allowed. Got any dairy: Milk, cheese, butter, eh?”
“Well? Eh? EH?”
“Um, some of each, but more cheese than anything. You know, cheese for crackers, string cheese for hiking, cheese for fondue, cheese for…”
“Not allowed! Any alcohol on board, eh?”
“Well, our friends sent us off with bottles of wine and champagne. We have about 6 bottles.”
“NOT ALLOWED!!! Go back to America, and plan to buy your groceries here next time, eh?”
We will try Canada again later.
-Mike loves cycling. Those of you who know him are familiar with the beautiful burgundy road bike he refurbished and loves to ride. And yes, he brought the thing along. Many times, I’ve given it the term “Albatross” as we move it from place to place on the boat, because face it, it’s a large item. Our boat actually came equipped with bicycles. They fold up for storage, and they offer us one more form of entertainment and transportation when we are on land. Mike of course, prefers his big red bike. But one day it had a flat tire, so we decided to both ride the fold-ups. These bikes have 14-inch tires. They have to go around lots of times to get very far down the road. Even though the tires are small, we are average sized people, so we extend the seat and handle bars up to a height that is comfortable. The overall look is a little silly. I can’t help but hum the Winged Monkeys theme from the Wizard of Oz as my legs pedal their little hearts out to take me one block down the road. We’ve had some fun on these bikes, but the best fun is laughing at each other. We showed pictures of our bikes to our daughter-in-law and her comment was, “Have you guys joined the circus?” What do you think? Do we have a future under the big top?
-We have reached the age where our hearing isn’t what it used to be. We have had lots of rip-roaring laughs over, “I thought you said…” I would share some of those funny things, but unfortunately, we’ve also reached the age of short term memory misplacement. It’s not lost forever, just temporarily unavailable.
-What do you think of this spit wad plant? There was a whole field of them, ripe for the harvest. You know all those wads on the ceiling at your grammar school? We can confirm that they originated in the great Pacific Northwest. We’ve seen it with our own eyes, and we believe it.
I could go on, and keep you in stitches, I’m sure. But I am aware that these things lose some of their whimsy in the telling. You really do have to be there to appreciate that these things are just really funny.
Today is my Dad’s birthday. He was a witty man, and he had a saying about people who didn’t appreciate his jokes. He said, “They just have no sense of the ridiculous.” I guess we’re developing a sense of the ridiculous. Life in the workaday world, it seems, had become pretty serious for us. In getting away, we are learning to be more child-like, enjoying simple things and enjoying each other. And you know what? It’s fun to laugh! A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22
The other day, Mike called to me from somewhere on the boat. “What?” I called back. “Oh, just your basic eagle flying around.” Now that’s funny…