I’ve been home, not working, for about a year now and to be quite honest I prefer the discipline of getting up every morning and going to work. It has not been a complete lost however as I have been doing more and more around the house, writing on my blog and learning to cook dishes that do not include chicken. I try to get a little bit of house work done every day so when the weekend comes it about the grand children or just rest and relaxation. The grand kids visit and stay overnight just about every other week. We really look forward to the visits.
On the weekends when the kids do not come to our house, life gets to be quite interesting. We are often lost as to what to do with our free time. We are not shoppers and Jo is a busy body but getting me to do things with her especially in the winter is no easy task. Also I find the more she hangs out with me on the off weekends, no kids, she too becomes a bit of a couch potato. Santa gave her a Kobo for Christmas and she is going through the books like candy.
Do you know if someone (me) can learn to be a busy body?
Last weekend the kids stayed at home so we had to entertain each other. On Saturday morning when I came downstairs Jo was making coffee so I sat on the couch facing the window and soaked up some vitamin D. In the winter time lots of Canadians suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. At this time of year the sun is really far south (Calgary is really north) so the rays enter the house at a great angle for sun bathing. The house gets really hot; some of the house plants have actually withered away.
Jo soon joined me in a rocking chair about 12 feet away. I was expecting her to make breakfast; instead she just sat there and made a comment about how wonderful life is. Of course it is, she has nothing to do and the house is clean.
I was thinking ‘woman go make breakfast’. Yea I am a tough guy. She in now in Kobo land and my mind drifted to my buddy Atkin.
During the week Atkin and I would get together on FB and chat. He has incredible recall about our young days. It amazes me how easy it was for us to get back into the Village spirit after not seeing each other for over 40 years. Atkin was a police back then and he took great pleasure of keeping the young Village guys in check. He told me he wore a gun back then but I don’t remember that, else I would not have teased him.
We would say to him ‘corpy bum stink’ and run, remember that? Of course he would try to chase us down but he was too slow, if you have FB go to his page and look at his spindly legs.
The last time I remember seeing him was in Anguilla back in the late 60’s. Recently he sent me a picture of his wedding day in December 1970 as proof that we saw each other after that. I am not in the picture but my best friend Junior is. What was he actually trying to tell me? Now, why would I remember his wedding, he did not invite me. Recently he told me it was because he didn’t like me that much. Nice guy.
Atkin, married his childhood sweetheart. In my early teens, I liked his wife’s sister, but he thought he was in charge of her and would chase me away whenever I wanted to see my girl. Those of you who know his wife may remember that she lived at the end of an alley up Millionaire Street. Courting for me meant standing by her fence, she would stand by the window on the second floor and we would chat for a few minutes, Romeo and Juliet like. I never got any closer. Of course anyone in listening distance would hear the conversation.
If we missed the few minutes of courtship it could mean 2 or 3 days of waiting for the next opportunity. Her mom went to church on certain nights and those would be our nights we would ‘meet’ when Atkin was not hogging the space. I remember one night, it was not a church night for her mom, I was moving down the alley in the dark toward their gate. As I got closer I could hear Atkin’s voice, he was chatting with his wife to be, I did not want him to see me. Remember what I said earlier, I was always running from him. I got close to the fence lining the alley and inched my way down. I could see my girlfriend shadow in the window so I waited. A car went by and I think Atkin must have seen me hugging the fence. He shouted, ‘is that you Tony hiding by the fence?’ He is a big man with a big voice. I think everyone in the Village heard him including my friend’s mom.
Ok one for him, I still have not forgotten buddy. Every dog has his day, or something dumb like that.
He is getting old so he goes to bed early. I think whenever he gets sleepy he would ‘remind’ me to go cook for Jo, we are 3 times zones away from each other and he uses my cooking as his exit. He says, ‘I have to go downstairs for something’, every time.
That’s another thing, Jo gets her hot meals every weekday as soon as she gets home. So why wouldn’t I expect breakfast on a Saturday morning. Don’t you think I deserve that?
Jo and I both wear glasses but on Saturday we were without them. From 12 feet across the room we can barely see each other’s face clearly, but I know we were both glimpsing at each other to see who was going to move first. After a while I asked her, ‘aren’t you going to get something to eat?’ and she replied ‘no ill just drink my coffee and enjoy the KOBO’. I knew she was bluffing. She wanted me to get up.
I am a couch potato, I could have sat there all day, so I dug in for the long haul. I started thinking about my meeting with Gary earlier in the week.
I don’t know too many Kittitians in Calgary. I met a guy Dave when I first started going on Facebook and we have stayed in touch. He is a preacher. He tells me that there are other Kittitians around but I have never met any. I was told that my brother’s wife sister lives here, but I can’t find her and they are not in touch. Today I actually got reconnected with Russell, he has been here in Calgary for some time and he knows of another Kittitian that also lives here. Things are looking up.
When a Kittitian friend shows up in Calgary it’s a big treat. Gary and I met at a restaurant in downtown; he lives in BC and was here for business. Today I am digressing a lot. When I was young, greeting a friend was touching your fists or doing some kind of silly hand slapping. If your friend was a girl you would wish for a good body hug but getting one was rare. My wife Jo is a hugger, damn she hugs total strangers and if they let her she would kiss them also, she says it’s a French thing. So I had to get use to hugging. I am really good at it know.
Gary is a lot taller than me so I was thinking high five. Gary is thinking hug, I forget that he had been in Canada for a while also and I believe he lived in hug county, Montreal. So we did it, a big fat hug, my face is buried in his chest, haha, silly stuff, I know what Atkin is thinking.
We were seated quite close to the kitchen and at first I was going to protest but as it turned out it was a great place, all the waitresses went by at least 30 times.
Our evening started at around 7pm and ended at 11:30, I would say we spent around 3 minutes talking about our life post 1971. We reminisce, we laughed, yes we probably talked about you, all in good fun. One of the waitresses came by to ask which one of us laughed so heartily. I have a dry laugh, like this, ‘ha ha’. Gary, he enjoys laughing. What a night.
It’s amazing how much he remembered about the late 60’s and early 70’s. He remembers everyone. He even talked about my parents. I left home soon after my 18th birthday, was never really a man around my dad. Gary was able to fill in some blanks for me. He was totally amazed that I was able to get over my stutter, which took a lot of practise on my part.
As we were parting we hugged again and agreed to visit each other, soon.
When my family first came out to Calgary, we had lots of visitors from the east and overseas. In the first 3 years I missed my family so much, I made at least two trips back to Toronto annually. Would you believe it’s cheaper to fly from Toronto to St Kitts than it is to fly from Calgary to Toronto?
Moving to Toronto from St Kitts in 1971 was a lot harder than Toronto to Calgary because of the no Canadian Experience thingy, but over a short period of time I was able to find lots of friends from back home. It’s not so easy here. There is no ‘club’ for Calgary Kittitians to go to meet each other, but it is getting better.
Back to my dilemma, an hour had passed and I was still sitting there on the couch, the sun had disappeared and Jo was on the rocker, reading. I was getting hungry.
I gave in, I said, ‘I’m going to make breakfast, do you want anything?
Jo, ‘yes please, how about eggs and vegetables scrambled with cheese.’
What a sucker I am.
The only Kittitian Couch Potato in Calgary.