The Wallet

wallet

I bought this wallet over twenty years ago.  I had just started my first real job and on my way home from my first day I stopped at a mall downtown.  There was a little stationery/gift store there called Perks.  I can’t remember why I bought a wallet.  I think, maybe, I just felt really good about what was happening in my life and wanted to get myself a little present.

This wallet has been with me ever since.  We have been through a lot together.

It was with me on the day that I was eight months pregnant and my car was totaled on the Second Narrows Bridge.  It got left in the console when the ambulance came to take me to the hospital.  It was still there five days later when I went to look at what was left of my car at the wreckers.  A month later I had it with me when I checked into the hospital and gave birth to my son.

It was with me on the bus trip to Seattle when I met my current husband.  I used it at Nordstrom that day to buy a great pair of shoes and later at FX McCrorys for drinks.  I remember pulling it out to buy a beer at the basketball game that night and being told to put it away.  Was he trying to get me drunk?

It hasn’t always been with me.  I’ve lost it more times than I can count.  The most common culprit is leaving it in the shopping cart at the grocery store.  In earlier years it was usually a bar or restaurant.  I seem to remember leaving it sitting in a park bench once while in a post natal haze.  Or was it post divorce haze?

What’s in my wallet?  Surprisingly, thirty dollars.  I rarely cash cash anymore but today I do.  The requisite credit cards, debit cards,  health care cards and drivers license.  A Starbucks card that I don’t use anymore.  My library card number written on a slip of paper sinD&E in Whistlerce I lost my card and can’t be bothered to get a new one.

Stamps.  A picture I took of my husband and son in Whistler years ago.  A drawing my son did when he was seven.  Oh and a Pinkberry frequent buyer card. Everett Face 2

 

 

Lastly, a small piece of paper with this quote written on it.

“There are three Cs in life.  Choice, Chance and Change.  You must make a Choice to take a Chance or your life will never Change.”

The stitching on the ends of the wallet is a bit frayed but the leather is strangely unmarked and the insides are still in great shape.

I guess in a way I am a bit like this wallet.  Pretty well made.  Seen some good times and some bad.  Sometimes full and sometimes empty.  Perhaps a little dated.  Or should I say classic?  Yet still holding it all together.

Over the years I have thought about making a change.  But I always ended up staying with my tried and true friend.  I’m loyal that way.

The Best Thing in Life is a really good wallet.

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TBT – Kamikaze Friends

J&K wedding

I remember this day so clearly. It was the summer of 1994. My dear friends Karen and Jeff got married in the Rose Garden in Stanley Park. There were only four of us there. Karen, Jeff, me and my ex-husband. (We were married at the time). It was a beautiful sunny summer day and we were young and happy and had no cares in the world.

My ex-husband met Jeff through a friend of his. They were going sailing one day and his friend asked if his cousin could come along. When I got home from work that day the three of them were all hanging out in the front yard drinking beer and laughing at Jeff’s titanic impression on the boat that day. “I’m the king of the world” he screamed as he hung onto the front of the bow.

Jeff and Karen met purely by chance. They were both extras in a movie being shot at Nat Bailey stadium. Karen spied Jeff in the crowd and surreptitiously maneuvered her way a little closer to him. Okay, maybe not so much a “chance” meeting. We met Karen a short time later and the four of us hit it off right away.

We had a lot in common. We all loved tennis and played doubles any chance we got. We all loved to travel. We all loved cooking and good food and spent many evenings cooking and drinking wine together. And then there were the Kamikazes. Frozen vodka and lime cordial shooters. I’m not sure why we thought they were a good idea but they were present at every occasion. How many times we headed out to the tennis courts with wicked hangovers I can’t recall. Oh and did I mention that we ended up living right beside each other?

Karen and I were die hard Martha Stewart fans. This was before she went to jail…Martha not Karen. I still have the Martha Stewart cookbook they gave me on my thirtieth birthday. It’s a bit torn up and stained but every time I open it I think of them.

On the day they got married in the Rose Garden by a justice of the peace there couldn’t have been a happier couple. So in love and so happy to have found each other. Both had been married before and endured difficult divorces. As we drank champagne in a horse-drawn carriage we toasted their good fortune in finding each other. And then we did kamikaze shots. It was kind of our thing.

J&K spoons

The horse-drawn carriage took us along the edge of lost lagoon and down the path to the Tea House. That’s when the picture was taken. Karen and I on the lawn across from the restaurant, overlooking English Bay. Considering it was mid nineties I had some awesome 80’s hair going on. Karen, of course, looked fabulous in her wedding dress.

A couple of years later, 1996, the four of us all went to Mexico together. I had just found out that I was pregnant and Karen discovered that she was pregnant while we were there. I still remember how the two of them giggled when they told us how they had gone into a pharmacy in Cancun and quietly tried to find a pregnancy test that didn’t have instructions in Spanish. Our sons were born two months apart.

J&K hammok

In February of 1997 my husband and I split up. Jeff and Karen were in a difficult position. They were still living beside my ex but found it difficult to accept the things he had down that ultimately ended our marriage. They were both there on the day that I moved into my new home but shortly after moved to Calgary. That was 1997. In 1999 Jeff passed away in his sleep.

Our carefree days were over and the realities of a different life set in. Karen’s birthday is coming up next month. I might just need to go out and by some vodka and lime cordial. The Best Thing in Life is beautiful memories and life long friends.

Fear

fear tag

The recent Air Asia plane crash has done nothing for my fear of flying. It has, in fact, only cemented in my mind the possibility that any plane, at any time, could crash into a fiery mass. Most likely over a large body of water. Say, on the way to Hawaii? I know the statistics say that you have a better chance of being hit by a car but frankly, I don’t buy that. I remember my mom taking something (most likely Valium) when I was young to “take the edge off” when she needed to fly to England. I’m not there yet, but getting close. I mean really, how is it okay to be 37,000 feet in the air going God knows how fast, sitting in a tube of steel? It’s irrational you say? Maybe. But fears are fears and as irrational as they may be, they exists, if only in our minds.

My husband is afraid of snakes. Even the harmless ones. Where he grew up, snakes were not only creepy but deadly. Cotton mouths, diamond backs and rattlesnakes lurked in the backyards of many Texas homes. Somewhere in the back of his mind he associates snakes with death I guess. If I asked him to pick up a garter snake I don’t know if he could. Even watching them on TV causes him to tense up and shrink away. My husband is not a timid man either. This is his fear and despite assurances that they are harmless he is still not able to make himself hold one at the local farm. I can’t say that I enjoy snakes either but I could pick up a garter snake if needed to say…..taunt my husband with one.

fear
A number of people I’ve spoken to were afraid of being buried alive. Not something I ever think of, but again, fears are different for everyone. Actually, now that I am thinking about it, I’m kind of freaked out by it. I guess it would be similar to drowning. I’m not really comfortable with submarines either. Really? A steel tube hundreds of feet under the water? One friend took the fear of being buried alive a step further and has a fear of cement trucks. I have to say ever since she pointed this out I have driven past dump trucks just a little bit faster. Just in case. What if they dumped all of their cement on me in some freak accident? Would my last thought be of Tony Soprano ordering up some cement boots?

Tons of people are afraid of heights. For some, vertigo is a real thing and can cause dizziness and fainting. I worked in an office once downtown. The controller’s office was on the corner of the 21st floor with floor to ceiling windows. I would dread every other Friday when I would need to take the stack of cheques in to be signed by him. Took me a five or taken minutes to talk myself into it each time. A big attraction these day is towers, like the CN tower, putting in glass platforms for people, to walk out onto. Are you kidding me? How is this fun? When I was about ten my mom and dad took my sister and brother and I up The Chief. It’s a hike close to Squamish, BC that ends at the top of a popular rock climbing wall that is 600 meters high. Being the youngest I arrived last only to find the rest of my family on their stomachs looking over the edge of the cliff. Clearly I am adopted.

So, am I going to end up like my mom? Paralyzed with fear over the thought of getting on a plane? I hope not because I love to travel and look forward to adventures with my husband after the kids have moved out. (Snake free adventures of course). When are the powers that be going to invest some serious money into teleportation? How hard could it be. Get me from point A to point B in seconds is all I am asking. Until that time comes The Best Thing in Life is knowing that airlines serve wine at pretty much any time of day.