Monday, June 20, 2011

I hate to admit it…

Well, my wife and daughter returned this week from their six-day rafting trip with the Girl Scouts. Even though I missed them terribly, within fifteen minutes I was wondering when their next trip was schedule. (Mid July if you’re playing at home.) This isn’t a reflection on them. It is an announcement of what a persnickety old man I have become.

I’ll never forget the words of that great Queen of Egypt, Pharaoh Phawcett, when she said, “Clean up your mess. It’s starting to sphinx in here.” (ba dum bum). How can two demure and delicate little flowers turn a place that would make Oscar Madison cringe in so short a time? I know how much of a klutz I can be also. I mean I can trip over a shadow. So when I have to walk the gauntlet of shoes strewn about the living room like fish on a dock after a good catch, I’m taking my life in my hands, or should I say feet. I could only imagine what the campsite looked like when they were through with it.

I admit I was a little jealous when I saw the pictures they took and heard about everything they did. Usually when I’m home alone I think of all these wonderful things I plan on doing with my free time. The restaurants that no one wants to try, or maybe the movie that only fits my taste. The truth is once they’re gone I loose all interest. It was like that with my older two children as well. I would think, “I’m going to try that new Scandinavian-Nepalese place over on 63rd,” but would wind up watching Turner Classic Movies and making Chicken Quesadillas for ten people and having it everyday for the week. As much as I like good food and cooking, when I’m by myself I eat like a terrier, gobbling up whatever is thrown in front of me. Are all husbands and fathers this way, or only the contented ones?

Here is my second plein air oil. I’m much happier with this one. Onward, and hopefully, upward.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Can you go home again?

My apologies to those that enjoy reading this diatribe, for I have been neglectful of late what with my daughter getting out of school a month earlier than in New York. For those that don’t enjoy reading it, additional apologies for starting up again.

As mentioned, my youngest finished school in May and has kept me busy with fishing, tennis, biking and complaining that there is nothing to do. She left this morning with my wife on a six-day rafting trip. They are going down the San Juan River in Utah through Moab. It sounds like a wonderful trip through a beautiful part of the country. When my wife asked me to go along I did considered it, but declined. Now before you pass judgment on me for being an unsociable boring old man there are a few more details I need to relate. That ‘s not to say I’m not an unsociable boring old man mind you. It just doesn’t apply here.

The trip is with her Girl Scout troop and of course their mom’s. That’s ten twelve-year old girls and five women in menopause with not a wet bar or mall within 100 miles. The weather will most likely be in the nineties and they are not allowed to bring electronic games of any type. Mathematically speaking that is a female equivalent to a perfect storm. As they were packing my daughter picked up a package of feminine products and asked my wife “Why do I need these?” When my wife answered, “Just in case you start getting your period, sweetie. All the girls are taking them,” I knew I made the right decision to stay home.

Although, the line for the men’s room would be short, the downside is there is no men’s room. Going that long without hot water is not my idea of a vacation. Besides, there won’t be a line here either. To give you some idea how I like things I have an embroidered plaque above the door to my austere bathroom. It reads, “Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures”. You can pick up film at the ranger’s station. Not that anyone ever has.

I enjoy the comforts of my home. When we were away last winter I thought of treating myself to a massage while everyone else was skiing. One of the typical packages read like this:

“The Outdoorsman: 100 minutes

Whether you just climbed a fourteener (that’s fourteen thousand feet for you coast loving people), spent a day on the ski slopes or played a round of golf, this rejuvenating package is just for you.”

But I don’t do any of those things and I really wanted a massage. Even when forced into playing mini-golf I only do nine holes. So I decided to try “The Couch Potato”, which was more my speed. They spend 45 minutes working my sorry ass and the last ten on my remote control arm. Finally a massage that's just right for me! They say you can’t go home again so I’m thinking I better not leave.

We haven’t caught any fish yet, but my daughter spotted this guy hanging around. That’s a bull snake, which is loved around here because they kill rattlers. I also included my first plein air oil. It's a little flat but I’m okay with the results.