Posted tagged ‘Swiss army knife’

“When the English language gets in my way, I walk over it.”

March 7, 2016

This morning was hopeful. I saw my first crocus in the front garden. It is bright yellow and is the only color I can see. The sun was shining when I woke up. The birds were in and out of the feeders. The coffee was delicious. Now, a mere three hours later, it is cold and dreary. I don’t know where the sun went, but it disappeared quickly. The crocus is closed. The world is back to being grey and dreary.

I spend two hours with my neighbor. We chatted about foods, relatives, weather and the  verb doesn’t. She seems to prefer don’t as in he don’t. I told her I’d start charging her money for all the times she uses the wrong verb. My grandmother and my father used don’t all the time and they were born in this country. I might be fighting a losing battle.

Gracie and I are going out later. She is out of canned food, and I am out of bread, two essentials for our lives. Lately I have been into naan. Gracie has been into whatever I feed her.

When I was a kid, our boxer, Duke, ate two cans of food every day. Back then it was horse meat. It smelled gross. I hated when it was my turn to feed Duke. I’d turn my head away as I was spooning his dinner into his dog bowl. Duke loved his dinner.

My electric can opener is among the missing. I moved it from the counter and now I can’t find it. I am back to using the old silver can opener where you turn the wheel around the cover. It works great except on the larger cans. With some cans I use a churchkey mostly when something to be poured is in the can. I also keep a churchkey in my car. It is one of those things you need when you don’t have it.

Every time I travel I take my Swiss Army knife. It has every possible gadget I might need on my journey. It used to be with me but now it travels as cargo being a weapon and all. I’ve have it forty-seven years. The tweezers and the toothpick are missing, but other than those, the knife is in perfect condition. I have a really small one I keep on my keychain. It comes in handy.

On the Amazing Race last week one of the tasks was to put together a Swiss Army knife. It is done by hand piece by piece, blade by blade. Now I know why they are so expensive. When the teams were leaving for Switzerland, one team member wanted to know what language is spoken there. Swiss, of course, was the answer. The best question of the season so far was also last week. In what country is Switzerland?

“Wanderlust is incurable.”

June 13, 2013

Yesterday it rained in Hyannis. At the same time, the sun was shining when I got to West Yarmouth a bit down the road. The paper says rain again today, and we already have a sky filled with clouds. The day is also damp and has a bit of a chill. I’m going out for a few errands later. I have a list.

My usual quiet has been broken, The house next door is being reshingled, and all I can hear is the nail gun and its tap, tap, tap, tap, always four taps in a row. One guy is doing the whole job. It took him two days to do the small side of the house, the one nearest my house. Now he’s working on the back of the house.

When I taught, I traveled every summer. I’d be gone five or six weeks. I usually did Europe though I did have that one South American summer. I always had my backpack, my Go Europe guide-book and my Eurail pass. I never packed too many clothes: a couple of pairs of pants, a few shirts, underwear and a light jacket. I had my flashlight and my Swiss army knife with all the doo-dads. That was all I needed. I always traveled with a friend, and our only planning was deciding which countries to visit. We grouped them. One summer it was England, Scotland and Ireland. Another summer it was Denmark, Finland, Russia and England. You’re probably wondering about England in that grouping, but we always tried to spend at least a few days in London before we went home. Spain and Portugal were an obvious duo.

When I became an administrator, I had to work summers so I traveled April vacation but to only one country. I had become a suitcase traveler by then, but I still brought my Swiss army knife and a guide-book: still no plans ahead except the country and a rental car. I’d have a vague idea what I wanted to see, but I was always open to any adventure. Sometimes we’d see a sign with an arrow pointing to a side road and an attraction and we’d follow that arrow. We were seldom disappointed. Most times we had no reservations but still found great places to stay. I remember a farm in Belgium and a really old house in Ireland. Its steps going upstairs were bowed.

I’m not traveling this year. Two trips to Ghana have depleted my resources so I have to start saving again. A one year hiatus is about as long as my wanderlust will handle. Pinching pennies here I come!