BTW … your tag is showing

There’s lots of anxiety around these days. But along with the stress of current events is a glimmer of reality. If we are to believe all that we see and hear in media then we are doomed. But I tend to lean towards things being a bit contrived.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a truther or a dooms day prepper. However, there’s so many things I would like to question. If only there were truthful and reliable answers. Alas. I will continue to skip the “news” and most social media.

Therefore I value the connection I make with the humans in my “bubble”. That is to say we are mostly hermits if you eliminate our three times a week pickleball games and the weekly trip to Stratford. There’s one more thing to add to my gratitude in this vein: daily morning walks in the provincial park (now closed for the season) with my pal Cathie and our dogs. It’s a motley crew to say the least.

My friend Cathie is an enigma. Since we met some 30 years ago she has been an inspiration, confidant, co conspirator and, more of what we need these days, comedian. Over the years she has made me laugh to tears with her stories and just being her.

She is ultra bright and well educated. She is determined and driven. She is loving and kind. But she is also, and arguably her most endearing quality, she is content just to “be”. Today on our walk she told me how great it was to be on her summer house island. No input and interference from the real world. Just canoeing and painting (she’s an artist) and relaxing and contemplating. From my perspective she lives in the moment. She’s real.

We have interesting chats while our dogs frolic and poop. No topic is off limits. A lot of reminiscing takes place too. I remember the first time we met. We were introduced by a mutual business colleague who thought we could benefit each other. When we met for lunch (like a blind date) we talked about our families and the synergy was palpable. Like we’d known each other for ever. Then our husbands met and it was a match, too. We spent many summer vacations together on our boats; we were all novices and had many adventures on the high seas of Lake Ontario. And winter cruises on the Caribbean. To this day Cathie’s husband laughs about our shenanigans poolside as we judge other passengers and give them nicknames and develop stories about their life. We can do this for hours and giggle until we cry. Or pee.

My all time favourite Cathie story. Is her road trip to the woods with her dogs. She takes her husbands pick up truck (he’s a big guy and always drives a huge rig) – an Avalanche I think – and parks in the designated area at the park. She takes her hike and then gets in her truck to leave. When she backs out she feels like she’s hit a fence post or other enclosure. After checking the mirror she pulls out of the lot. The truck seems sluggish at first so she taps the gas. There’s a bit of resistance but in her unfamiliarity she plows on. Until she hears someone yelling and then she sees a man waving frantically behind her. She stops the truck. The man approaches and says: you’re dragging my vehicle behind you; you locked on to my bumper when you backed up.

Maybe my favourite is her doing an impression of her dad; Russell Redmond was a character!! Maybe it’s her tales from the behavioural therapy days? Or her recollections of life at Guelph University. There are too many to count.

We were gathered with a group of lady friends a few years ago and Cathie shared her experience at the mall earlier in the day. She was shopping alone and noticed that people were staring and doing a double take as she walked by. Her confidence was boosted! I must look good, she thought to herself. Then she passed a mirrored storefront and took a glance at her reflection. She realized immediately what was gathering attention: her top was on inside out and backwards. The tag was showing. Classic Cathie!

Today after our walk we hugged. I know: illegal … so sue me. As we disengaged I noticed Cathie’s top. It was on inside out and backwards. She’s blissfully unaware. And it’s so refreshing.

I hope she never changes. My beautiful friend. Thanks for the laughs.

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