Thursday, 31 August 2017

Things I've learnt


There’s nothing quite like learning from our elders. I spend a considerable amount of time with people twice my age, and as I’ve pointed out before, I highly enjoy the experience.
Over the last few weeks I picked up a few new nuggets of wisdom, and they are too good not to share.


Lesson Nr. 1: There is always tomorrow
A few days ago, on yet another day with a temperature of  37° Celsius, we were sitting in the shade with our friends, shooting the breeze and drinking a cold one. Suddenly, Billy was struck by a thought, and he sat bolt upright, looking around.
“Did you ever get your hay from TJ?” he asked, looking first at TJ and then at Rich and me. We shook our heads. Billy was outraged. “Why not? I set it up weeks ago!” Looking at Rich, he said: “You could have your hay in the barn by now!”
Turning to TJ, he added: “And you could have the money in your pocket.“
TJ was unfazed. Leaning back more comfortably, he pointed up at the cloudless, blue sky (the same sky we’ve been blessed with for 2 months straight), and said easily: “I’m waiting for good weather.”


Lesson Nr. 2: The many uses for gum boots
Gum boots used to be an essential part of our life. From November–May, they were the only shoes  that made sense wearing. When we moved to the semi-desert, we took them with us, not knowing if we may need them. Well, we have since learnt that gum boots are completely unnecessary in these parts, a fact that makes me happy beyond words. I was ready to get rid of them once and for all,  when one of our cowboy friends taught me another use for them I hadn’t heard of before.
“Robert and I would use them for castrating cats,” he told me earnestly. Looking at him uncomprehendingly, he elaborated: “You stuff the cat head first into the boot. Then you need two guys to hold the legs. One won’t do, those buggers are strong! The third guy stands in between the legs, cutting off the balls. One time, when Robert made the first cut, the cat peed* right into his face! We laughed so hard, we let the cat go.”
[His balls were only safe for a few days though; they got him in the end.]

*The word he used was more vulgar than ‘peed’. But I’m a lady.  


Lesson Nr. 3: Don’t give a f*ck* about what other people think
*Apparently, not much of a lady.

Another one of our friends is the calmest person I know. Nothing upsets him, nothing gets him riled up. He is always calm, cool, and collected, and takes things as they come. I call him my zen-friend, and hope his attitude will rub off on me over time.
He once told me the story of his boat, nicknamed ‘The bag boat’.
“Why ‘the bag boat’?” I asked him.
“Because it was so ugly, my friends joked that you needed to put a bag over your head so nobody would recognize you,” he laughed.
I know nothing about boats, so I can’t tell you the make, model, or whatever else boat people care about. What made it ugly different was that our friend had built a little plywood cabin on the boat for shelter. “It rains so much on the lake where I had it, it made sense,” he explained. He didn't care about the aesthetics, just about the functionality. "It was great," he told me. "We could still fish and hang out on the lake when it rained, and we stayed nice and dry."

One day, a guy with a big, expensive boat made a snide comment about the bag-boat. Zen-friend looked at him calmly, and said the following: "You bought that fancy, big boat so other people would look at you, didn't you. Well, you know what? Everybody looks at my boat."

Have a wonderful day friends! It's almost Friday 🎉

xoxo Miriam




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2 comments

  1. I love your zen friend's outlook on his boat! Everyone IS looking at him haha.

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    1. The bag boat is the funniest thing ever. Sadly I've never seen it, but I love how nonchalant zen-friend is about it! Zero fucks given 😂

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