"Good morning, Bear. How's it going?" asked Bum.
"I wish you wouldn't use that 'How's it going?' comment from Andy Sipowicz of that old NYPD TV show. It's so cliche."
"I like cliches, so there," said Bum.
"I'm just saying." said Bear. "That's a line from another old TV show, the name which I cannot remember."
"That's enough of that TV speak. Let's get back to my Dear Pat and Steve story." said Bum.
"Patsy's dead, right?"
"Yes," said Bum.
"Steve isn't, obviously," said Bear
"What can I say, Bear, when your time is up, you go."
"No, Bum. when your time is up, I go."
"I'll say it again, what can I say, Bear? We are one, and don't ask me again how I'm feeling."
"My master's wife mentioned today that Prince Philip had died. That's sad, eh?"
"Yes, but he was 99. The Queen will miss him. He was her friend, her lover, her confidant, and so much fun."
"Fun is hard to come by these days," said Bear. "Best to get on with your Dear Pat and Steve post."
"OK, Bear. I started to write to Steve after Patsy died. In one of my letters to him I mentioned that it was too bad I didn't have copies of the letters I sent to them. Soon after, Steve sent me the one thing he had left of Patsy's stuff, a note from me dated August 31, 2007, which started Dear Pat and Steve, and here follows the words I wrote way back then. Enjoy... I hope."
Dear Pat and Steve,
A whole month has gone by since I retired from ICBC. I thought I'd share the experience with you in case you want to try it Patsy.
The first couple of weeks, I did nothing, like I do when I'm on vacation. Then, creativity struck and I made a big Thank You card to send to my friends at ICBC. That took a couple of hours & then a couple of weeks to find the words to thank them for their good wishes and gifts. All done now.
Next, I followed Susan's example and started Power Walks in the morning. I'm up to 4 walks per week. I love it. 30 minute Power Walks I can handle. Not much power yet and sometimes the 30 minutes is a stretch. I've tried walking 2 different directions and they are both uphill because we are at the foot of Seymour Mountain. I've pretty much settled this past week on the walk to the left up to Dollarton highway which leads to the Cove Village if you turn right on Dollarton. I walk as far as the blue church, a small Anglican church painted blue. Outside near the front door sits a small iron table and 2 chairs. Sometimes I sit at the table for 2 and write a few lines like these. It adds to my 30 minute walk and makes me think I'm improving. I may attend the church someday to see its inside.
I've made painting the front and back stairs a project. I've almost finished the back stairs and it was hell. Cleaning, sweeping, cleaning with TSP, cleaning with clean water, more sweeping, sanding, more sweeping and then finally the painting. They look great. The front is bigger and I'm halfway through the sanding. I'll hold off on the painting until Chella and her new boyfriend come for dinner. They've been threatening to come for a couple of weeks but this Wednesday has been confirmed. He cooks so that adds to the stress. I'll do my lasagna which is pretty safe and Frances will do her Caesar Salad which is excellent and hardly ever done. I have an old blueberry cake someone made for me at work so that should be it for the dessert. The cake's old now, a retirement gift, but I froze it so it should be fine. Not my fault, if it's no good. If they like it, I'll take the credit.
A friend from work invited me for lunch the end of August It was one of the retirement lunches I managed to avoid while still working. My choice of restaurant she said so I chose the expensive Gusto near ICBC. It was great. Good food and a lot of good talk. She invited a mutual friend and it was great fun. Someone else from work owes me a lunch so perhaps I can Gusto again next month.
Frances and I have been bereft during the PNE because we don't go to the races during that 3 week period. It's over now and we'll be back at the Track on September 8th. Yahoo!!
My friends at ICBC gave me $100.00 to bet at the Track. They know what I like for a goodbye gift. I was down to about $5.00 when I won almost $300.00. Too bad the PNE started when my luck had changed. Anyway, we can't wait to get back to the races.
After the stairs are finished, my next project is the old furniture in the garage. There are 2 beds, a dresser, a vanity and a stool. They need to be refinished. I think we're talking the end of 2007 for those babies.
Or, I could get my collapsible bike pumped up and ready to ride. I need a helmet because it's the law. I was walking uphill from Lower Lonsdale near by favourite bakery one day. I'd parked the car a few blocks up like I did when I was working because it's free. To rest my weary legs, I turned into a Sports Shop to check out bike helmets. There was an old guy slumped over the cash register. No customers in sight. "I'm looking for a bike helmet" I said in my usual voice which I've been told borders on loud. "What?" he yelled. "A bike helmet" I said again, increasing the volume a bit. "I need a large one because I have a big head" I said. "What?" he said. "I have a big head" I repeated in a louder voice. "For you?" he said. "Yes" I said. "I have one" he said, "but it's a medium". "May I try it on?" I asked. He crippled to his feet and staggered down an aisle with me behind him. I tried it on and it perched on my head in a ridiculous fashion. "Will you be getting more helmets?" I asked. "No, I don't sell bicycle helmets" he said, "but this one is only $20.00." I said "No" and left the shop. I may break the law and ride without a helmet after that fiasco. I was past his shop the other day and again he was slumped over the cash register. He was either asleep or dead but I walked on.
I'm off to the chiropractor and will include my Power Walk walking to and from the office. I finally remembered to buy stamps so I'll finish this and get it posted today.
Our weather is nice this week at low 20's but a bit cool in the morning which is good for my walks.
I hope you both are well and kicking back and enjoying yourselves. Take care and write Frances and I a letter. It's the highlight of the day when we get mail. A friend of mine is going to Australia for 6 months soon to help relatives with their bad children. Perhaps I can talk her into writing to me. She's a saint, offering to help her sister-in-law with 3 young children. The one boy has some behavioral problems and that's why they need help I couldn't do it. The most stressful thing I ever want to do now is paint some stairs or make a miniature doll, or bear proof the garbage.
Anyway, be happy you guys and see you when we see you.
"That's a lot of information in that wee letter, Bum." said Bear. "I particularly like the old geezer at the Sports Shop who spends his working days slumped over his cash register."
"You could say he's an unforgettable character," agreed Bum.
"Unforgettable characters are needed in any good book," said Bear.
"You are correct as usual my dear Bear. I met a character today but I don't want that young man in my book or indeed in any book. He is best forgotten and I hope he gets some help."
"What did he do or say, Bum?" asked Bear, looking puzzled.
"I was on my way to the dentist for my 11:30 appointment in that big pink building downtown on Dunsmuir Street. Coming towards me, in an erratic manner, was the young man I mentioned. He stopped suddenly, yelled Shit Fuck into my face, and then staggered on, again moving erratically."
"Were you frightened Bum?" asked Bear.
"No, for some reason I was not. Ill people don't frighten me, I guess."
"You know, Bum, this is not a very good ending for this post about Pat and Steve. The old guy slumped over his cash register must be dead by now, and that young erratic fellow cursing into your face, is very disturbing."
"I did get some good news yesterday, Bear. Paul emailed me and said that he's been kind of on vacation for sometime now but is ready to get back to our book. Good news, eh? I'll let you have the last word."
"Finally" said Bear.