America, Art, Canada, Culture, Family, Funny, Outdoors, Summer, Travel

For Hire

I’m not quite sure how we ended up in Toronto of all places, but we’re here. I assumed we’d fly through Chicago then north into Canada from there. That seems the most direct route. But, we were routed through Houston, then had a direct 4 hour flight from there.


Have you ever been bumped up from an economy flight to first class? Yeah, me either. 

But, apparently, if this happens to you, when they scan your economy ticket at the gate, the screen lights up and it makes a happy little sound and you know you’ve hit the jackpot. The reason I know this is because it happened to Jake, who was standing in line in front of me.

 I hoped my ticket would make that happy little sound too, but it made the regular scanning noise, sealing my fate for my cramped little seat at the back of the plane and a lukewarm coffee, if I was lucky. 

Jake politely reveled in his win of the day, while the Frenchman behind me tried to talk him into trading seats. But, two minutes later when we boarded the plane, the Frenchman and I decided economy wasn’t so bad after all. 

Jake happened to have won a seat right next to a screaming infant. The Frenchman and I bid him adieu and made our own jokes about how he had to sit by the be’be.  

As usual, I was seated on the last row of the plane. And as I took my seat, I could still hear the little guy next to Jake yelling. 

Some people might not expect this of me, but I’m not really great with kids. Kids are okay, I don’t dislike them. And they don’t dislike me. We generally get along. They smile at me and I smile back. We make small talk with each other. They hold my hand and look at my bracelets. But, I just don’t really know what to do with them. 

I’m fine with little babies, they pretty much just eat and sleep. If they’re crying, you have about three options for what they need. They’re pretty predictable.

But, from around 1 on to about 7, kids kinda baffle me. They can almost take care of themselves, but not really. They’ve got strong little personalities they’re developing. They don’t like coffee, they generally don’t like vegetables, they’re just not really that compatible with me. 

Jake, on the other hand, loves kids. He knows exactly what they want, he knows how to talk to them on their level, he can engage them, and they love it. If there is a kid in the room, they naturally gravitate towards him. 

I settled into the flight, talking to my new French friend, and putting on my headphones to watch a movie. As the flight attendant came to ask me what I wanted to drink, I took my headphones off and noticed that the be’be had finally quieted down. 

I resumed my movie, until something caught my attention. 


Jake. Walking up and down the aisle, carrying the now content, be’be, also known as Peter. 

Apparently, Peter’s mom couldn’t get him to calm down, so she handed him off to Jake. Peter’s dad and older sister were sitting in economy and as Jake walked by carrying Peter, the dad thanked him for helping out with the boy. 

Unbeknownst to me at the time, Peter had been throwing a fit in first class, in the seat between Jake and his mother. His mom had tried calming him to no avail, but Jake grabbed him up, set him on his lap, and he became content. “Peter likes you, Jacob” was the mother’s consent, and thus, Jacob and Peter were a pair. 

The family was Nigerian, and from what I could tell, the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” is used in the most literal terms there. 

Upon getting off the plane, Jake told me that he had been commended by the flight crew for making that flight enjoyable for them and the other passengers around him. He also informed me that he had been invited to Nigeria, in case we ever wanted to visit. 

I don’t think we’ll be going anytime soon, but I am having him add Nigerian Nanny to his list of job experiences on his resume’. I’d hire him any day. 

Standard
America, Animals, Canada, Culture, Family, Food, Funny, Outdoors, Summer, Travel

Drenched

Guess who fell into the lake? In full rain gear. They say that stuff is waterproof. Which is true. As long as you don’t accidentally fully submerge yourself in said water. 

The soon to be drenched clothing (with an added rainjacket)

I have this patented Brittney move when we come in to dock. I step out of the boat, holding the rope in my hand, onto the dock with one foot, then pull the boat (with the rope and my other foot) snug to the dock to tie it. This works okay (although now going over it in my mind, it’s really not the smartest move, but it made sense to me when I was doing it) as long as you have the rope in your hand, to anchor yourself and keep control of the boat, which your other foot is still in. If you are distracted, and forget to grab the rope, there is a slight possibility that the boat will come out from underneath you and dump you into the 60 degree lake water. Which is what happened. 

The water was not that deep, seeing as how we were right at the dock. But, somehow, I managed not to catch myself at all and went completely under, thoroughly soaking every single thing I had on. Which was three layers of clothing. A wool pullover, which has yet to dry out, a long sleeve shirt, the aforementioned rain pants and jacket, even my ballcap was dripping. 

I wasn’t wearing a lifejacket either. See, I have this theory. My dad got me a ground blind for deer hunting a few years ago for Christmas. I think it was a gift partially for me, partially for himself. It’s essentially a camo tent he can sit me in, out in the woods. There are a few benefits to it. He can go off to his tree stand, with full assurance that he hasn’t set me in a tree stand that I could potentially fall out of. Although, why he’d ever be nervous about me falling out of something is beyond me. And he knows that by putting me in a ground blind, I am less likely to distract a potential target with the flipping of my book pages, as I’m reading and patiently waiting for something to walk by. 

So, he got me the ground blind for Christmas, and we took it out for its inaugural hunt the day after Christmas. There’s a short, few days rifle hunt right after the holiday to complete the year. So, he put me in my blind and trailed off through the woods, with the promise that if I shot (which would be a rare occurrence), he’d come find me. Sure enough, right at dark, a doe walked out, and I shot. It wasn’t my best shot, as demonstrated by the hour long tracing of a tiny blood trail down a steep hill. But, I got it, and the guys found it, hauled it up and we deemed my ground blind a perfect gift. 

A few weeks ago, my brother insisted on buying me a bike helmet because he thought it might hurt if I fell off, going 20 mph down the dirt road. Again, I don’t have any idea why he’d think I’d be injury prone. So, he got me one, and I begrudgingly wear it. But, I was 100% sure that on my first ride wearing it, I’d have a wreck. I didn’t, but still. 

The bike helmet proponent himself

So, my dad nearly insisted on getting me a fancy life jacket that automatically inflates the moment you hit the water. And, I didn’t let him, because I knew if I did, I’d fall out. 

Looks like that logic worked out well for me. 

I had a conversation with him during one of our boat rides about whether or not he felt that I could drink the lake water without getting some sort of terrible disease. He said I probably could, but he didn’t want me to try it. I wanted to try it. 

Looks clean and blue and beautiful, right?

Well, when I fell in, I got the chance. Because I accidentally gulped a good amount down. And not the deep, middle of the lake water that I was wanting to try. No, the grimy, shoreline, dock variety. The possibility of illness remains to be seen. 

Luckily, I hauled myself up, laughing. I was slightly terrified because our float plane pilot had told me not to put my feet in the water, for the chance that the pike might bite my toes off, mistaking my bright orange toenail polish for bait. I’m still not sure if he was kidding or not, but I didn’t want to take any chances. 

The pike, however, weren’t interested in my toes. So, I dried off, went back out, and tried a less dangerous boat maneuver, and a more natural colored bait. Which they fell for. Hook, line, and sinker. 

Standard
Canada, Family, Outdoors, Travel

Pike Pic

I know this is going to come as a shock to everyone, but my dad is not a professional photographer. He asked me if I wanted my picture with this polar bear at the airport. By the way, in case anyone wasn’t aware, there are some big soccer games (I know nothing about soccer, so don’t quote me but I think it’s the Women’s World Cup, maybe?) going on in Canada this summer, which is why the polar bear has a soccer ball. I wouldn’t even know this except for the fact that one of my friends travelled to Winnipeg two weeks before me to watch one of the US games. So, of course, I said I needed a picture. He’s one of those people that are taking your picture but you don’t know if they’ve taken it so you don’t know how long to pose or hold your smile for. Then, they look at you like why are you still smiling and you feel like a dork. So, I had him take my picture and then I asked him if he’d gotten one of my funny face? To which he said: you were making a funny face?

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 9.57.40 PM

Yes, dad, that’s not my normal face. So, I end up with two pictures. The previous one of my funny face. Then, this accidental candid, in which I’m questioning why I had him take my picture in the first place.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 9.58.01 PM

I have to admit that I kinda like the second picture better. The candid shots seem to be the ones that transmit the most true story. I have this picture of me and my mom on the beach when I was a baby and I love it for two reasons. One is because we have the same expression on our faces, which I think says a lot about a mother and daughter relationship. And two, because neither of us are posing. We’re not smiling, making it look any certain way. It captures a true moment. A moment which probably in all reality says “why are we even at the beach?”

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 9.58.49 PM

They always say pictures are worth a thousand words. I guess they are because they do depict a lot of details that wouldn’t necessarily be expressed in words. But, they don’t always tell the whole story.

So, let’s take this picture, for instance.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 9.58.28 PM

What do we notice about this picture?

  • 1) I’ve just caught a big fish & 2) I’m looking pretty chill about it.

What you don’t see in this picture is that I had just had a fish bigger than this break my line, and that this guy fought me for about 15 minutes before I got him in the boat. What you also don’t see is that I had just doused my face in sunscreen right before this and I forgot to read that tiny print that says don’t put this stuff near your eyeballs. Apparently they put that little warning on there for a reason because when I hooked this guy and was looking down at the water for the next 15 minutes, my eyes were welling up and it was making my nose run, so it looked like I was literally crying. So I’m out on the water, fighting a Northern Pike that keeps taking off with my line, threatening to break it again at any moment, whilst trying to blink away the sweat and sunscreen that keeps running into my eyes. Dad has the net, and keeps trying to capture him when I get him close to the surface, which makes the fish and me nervous and he takes off again, nearly pulling me and my fishing pole under the boat with him. At this point, I’m just sure I’m going to go blind right before I fall in the lake and have to be rescued. But, mercifully, he gave up the fight. So, once he is finally in the boat, it’s picture time, which means I have to quickly pull my wits together and make sure it doesn’t look like I’ve been crying or that I’m blind or that I am the basketcase that I am at this point. And, I think I did a pretty good job of it. Maybe dad isn’t that bad of a photog afterall.

Standard