Category: I promise ya

Amos

On the way to work today I noticed an old man walking along the side of the road. He walked feebly, with the help of a cane, then I noticed who it was.

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When I was 17, I had a best friend named Jerome. He was a poor kid from the poor side of town. We used to work together at the local Canadian Tire store. We were flunkies. The manager had several kids he used to do all the store’s dirty work, such as cleaning up spills, tearing up boxes, clearing snow, and emptying trash…things the regular workers didn’t want to do. He called us ‘flunkies’.

Me and Jerome often cruised around town together. I had my first car back then, and it was fun to ride around town in the search of girls. Remember, we were only kids back then, and this was great fun. Often we would have a car full of girls, and we would drive around like we were the kings of the world.

One evening, Jerome called and said he wouldn’t be going ‘girl hunting’ for awhile. He met somebody. “Wow!” I thought to myself, “Jerome is settlin’ down.” He was quite smitten with the girl, even though I found he mistreated her when they were out together.

One evening, we all went to the movie. Jerome was especially cruel to the girl, and I didn’t like what I saw. She stormed out of the theater, crying. He basically told her to ‘F**K off!, which I guess she did. On my way home, I seen her walking by herself. I stopped to ask if she wanted a ride, which she agreed.

When we drove up to her house, I did something I never did before, I asked if she would like to go out sometime. I know, my best friend’s girl, but he didn’t treat her good, and she was so pretty….long black hair that almost touched her waist, and the prettiest face ever. I couldn’t resist. And she said yes.

That was the start of it; me and Pauline. We dated for a few nights, to get to know each other a bit better, and then she introduced me to her family. I must say, her dad and I got along so good. Her mom was a bit of a flake, popping ‘nerve pills’ and complaining all the time, but her dad, he was a very nice person. In the two years Pauline and I dated, Amos became a second father to me.

He said I was like the son he never had. We went fishing together, and basically had long talks, mostly about life. He was a simple man who worked at anything he could find. He worked in the construction industry, mostly building houses. He never had his carpenter papers, because he couldn’t read. Amos was ashamed of this.

Pauline had a sister named Anne who was as wild as the wind. She had a boyfriend who took her places, but treated her cruel. In fact, I know of several occasions where he actually cheated on her, sometimes while she was with him. I knew that relationship wouldn’t last. It didn’t. Neither did me and Pauline.

Pauline had told me about her job. She said she used to clean up doctors’ offices for money ‘under the table’. A few dollars here and there, but enough to get by. This wasn’t true. She didn’t work at all. It was all lies. When we weren’t together, she would sit in her room alone, popping pills her mother would provide. “It’s her nerves, that’s why she is the way she is” her mother would say. I don’t think it was her nerves, I think it was the pills. Either way, I was beginning to see that maybe Pauline wasn’t for me.

Pauline didn’t have an education, I think she dropped out in grade 9 or so. I believe I only stayed with her so long out of pity, and that is no way to build a relationship. When we were together, I would often find myself embarrassed to have her around. People would talk to her, and instead of responding, she would giggle as if they said something funny. At first this was cute, but it began to get on my nerves.

It was Amos who helped me make the right decision. “She isn’t right for you Teddy” he said, to my surprise. “You are a nice guy, and a smart person. Pauline has ‘issues’ like her mother.” He said. “You can’t believe anything they say, and I bet if you really listened to what she was saying, you would understand.” he added.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. A father warning his daughter’s boyfriend about his daughter. Either he really didn’t like me, or he respected me enough to be honest with me.

“Don’t do like I did, Ted. When I fell in love with Pauline’s mother, my head was in the clouds. My friends warned me that there was something not right with her, but I wouldn’t listen. 25 years later, I see what they were talking about, but now I have two girls, I just can’t leave. Don’t let my regret be your regret.”

Me and Amos stayed friends even after I split up with his daughter. I never seen Pauline again, but I hear stories of how she got mixed up with bad people, had a couple of abortions, and is now living with a much older man who treats her like a slave. I talk to Anne all the time, she agrees with her father, saying  I made the right decision to leave her sister when I did.

I hear Amos’ wife passed away a few years back. It was then that Amos began to ‘live’ again. Someone said he had gotten himself a girlfriend. I remember seeing him and some woman at the mall. For once in his life, Amos looked happy.

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I pulled my truck over and got out. I went over to greet the old guy. He returned my greeting with a big hug. “Teddy, you look great!”

He didn’t look so great. His face was weathered and craggy, and he shook while he stood in front of me. “Are you doing okay?” I asked. “Doing okay, just old, that’s all.” he said.

We spoke for awhile, mostly about family. He extended his congratulations to me on my recent marriage. He said he seen my wife and I in church and commented on how perfect we were for each other. He talked about his wife, how she spent years in mental hospitals, and how Pauline did as well. He said he was glad my life turned out good, and he was glad I had listened to him way back then. He said the conversation we had back then was one of the most difficult things he ever had to do, but he was glad I took his advice. I am glad as well.

“Gotta keep in shape now!” he said, “that’s why I am out here walking. You know what women are like…”

I shook his hand, laughing. “Take care Amos” I said.

“You too, Son” he said.

 

 

 

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My latest toy

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A few weeks back, while being bored at work, I decided to visit Kijiji.ca and have a look around. I wasn’t really in the market for anything, just nosy. What I did find was a fantastic deal on an ATV.

The ad said MINT. These days the word has been misused to death, but this time, it was an accurate description of the bike. The guy hardly used it, and despite being manufactured in 2007 as a 2008 model, it looked as if it had just left the showroom floor.

With only 2600 kms on the thing, it wasn’t even broke in. I spoke to the guy who was selling it, and managed to haggle just enough to bring the price down to something I could afford. He actually dropped $500 over the phone.

With a four hour drive to the town that he lived in, I was anxious to get there. My brother (and his trailer) accompanied me, and when we finally arrived, we were amazed at the condition of the bike.

When we got out of the truck, the guy’s little boy (around 2 years old or so) came running out saying “Don’t buy that bike, it is JUNK!”

Not the best thing to hear after driving this far! His father came out laughing. Apparently he told his youngster that the bike was junk so he wouldn’t cry while we took it away. Hopefully that was the case!

Just as he described over the phone, the bike was in immaculate condition. He only used it to take his kids for rides on the railway bed. (T’Railway is a park in Newfoundland, created when the old CN railway was shut down and the tracks were removed. You can travel across the entire island on those trails if you have an ATV).

We took it out for a test drive and it drove even better than it looked. We loaded it on our trailer and did some paperwork. Excited to get home and ride it, I had to wait another 4 hours.

When we finally got home, it was pouring rain. The wife and I put on our rain gear and went riding anyway….at 10 p.m.

Last weekend, we were invited to a trail ride with some old friends. Although I was excited to take my new bike, we didn’t have enough room for our gear. I had to borrow my brother’s side by side, which featured a large bed on the back. He used my bike while we were gong.

We traveled from our home in Stephenville to Serpentine Lake, some 96+ kms from the door step. Using the above mentioned T’Railway system, the trail was perfect.

When we arrived at the site, the road was covered with water. The lake was very high, and we had to travel through over two feet of water to get to the camping area. Although scary, we got to the other side very quickly. The reward for the trip was the fantastic scenery. What a beautiful spot.

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As you can see, the place was beautiful. I stood in awe at the beauty and enjoyed the fresh mountain air.

Later that day, we set up camp and had a large cook up. Everyone shared the food and we ate like kings. When the air became chilly, we built a large campfire and everyone gathered around. A bit of recorded music on my tiny but powerful Bose Soundlink and everyone was up dancing and having a great time (and a few drinks).

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The only downside (other than having to trade bikes with my brother for the weekend) was the mosquitoes. There were thousands of the beasts, and they were hungry. This year has been very wet and mostly overcast, and the flies seem to really enjoy the damp air. Hopefully this won’t last throughout the entire summer.

A good sleep in our tent and in the morning, we ate a hearty breakfast of baloney, eggs, beans, and toast. We set out early because we wanted to get home early enough to cook supper. Ah Summer.

On Monday, while bored at work (again), I was looking on Kijiji again, and this time I found a ATV trailer that a guy had made. The picture showed exactly what I wanted. Lots of cargo space and decent clearance for stumps and brush. I called the seller, and even though he was located three hours away, I was going to buy this trailer. He wanted $475, but I was able to talk him down to $350. Pretty good deal.

When I got there, I was greeted by a friendly gentleman who showed me the trailer. He said that since retiring, he had to find something to do with his time, so he began restoring cars and building trailers. He took me on a tour of his garage where I seen a car under a cover.

His pride and joy, a 1962 Ford Frontenac, a Canadian made Ford sedan. The car was restored to original condition and was beautiful. He said that he quickly lost interest in restoring cars due to the high price of parts, but he enjoyed making trailers more. I doubt he made any money though, he must have put a ton of work and parts into making the trailer I bought.

11659430_10155698535040123_5455881113772613373_nMy wife loved the trailer because it matched the bike! Now we are ready for out next adventure. I will post the pictures.

12

I wanna play with my toys and make bubbles and run and shoot bad guys with  my Nerf gun.

I want to talk to a new girl at school. I want to do my studies and I want to do well in school.

Why are adults telling me what to do? When to bathe? What to eat?

Why are the rules so strict? Why can’t I go to the mall on the weekend and spend time hanging with my friends?

Why do I have to do homework? Why are there final exams? Why is it important?

I wanna play with my old toys but I also want to date girls. I want to be a kid and I want to be treated like an adult. I don’t want to grow up but I have to.

Why can’t I make decisions for myself? I am grown up! Why don’t THEY see it?

Why do I have to follow THEIR rules?

Why do the other kids laugh at me when I tell them about my latest toys? Why do they laugh when I talk about my neighbourhood friends?

Why are they so mean? When will it all stop?

Why can’t it be like it used to be? Why can’t we all get along?

Why can’t my parents understand my battle? The one with being a kid vs growing up?

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We Understand. We were 12 once too. We used to question our parents’ decisions too. We used to get angry with our parents all the time. We used to wish we were little kids again so we didn’t have to deal with all the crap that comes from growing up. But we did grow up, and when we did, we seen that our parents made the rules so that we could become the people we are today. So that we could raise our kids so that they could become all that they will become. Because we love our kids.

Sometimes I wish I was 12 again…