Howdy! as they say in Texas. I’m glad you’re reading this new blog post, because otherwise I’d have to be pulling weeds in our overgrown garden, so please stay with me. Just in case you were looking for something more high brow and sophisticated, this is actually the opening post of Life As Ty Sees It. It is a follow-on to the Messages of Hope Tour blog, which you can find at www.messagesofhopetour.blogspot.com.
As many of you are already aware, My Lovely Wife Suzanne and I just returned from a 5 month, 10,400 mile trip around the US and Canada in our 2003 American Eagle motor coach, otherwise known as The Bus. Accompanying us were our two guard/attack dogs, Rudy and Gretchen. Lest you think that two miniature dachshunds are no match for intruders, muggers, or ax murderers, I’ll have you know that they kept us safe throughout our long journey. Rudy directs their defensive maneuvers, and Gretchen, AKA “Ten Pounds of Fighting Fury”, is the lead attack dog. Rudy mops up what’s left. (Sort of like a small pride of lions; the gals do the hunting/protecting, the guys sit back, look cool, and wait to be called to dinner.) These were their mug shots after being arrested for beating up on a pit bull (This wonderful photo is courtesy of Pam Smedley).
Having just returned from some small towns and big cities with unproven hair salons, Suzanne was ready for an hour or two with her regular stylist, Judy Brushingham. As she sat down in the chair, she mentioned to Judy that she should just fix it without cutting too much off; Judy replied, “I can’t make your hair look any worse than it is now…” OUCH! Fortunately, Judy is very talented, and Suzanne is feeling much better about being seen in public now.
Tuesday was clean-up day aboard The Bus. Five months on the road takes its toll, and she needed a good cleaning from stem to stern. (That’s Navy talk, for you landlubbers.) We had actually tried to find someone who could detail The Bus for us, and a national company (which shall go unnamed, but whose initials are Dazzling Detailing) said they could do the job and would call us right back… but, we never heard back from the scheduler. Soooo, My Lovely Bride said, “Okay, sailor, time to get to work. Get your lazy butt out of the sack.” (Suzanne can be a tough taskmaster at times.Okay, she wasn’t quite so blunt…) So we spent the entire day prettifying The Bus inside and out. Here’s Suzanne with her Jane Jetson backpack, about to take off.
I thought I had the easy part, getting a nice suntan while using a long-handled scrubber. But there was a surprise or two to come… “Sweetheart, would you mind doing the toilet and the fridge?” I knew she had just had her nails done, so I did the manly thing. (Right, I tried to hire these jobs out… but no one else wanted them, so I bit the bullet and did them myself. Sigh…)
After we finished cleaning The Bus, Suzanne said, “Hey, with the money you just saved, you can take me out for sushi.” Well, that’s a good deal, I said to myself. She can’t possibly eat $300 worth of fish, unless it’s an entire tuna! So off we go to our favorite sushi restaurant outside of Japan, VKI Japanese Restaurant in Sumter Landing, only two miles from the house. Here is Suzanne receiving our Standard Sushi Plate, Mark 1 Mod 0. I call it that because we always order the same thing: gyoza, spicy tuna roll, California roll, and five orders of nigiri sushi. When the staff at VKI sees us walk in, our order is already on its way to the kitchen.
After dinner, I commented that I had gotten off pretty easy, price-wise, since she hardly made a dent in the $300 we had saved. (I was thinking that maybe a new fishing rod could make up the difference.) She replied, “Oh, well, I was sort of thinking that maybe I could stop in at the boutique… I’ve been wearing the same clothes all summer….” (I thought to myself, Well, I’ve been using the same fishing rod all summer… but I thought better of expressing my inner thoughts on this issue. My Momma didn’t raise no fool!) In any case, she went shopping and I took Rudy and Gretchen for a sunset stroll. It was a good decision. The setting sun was lighting up the bands of clouds in beautiful red and gold waves, proving at least to me that nature is as creative an artist as any human being.