A couple of more fun things. The day after my last post, Teacher sent me a text asking if I wanted to do anything that day. Instead of texting back I called her and we talked about a couple of ideas like skiing, snowshoeing or hiking. I told her I would just load all of my gear and head to her house and we could go from there.
We ended up talking ourselves out of driving a couple of hours to go skiing and decided to look for a hiking trail and/or another activity. We drove about 45 minutes north and she selected a trail she "thought" she had gone on before and it would be a nice strenuous 5 mile hike.
I need to clarify something. Teacher has more hiking experience than I do, but she always goes with other hikers with even more experience and often rides along with them so doesn't really pay attention to how to get to the trailhead. I, on the other hand, am challenged at reading maps, but can navigate to trailheads with help from my phone. But some of our hikes have not gone the way we planned. This one was no different. I told her I ought to write a trail guide called "Teacher and Countrydirt's Misadventures - or The Trail Not Taken".
So, we got to the trailhead for multiple trails and looked at the tiny screens on our phones and decided we had it covered...oops. About a mile in to the hike we came to multiple forks. I looked at the map and told her I thought we ought to take one branch, but wasn't completely sure. She said she thought another branch looked like what she remembered, so I deferred.
We had a nice leisurely downhill mile and half until we started hitting lots of ice on the trail and then I thought I would take out my phone and look at the map again. Turns out the navigation thought we should have gone on the trail I thought was the right one and we would need to hike 8 or 9 miles on that trail loop to return to the trailhead. We agreed that we should just turn the hike into an out and back. So we started back UP the trail, which turned out not to be so gently sloping as it seemed going down. Needless to say, we had to stop a few times to let our hearts stop pounding.
We finally made it back to the top and enjoyed the last mile of downhill. Turns out we hiked about 6 miles. But it was all good.
As we were driving back down the road, my son called me and said he had cut his hand pretty badly and wasn't sure what to do. Right at that moment, my cell phone lost signal. Fortunately Teacher uses a different provider and her phone worked, so she dialed up my son and we talked through the incident. I suggested that maybe he could call his mother since she lives about 15 minutes away and we were up in the mountains, but Teacher went into mom mode and just said that we would head that way and take care of him. Turns out his mother didn't feel well and didn't come over.
So we did. Turned out to be a pretty minor cut, but since my son has never done manual labor and smashed his finger with a hammer or cut himself by working with his hands, he just sort of freaked out. I, being the good dad, looked his finger over and pronounced it a long ways from his heart and handed him some more bandaids. Then I told him tales of me getting fingers cut and mangled and having hide scraped off my knuckles and burning myself while teaching shop classes and carpentering and ranching and what not and even pointed out scars and mishapen fingernails. I regaled him with how long it took a quarter sized burn on my kneecap to heal after I knelt down on hot metal to inspect a weld a student had made. I'm not sure he was impressed with his dad's toughness.
I took Teacher home and we decided to cut the evening short as we were both pretty tired from the uphill hiking.
Today we got together with Nurse and a bunch of her people for one of those paint and bubbly classes. It also came about in a funny sort of way. Teacher and I talked earlier that we missed seeing and doing stuff with Nurse. Turns out that Nurse texted Teacher, instead of me (her best friend!) and asked if we wanted to do the painting thing. So, while hiking and all, we were trying to reserve our spot for the painting and I ended up being able to get a message through and had us lined up.
To make a long story even longer, we all gathered up at the paint place and had a fantastic time. As far as I know, in my 59 years on this planet, I have zero artist skills, but darned if I didn't paint a couple of koi fish swimming above a bed of rocks with some diseased looking lily pads floating above. I went ahead and gave the fish the ich, just so it would look realistic! (An aside, if I take my glasses off and look the painting from far away, it only looks half bad in an orange sort of way)
After I got home, I was showing the painting to my son and Teacher called. So I put her on speaker. We had a rollicking conversation for 20 or 30 minutes. After we all said goodnight and hung up (although is it hanging up now since you poke at the screen with your finger until the screen goes dark?) okay, after I poked her goodnight, my son looked me dead in the eyes and said, "You know dad, it wouldn't be weird if you told her you love her in front of me."
[This message edited by countrydirt at 3:16 AM, Sunday, February 5th]