As it turned out driving across ten countries would prove to be more expensive than I had somehow assumed. That coupled with some unforeseen expenses with my house in Canada (they are always unforeseen) would have me needing to make some unwanted decisions.
I was sure I could make it from Canada to Southern Argentina without any pauses. However I was now in a cash crunch and could either look to earn money in Colombia, I looked and my best viable skill might be teaching English and the pay would have me working longer than I wanted to. I could open the throttle & zip on down to the tip over several months to return home sooner, this wasn’t how I wanted to travel.
Or I could return to Canada & work for the summer.
I very reluctantly choose option three, so reluctantly in fact that I miraculously developed extreme swelling in my right middle finger to the point where I would be unable to bend it for weeks. Doctor visits, x-rays, ultrasounds and a warning I may need plastic surgery & eight weeks recovery to fix the problem.
I instead turned to the good book... Louise Hay, you can heal your life. I seemed a build up in sudden anger would be the problem & a hefty dose of focused happiness would later relive the problem, miraculously, with no medicine or surgery required. Enter modern day healing.
No shit, check out the book. You'd be surprised what you can manifest and un-manifest internally.
The return home would have me moving into the basement of my Dad & girlfriends house, just where you want to be at thirty-five & have me feeling slightly deflated about my return to Canada. Whereby I would answer to the surprised faces of friends and family that I was only in town for “a good time and not a long time.”
My focus for being in Canada was strictly to make money & to make it in my least favorite way possible, good old fashioned hard work. Seriously if you know me you know I do enjoy work, however not, uggggggg, physical labor. Three days after touching down I would be back inside the walls of a friends company, CFI Foods lifting boxes for give or take eight hours a day. After months of fishing and hammock time,
the box lifting had me in bed by about 8pm for the first two weeks.
During my eighty-nine days in Canada I would earn money as a truck driver, box mover, log cutter, herbicide sprayer, delivery person, obstacle course judge & salesman. There would be nothing I would say no to. I know, I know what you are thinking. Boo fuking whooo, you work for three months a year and play for nine, you are whining to the wrong crowd. I know, wait it gets worse…
Falling back into my old life would be as easy as slipping a bottle of vodka to a recovered alcoholic. It was fun, messy and fast. Arriving on the cusp of summer, everyone was ready to check off their lists of good times before prepping for the winter season that loomed shortly ahead.
And I was all to happy to jump on board.
The party got started at a small town pizza-fest I had only discovered the year before, pizza party magic. A town with a population around NINE, explodes with roughly one hundred people one weekend a month. Everyone turns a blind eye to any real rules and the whole day is busting with booze pouring out of the saloon that dawned the heads of many a fated animal. Small town country music, hay rides, a firetruck fabricated with a hot tub and of course homemade pizza that takes about three hours to hit the table, enough time to get your drink on. I could write a whole post about the pizza party alone, but we haven’t even got the sombrero and penis yet.
Another hot summer Canadian day I was given the privilege of fishing with some of my favorite kids, I’m not naturally compelled by the likes of an age demographic that forever needs to be feed, entertained and go to the bathroom, wait they sound like they are thirty-five. However after several years of hanging out with KC and Vaughn, damnit if one doesn’t take a bit of a likening to endless questions about why everything is the way it is. Me, Dale, Keli, KC, Vaughn, Courtland and Jayden all crammed in the boat for a day of catching monster Walleye. Hot damn, some of the best fishing I’ve ever been part of.
I know I know when does the bad stuff happen and you hate being in Canada?
Well, I did run into some serious problems one day in an attempt to go canoeing with Angie. Despite having a really awesome white van big enough to fit a family size canoe, I could not find the paddles. We looked and called around and eventually it seemed they had been lent out some time ago and were awaiting return. So like any good traveler or anyone who grew up on a farm, you improvise. This would be my first ever day of broom canoeing, worked great and the river needed a good sweeping anyways.
Annual traditions abound & I would land at two entirely separate “BEER OLYMPICS”. One was at my sister where despite the fact I was meant to be a judge, we ended up partaking in the days events. After guzzling the way through an entire boat full of beer, some of that through coffee straws, I think the highlight of the day would be the broken window. After some drunk thought log toss through a window might be a good idea. They then turned what was the smashing of a shop window and quickly downplayed the event by then making it into a drive through window and would happily give out free beers and burgers to everyone that walked by, hahaha these are the kinds of people who wind up making life long friends in a drunk tank!
Lastly, having played slack softball with more or less the same people for something like ten years, I don’t think I’ve ever missed an August long weekend tournament. This year would be no different, I don’t think we won for best at softball, but my team sure as hell won for best drinkers. “I would like to accept the award of gift-basket of booze in my best drinking sombrero, and team mascot giant dildo. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart”.
The whole summer wrapped up with a bbq at my dads place that lasted well into the eleventh or maybe that was twentieth bottle of wine & the sweet gift of Nicaragua’s own (hand delivered by a real Nica-Chicka), Flor De Cana Rum.
If ever in my life I was dreading anything more and having the outcome be any better, this was that time. I’d like to thank everyone I saw over the summer, including my Grandpa Dallas, for making it amazing. Most importantly I’d like to thank life for being awesome.
It’s right back to Colombia and back to reality.