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can we afford to eat here?

July 13, 2012

Yesterday I completed my 66th orbit around the sun, then started year 67 with a day full of

the greatest of indulgences.  I did as little as possible.  I spent the morning on the net and on

the phone with my ace buddy Wade, an accomplished troublemaker now giving grief to

Chicago authorities.


In the afternoon, Jude and I ferried over to Campbell River, where she took a test to renew

her traffic control license.  Three years ago, our community sent us and two others to a

certification course so we could flag traffic as electric poles finally reached Granite Bay.


It saved our neighbourhood a lot of money.  Since then, we have flagged at several events

for Emergency Social Services, the group that would organize evacuations from forest fires,

floods and such.  The license has been of great value to us on our little island.  I renewed

mine last week.


So as Jude tested, I wandered around downtown looking for a restaurant suitable for a

birthday banquet.  I saw several possibilities: a first-rate Thai place, a new Japanese joint,

a splashy bistro with a deck overlooking the ocean.


I bought a snack box at KFC and sat down in a park to weigh my options.  A group of folks

nearby were singing and playing guitars.  One young lady had a voice similar to Maria

Muldaur’s.  Regrettably, the band broke up after a few tunes.  I took out my Shambhala

Pocket Classic The Way of Myth.


It’s an interview of Joseph Campbell by Fraser Boa.  Campbell was a scholar who wrote

extensively about religion and myth.  He’s best known for his recommendation to “follow

your bliss”.  My favourite quote of his, however, is “I don’t have to have faith, I have ex-



So there I was on a lovely day sitting in a lovely park waiting for my lovely sweetie as I

reacquainted myself with Campbell.  It was particularly apt because — with the upcoming

fall elections in the U.S. — truth and accuracy will be crushed by spin, cherry-picking and

horse shit both general and specific.


Candidates will become archetypes, either gods or devils.  They will glow with the light of

salvation or suck you into a black hole of despair.


As I savoured Campbell’s insights, I thought about how vital it is to know who you want to

be with and where you want to be.  As soon as I spotted Jude, I knew where I wanted to

have my birthday meal:

Here.  Home.  We just made the 3:30 p.m. ferry, sprinting the last 50 metres.  We bought steaks,

veggies, watermelon and gelato and headed to our back deck.  I grilled while Jude cut day lilies

for the table bouquet. We listened to Tumbleweed Connection and let the rest of the world swirl

away from us.


We completed our perfect evening as only a couple deeply in love can.  We watched double

episodes of Doctor Who.

  1. July 13, 2012 1:16 pm

    That sounds so very lovely! What a sweet post.

    • July 14, 2012 10:38 am

      Thanks, Tiffany. How are you holding up in the drought?

  2. July 17, 2012 7:34 am

    Hey Allen,
    I’m inspired by how happy you and Jude are together. What is your secret of success? I see a lot of gratitude for each other–no doubt that’s part of it. Also, happy birthday, it looks good on you.

    • July 18, 2012 9:40 am

      Hi, Julie. I tell Jude most every day that I appreciate what she does for us. She gets up at 5 a.m. to prepare for a job that doesn’t particularly appreciate her immense talents. After supper, we settle in on the couch and I massage her feet to dissipate the tension accumulated from said job. She dozes off, then awakens for Stewart/Colbert. During the commercials, we watch snippets of Jeopardy!, which I recorded earlier. Also, we try not to give each other any shit. Thank you for asking.

  3. July 25, 2012 4:43 pm

    I especially like the “don’t give each other any shit” part. That seems easy enough.


    • July 26, 2012 10:41 am

      It seems easy enough on e-paper. No human bond can be friction free, so it’s the resolution of the differences which first drew us together that enrich our lives.

  4. July 29, 2012 10:36 am

    Happy Belated Birthday Allen, I would say that you had a wonderful birthday with the one you love and where you really wanted to be!

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