Living Retired — ‘Geiranger Norway’
By Gary Chalk
I am alone. But I am not lonely.
As I write, I am not lost for words. But I do struggle trying to find the right words. Norway affects me this way.
I am sitting at an outdoor cafe. It is lunchtime and I am sandwiched between magnificent mountains and a fabulous fjord. This corner of paradise is perhaps 500 feet from fjord to mountainside.
I am surrounded not by large television screens blasting todays ‘Breaking News’, but rather real Norway nature: people quietly kayaking; speeding in rigid inflatable boats; and hiking mountainside trails adjacent to tumbling waterfalls. Some couples rent tiny 2-person ‘talking cars’ — imagine a Smart car but driver and passenger seated one in front of each other. Plug in your iPhone for navigation and away you go exploring!
Jan is on an afternoon visit to Herdal Farm — Norway’s longest operating farm (350 years) high up in the mountains. Travelling Eagle Road her bus will maneuver 11 hairpin turns — stopping for photo ops, and Gravol tastings! She will pass through snow patches to reach the farm fields of apricots and goats. There, everyone will savour fresh goat … Read the rest here Read More
Living Retired — ‘Corny Comedy’
By Gary Chalk.
Do you enjoy Dad jokes? Here’s one: what did the janitor say when he came out of the closet? “Supplies!!!”
Our granddaughters — Daliyah, 10 years old, and Yasmina, 8 years old — love Dad jokes. “Why did the cookie go to the doctor? Because it was feeling crummy.”
Recently, Jan and I went with Daliyah and Yasmina to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto. Everything was going swimmingly well (sorry, I couldn’t pass that one up) until one point when we were surrounded by fish in aquariums that were not only right beside us but also overtop. This is when it happened…
Suddenly, a massive giant fish swam alongside us! This startled the bejeebers out of Jan. She grabbed my arm and screamed, “Gary, I didn’t see that one coming!”
“Jan, it was a huge hammerhead shark. He nailed his appearance.” (Well, at least I laughed.)
However, move over Dad jokes, Mom jokes have arrived. Here is what I mean…
It is quasi-dark in much of Ripley’s Aquarium and we were walking behind three women who were all wearing tall black leather stiletto-style high heels. It could not have been comfortable.
As we … Read the rest here Read More
Living Retired — ‘Tofu Taboo’
By Gary Chalk
“Jan, you tell me first.”
“Sorry Gary but this time you have to tell me first.”
“No come on Jan, you go first. I insist.”
Jan agreed, reluctantly, “Well, okay. But you have to promise not to do one of your menacing in-my-face fist pumps, like you did last week.”
It was Friday morning. The final weekly weigh-in for the weight loss challenge Jan and I joined ten weeks ago.
The last 70 days have been gruelling going without nutritious food like bread, red meat, and pop tarts. In their place I have been eating fresh vegetables, fruit, and fish. At night watching the Blue Jays on television I have preoccupied myself gnawing on 400-gram boxes of melba toast — not the melba toast, the carton because it has more flavour!
Early in my diet, Jan said, “Gary, you need to incorporate more light foods in your diet.” Faster than you could say Jenny Craig, I was out the door to buy Bud Light.
One evening I sat down for dinner and starred at the plate in front of me.
“Gary, for protein I made caramelized tofu lettuce wraps.”
Yuck! … Read the rest here Read More
Living Retired — ‘Snakebitten’
By Gary Chalk.
Friday morning, I was in my Jeep driving home from the store when Jan called.
Ring. Ring. Ring.
“Gary, where are you?”
“I’m coming home from the store. I picked up a snake.”
“OH MY GOSH GARY! There was a snake loose in the store and you actually picked it up?”
“Not really, Jan. When I said I picked up a snake I mean I bought a snake.”
Jan was stunned, “Lord love a duck!”
“No Dear, I didn’t buy a duck. I said I bought a snake. What would we do with a friggin duck?”
“Gary, so you’re telling me we need a friggin snake?”
“Yes Dear, I need a snake for our kitchen. I bought one that is 25-feet long.”
CLICK. Jan hung up.
Jan has a thing about snakes. She doesn’t like them. Now I’m not sure she even likes me.
Continuing my drive home I recalled a snake joke that always makes me laugh: a snake walked into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, “How did you do that?”
At home I grabbed the snake, walked into the kitchen, and turned the sink taps on.
“Jan, … Read the rest here Read More
Living Retired — ‘Talking Babble’
By Gary Chalk.
Jan and I are getting ready for our vacation to Norway. So, to make it easier to find our way around in the land of the rising sun, I suggested to Jan that we download the travel app called Babbel onto our iPhones.
“Dear, so we can communicate better with the locals in Norway let’s use Babbel.”
“Gary, what are you babbling about now? I am in the den. All I heard was something about communicating in Norway. If we can’t talk to each other when we are in the same house, how on earth do you expect us to be able to talk when we are cruising fjords?”
Instead of Babbel, I found a free translation site online. All you do is enter the English words you want translated into Norwegian, press enter, and just like that ‘Bob, er onkenlen din.’ (Translation: “Bob’s your uncle.”)
Jan and I decided what we really require are some of the basic — but very important phrases that any tourist would benefit having, most of all, us.
Soon, Jan and I developed a list of travel phrases that we knew we would be sure to … Read the rest here Read More