Hi guys! It’s HeatherPride from Riding the Short Bus here to entertain you while Camille goes on bloggy break. I’m so excited to have the run of the house while she’s out. (Just don’t tell her who drank her Diet Dr. Pepper, okay? We all know I’ll never be invited back if she finds out…)
AoOL was one of the first blogs I started reading regularly when I joined the blogosphere last summer. I was intrigued by her story right away because I was *this* close to living her life at one time. No, this has nothing to do with some sordid past between Poor Kyle and I. Let me explain…
A long, long time ago, before I ever knew there was a Skipper (my husband) in my future, there was a certain Canadian that entered my life. We’ll call him….Poor Bud. Poor Bud and I dated for about a year back in 2000/2001 and we got pretty serious about the immigration thing. So you see, every time I read Camille’s blog about being an American living the Canadian life, I think – wow, that was almost me!
Poor Bud lived in Edmonton, Alberta, and I visited there quite a few times during that year. For the most part I found it pretty easy to forget I was even in another country. I mean, our people look very similar. The stores look the same….until you spy the ketchup flavored potato chips. (seriously? ew.) The roads look the same….until you pass the road sign in kilometers. The t.v. shows are similar….until the weatherman comes on screen in June and announces the day’s high of 23. (Celsius! Duh!) It was always interesting to me how the little stuff can throw you off in a big way.
One thing that struck me about Canadians is that while their winter weather is a real downer (I don’t really think I could ever have been expected to live in a place where you have to PLUG IN your car to keep it alive in the winter!), once the weather warms up I have never seen a more active group of people! EVERYONE is outside. ATVs are buzzing, hikers are strapping on backpacks and lacing their boots, and everywhere you look people are playing sports, running, cycling….I’ve never seen anything like it.
Which brings us to the day Poor Bud tried to kill me.
With a mountain bike.
It was Memorial Day weekend and I was up in Alberta. The weather was beautiful, and Poor Bud brought out his mountain bike and suggested we take a ride. I protested, since I hadn’t actually ridden on a bike since I got my driver’s license waaaaaay back in [mumble, mumble], but Poor Bud fairly insisted that I hop on his roommate’s bike to go for an “easy ride.” Not wanting to be a spoil sport, I grudgingly obliged. I hopped on the bike and by the time I got to the end of the block I was riding pretty smoothly. Feeling proud of myself, I pedaled fast to keep up with Poor Bud, who was already a block ahead of me.
I knew I was in trouble when we came to an intersection with no handicapped ramp and Poor Bud’s bike leaped into the air over the curb and landed smoothly on the sidewalk on the other side.
“You can do that, can’t you?” he called over his shoulder.
I ran my front tire directly into the curb and my bike went one way while my body went the other. Fuming, I dusted myself off and reminded Poor Bud that it had been several years since my last biking adventure, and would he mind taking it a bit easy from here on out? “No problem,” he said. “Sore-y. We’ll go to the park. There aren’t any curbs there.”
“Fine,” I huffed.
We made our way to the park where there was a nice, paved bike trail awaiting us. Finally! Just as I settled in at a nice pace, Poor Bud flew off the trail to the left and appeared to jump his bike right over the edge of a cliff! Scrambling, I pedaled over as fast as I could go, trying to remember all my first aid training and the ins and outs of CPR as I approached the side of the cliff my boyfriend had just tumbled over. I reached the edge and peered down the tangled growth of a steep, steep hillside. And what did I see at the bottom? Why, Poor Bud of course, standing there and encouraging me to come on down myself! What happened next I’ll spare you the details of, but let’s just say that it involved me flying over the handle bars and landing flat on my back on top of a tree trunk, having the first and only asthma attack of my life, and spending the next three days picking weeds and sticks out of my teeth and hair.
So to Camille? I salute you! I salute your status as odd American out! I salute your willingness to live outside your Mother Country! I salute your bravery and your adaptability!
But if Poor Kyle ever comes home with a mountain bike?
Girl, you best be on the first Air Canada flight back to Phoenix! Trust me.
***From Camille: Thanks HP! Isn’t she a hoot, you guys? I highly recommend her blog; it’s a place where humour happens on a daily basis. Go visit her, and tell her I sent you!***