forty days. forty stories.
If you’re reading the stories on this website, you already know about Joolee’s many wonderful qualities, including her generous nature, kind heart and adventurous spirit. What you may not realize is how frugal she is when it comes to her material possessions. Those peace signs you sometimes see on her stuff suggest both a zen-like attitude and a tear! Well, I’m here to tell you about the dark side of that frugality.
My cautionary tale takes place a few years ago, when Joolee and I found ourselves visiting our respective siblings, Ray and Jeanette, in Alaska. We had some time on our hands, and neither of us had ever visited Hope, Alaska, a place we both wanted to see on the south side of Turnagain Arm. It turned out that Joolee had some friends staying there, so we decided a weekend trip with an overnight hike to Gull Rock would be fun.
The 5-mile hike was beautiful – small waterfalls flowing over moss covered rocks, sun rippling on the water in Turnagain Arm, snow covered mountains in the distance. Pretty much everything you’d expect during a great day in Alaska.
We set up camp at the aptly-named Gull Rock, had dinner, and settled in to enjoy the company and scenery. Eventually sleep beckoned despite the endless suns of Alaska’s summer nights. Joolee and I were sharing a tent, so we laid out our sleeping pads and bags and prepared to listen to the gulls squawk on the rocks.
Pfthhhpop. All of a sudden, I heard something from Joolee’s side of the tent. Pfthhhpop. My mind started to race – what did we have for dinner again? Green curry and rice? Joolee started to rustle around in her sleeping bag. Pfthhhpop. Pfthhhpop. Pfthhhpop. Should I say something? Be discreet and pretend nothing was happening? I didn’t smell anything but … pfthhhhhhhpoppoppoppop. I couldn’t stand it! I rolled over to check on Joolee. I didn’t want to be rude . . . pfthhhpop…pfthhhpop…pfthhhpop. Lo and behold, Joolee was eyeing me as if I was trying to hide something! Pfthhhpop.
We realized at the same time what we were hearing – Joolee’s sleeping pad!
Keeping in mind the motto, waste not, want not, Joolee had repaired a couple of rips in her sleeping pad with duct tape, but the tape wasn’t holding. Every time she moved, air would seep out of an air pocket and then the pocket would pop! We broke out in giggles that wouldn’t stop. Every time we started to get ourselves under control – pfthhhpop – and we’d be off again. I know I didn’t get much sleep that night, and I’m not sure how much Joolee or her friends could have gotten given all of the laughing and popping noises coming from our tent. Although I’ve had my share of sleepless nights since then, none of them have made me laugh as much as Joolee’s and my time on Gull Rock with the leaky sleeping pad.
Happy 40th Birthday, Joolee! You deserve 40+++ days of celebration and fun. I can’t wait to catch up soon.
Peace and love, Sharon