Posted in Dogs, Humor

My 10 Best Friends

I did it. I finally did it. I made a list of my 10 best friends.

People used to ask me, who my best friends were? I thought long, and I thought hard. I finally made a list of the 10, I felt meant the most to me.

? Why 10. Why not 5? Having 10 best friends means that you’ll end up forgetting their names at some point in time. It’s kind of like Grandparents who need to remember their grandchildren, or great grandchildren. “Isn’t that Lucy?” No, that was the cat. “Why would my children, and their children breed like rabbits? Be fruitful and multiply. It just makes their names harder to remember. I am not a Spring Chicken anymore!”

All right. Point made. I’ll reduce the number to 5, but there is going to be some sad faces out there at the awards ceremony!

“I’ve called you all together”, said like Hercule Poirot, “To reveal the name of the murderer”. I’m glad we have someone like him around, because I never could second guess Agatha Christie! I wonder, if it would have helped coming from a country where they read from right to left? Then, I would have known who the killer was, at the start of the book!

The room was filled with potential “Besties”. Some even had Shriner’s hats on. The red  ones with the yellow tassels. Others had actually been at the party next door, but whey they ran out of Vodka, I suddenly had more potential “Best Friends”!

There was a man with a Blond on his knee. “I actually like her red, high-heel shoes the best”, said while feeling along the polished lines of the left shoe. The Blond looked bored, but waited to see, if she had made it on the list.

The chips and dip were plentiful, but I feared they wouldn’t last out the whole day. I thought, I might begin losing participants, if that were to happen.

I chose to start the event, not wanting to risk a lessening of the crowd.

“I want you all to know that this list will not involve money, or inheritance”. The crowd began to murmur. “It won’t be in any alphabetical order, with the 3rd, then the 2nd then the first being named”. Some people started to exit their seats.

I chose these 5 from a potential 10, who have meant the most in my life. It is not based upon former relationships, more chairs in motion, nor present ones, some noise and shouts for a doctor! – A woman having fainted at the thought!

The chips had run out, leaving the dip behind. Those that would use their fingers, did, while those who were Chip-purists, didn’t. The crowd thinned even more. Even the Shriners started to look bored, if that indeed were possible?

The man with the Blond left the party without her. He was still caressing her left shoe. “Let me tell you about my life”, he said, as they walked out of the room into eternity!

The Blond had gotten bored even more, but seemed to eye one of the Shriners, twirling a ring of keys, with one of them saying BMW to her.

I looked out upon a sea of empty chairs. One lone soul was left. I addressed myself to him, My true first, and last friend on this planet.

“Although, I have known other dogs before you,…….

Posted in Learning

Poetry Gives Me a Headache

I never understood, how people could write poetry

They were always rhyming things, which kept me waiting for the last word in the sentence. Cat, bat, hat…

Give me a break!

Then they went on to prose. No rhyming. Just words. I found myself stuck on poetry, when it really was prose. I waited for sat, pat, rat.

They just never came. Then I thought of Haiku. Which made me think of poetry, which made me think of rhyming, which made me think of prose, which led me to Haiku.

Haiku gives me a headache. I thought of three phrases,  which didn’t necessarily have to rhyme. They were prose-like, but not prose.

I had to start counting, then thinking about what I was counting, then write what the counting would tell me about, what the Haiku wanted me to say.

I really started to long for mat, for my cat, with the hat

But I started getting a headache when my mat cat’s hat didn’t add up to a Haiku

Poetry gives me a headache…

 

Posted in Dogs

A Dog’s Agenda

Out in the morning dew. One long shadow dog, on a short leash.

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He is aware of my presence right now, but that won’t last for long.

Soon there will be things to sniff, and other important dog things to do.

The morning, the day is just beginning. Soon it will be time for breakfast and a nap. A dog’s agenda is a nice thing to think about in an otherwise busy day.

He allowed me one more photo, before he started some serious leash biting and tail wagging.

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He usually doesn’t want to cooperate, but allowed me one photo, before he went back to his puppy ways once again.

Thanks so much for your attention……

 

Posted in Humor

Like East Meeting West

I was feeling rather bipolar today. Neither her nor there. Not everyone though agreed with my self-diagnosis.

You are just a bit on the difficult side. Rather obtuse. Extremely indifferent. Not bipolar.

But I am, you see. I have been so my whole life. Not everyone has seen it though. I get these moods, you see. Some better than others. First Good then Bad.

You are just Sensitive and Thoughtful. Nothing more than that.

I begged to disagree. No one seemed to understand me. It was like arguing with yourself, but never winning.

My reflection in the mirror disagreed. Mother always liked me the best you know?

I know. Oh, how I know…..

 

Posted in Stories - The Girl Next Door

Camping with Dad (4) (The Girl Next Door)

I don’t know what had gotten into Dad? He never was like this before. He usually spends his time in the garage, fixing or breaking things as the mood hits him, but camping?

I never thought Mom would go along with his idea. She has too many worries to trust us out in the wilderness all alone with bears and wolverines and the like!

She insisted on us taking the family tent. “Cosmic Rays”. “Cosmic Rays come from, well the Cosmos, and they are as dangerous as Communism!” I wondered if our neighbors, who had built themselves a concrete-lined fallout shelter, were aware of this new fact? I only thought it was because of some confused Russian who was talking on a Red telephone, and had leaned on an equally largish button, sending missiles over to us? My Mom failed with that argument. “Jack we don’t need a fallout shelter, think of the spider webs!” If there hadn’t been spider webs, we’d probably be sitting in our bunker, every evening after watching TV.

“The tent will protect you from Hooligans as well!” I’m not sure, but I would think that those Hooligans would be able to find the tent entrance and pummel us, if of course that is what Hooligans usually do, but Dad wouldn’t buy any of her arguments. “My Dad and I never slept in tents”, which he said with such conviction that I thought Mom would blow a fuse, or throw a towel in the air. She liked those kind of fits of temper to show us that she meant business when it happened.

My parents just stood across from each other, staring and making faces as if they had blown up too many balloons. You know how that is? When you finally figure out how to blow, and hold at the same time, it feels like you are going to faint, or your cheeks will explode! Well, they didn’t say anything else on the subject, but each of them probably thought that they’d won that argument! Dad might even have thrown the tent in the trunk for good measure, but didn’t intend to use it, no matter what!

We were only driving to the local forest, about 5 miles away. We could have walked home, if we had been attacked by Hooligans or, Cosmic Rays, but this was to be a Father-Son weekend, so nothing could go wrong with that, or could it?

Then the next problem showed up.

“Going away! Camping! Are you daft? I’ve made plans for us, BIG PLANS. You just can’t go away on some hair-brained scheme to commune with the squirrels! How could you do this to me?”

Yeah. How could I do this to her? How was I to know that her BIG PLANS were to be done on this weekend? Sheesh! Women! Now I had to convince Dad that we should stay home instead.

“No”, said Dad. “No and No. We are going camping this weekend. Period. I’m not giving your Mother the satisfaction of thinking that she won this round! No. You’ll just have to play with your little friend next weekend instead”.

My little friend was a Woman! Didn’t he see that? I guess when you get married and all that icky stuff, you forget about how girls make you crazy, and you want them to do so! I can’t explain it any other way, and it boggles the mind to do so. I wanted to please her for whatever reason, or no reason at all, but then…Gosh…how she is making me crazy!

We loaded up the car with more than we could use in a month of Sundays, and set off on our weekend together. My Father told me about how he and his Dad did this kind of thing all the time, and not just to get away from his Mom. At least that is what he said, but it seems like he began to doubt his Father’s intentions for camping so often. “We went fishing and I threw rocks, and we camped out under the stars, yep that’s how it was with my Dad and I.” It sounded like my Father and Grandpa really had some good times together, but they didn’t seem to see eye to eye on so much these days. Grandpa used a lot of his time being old and all, and my Father used his time hiding in the garage.

As we drove to the campground, I swear, I saw a familiar looking bike following us on the road. “Dad, isn’t that….? Oh, never mind. I just thought I saw something behind us”. “Mirages only occur in the desert”, said my Father. “Maybe you’ve gotten heat stroke, or something?” said while laughing, and staring intently ahead toward the looming forest.

We talked about where we should camp, but couldn’t quite agree. “Dad look over here. There is a fireplace and everything!”

“No. We are roughing it, as he looked out of the front windshield, while sitting on the front seat sipping a cola. We need to feel like we are way out in the Boonies! Over there”, said while pointing to a rather bushy spot with rocks strewn about. “There is the perfect place for us”.

I joked, and said that “we had left our Machetes at home”, but Dad only tuned the radio to the next station humming as he did so. “Do you hear that song there? That was popular when your Mother and I first went out with each other. It’s a funny thing, but….” he abruptly turned off the radio and slammed the door. “Enough of that. Now it’s time to camp!”

We cleared an area that had few stones and leaves lying about, then laid out our sleeping bags. “Now it is time to relax”, said my Father, and promptly took out a book on Fly-Fishing and proceeded to read. “You go out exploring or something, and we’ll meet again around dinnertime. You can’t imagine how canned beans taste in the great outdoors!”

I kicked a few stones, and started to walk into the forest. It sure was dark between the trees. I almost became afraid that some crazed Canadian would jump out from behind one of them and.. “BOOOO” – You Ninny! Really scared you, didn’t I?” It was her. My friend with ideas. “How did you find us?”

“It’s not like you were secretive about driving away, with things falling off the top of the car, and your Mother yelling something about Cosmic Rays are really Commies in Disguise! I kept an eye on you, and tried to keep up as much as possible. Your Father didn’t notice me at all, not even when he swerved to avoid hitting that squirrel, and darn near caused me to drive my poor bike into the ditch. What were you talking about anyway?”

“Oh, he was telling me about what he did when he was young, but his soft drink spilled on his pants, and when he tried to stop things from going bad, that darn squirrel ran out in front of us. I sure hope it has 9 lives like cats do?”

“Cats do not have 9 lives, OK. They are immortal and come from the 10th planet in the Solar System.”she said with a lot of conviction in her voice.

Wait a minute. We only have 9, with Pluto being the last one”.

I said 10! The last planet is invisible, or else we would be driven crazy with the thought of immortal Cat lives. Now you’ve gotten me way off the subject at hand. We need to coordinate some things, before your Father starts wondering where you are.”

I liked, how she knew exactly what she was doing, but not why I needed to be involved in her plans? I couldn’t figure out why, I was the one, who needed to be high up in trees, and dangling out of windows, when she was perfectly able to do so herself? I’d like to think that I meant something special to her, and wasn’t just her patsy, with me doing the dangerous things, so she would avoid getting hurt herself! It didn’t matter to me, because I thought that she was perhaps the grooviest girl, I had ever met, and probably the only one who ever spoke to me for more than 10 minutes at a time!

“Look here Poindexter, here is what we need to do. After it gets dark and you’ve eaten and all, you need to meet me here at 10 o’clock. The next most important thing is to bring me some dinner, because I had to hurry up in order to follow you 2, which didn’t leave me time to get any food for my trip. I only managed to throw a blanket on the back of the bike for my bed.”

I started to wonder, how she was going to keep warm at night with only a measly blanket, and was about to suggest that we snuggle up close to each other in order to….

“Where have you gotten to my boy?” Have you scared all of the squirrels away with your rock throwing?”

Dagnabbit! It was my Father.

“Shhh. Don’t say that you’ve seen me, OK? I’ll be in a world of hurt, if he finds me here with you. I’ll just make like a tree, you know?”

I looked at her like I did, but I didn’t.

“Look here Einstein, “Make like a tree….and leaf…” It’s a joke. Gees Louise don’t you ever get out, and live life at all? You are darn lucky that we are such good friends, otherwise you’d just be a nobody once again….”

She’s right, you know. I probably would be just a nobody, if……..

Continued in part 5.

 

 

Posted in Humor

An Elephant for Your Thoughts

I thought about you today, just not as much as before.

Were there Elephants? What kind of a question is that? Elephant thoughts?

Sometimes I think a lot about you. Small thoughts, like mice or, squirrels. Not all thoughts have to be Elephants, you know?

*Maybe, I don’t mean as much to you anymore? Maybe, you are losing interest in me?

That is silly, and you know it. If I threw Elephants around every day, then you’d get bored with me. What! You’d be saying, ” Another Elephant! How unoriginal!”

*No, No I wouldn’t! I never get tired of Elephants. I’m sure, I wouldn’t!

Perhaps, I’ve spoiled you. We should have started gradually, with Otters and Foxes. Then we could have branched out to Monkeys and Flying Squirrels. We should have stayed there for a while, and just toyed with the idea of Elephants. It is better to toy with Elephants than to go whole Hog with them!

If I thought, you’d feel better with Elephants, then by all means let’s do so.

*I have been feeling a bit under the weather today, and an Elephant or two might just do the trick!

Elephants it is then. Let there be Elephants. An Elephant for your thoughts!

Pardon my trunk. It seems to have a mind of its own…….

 

 

Posted in Denmark, Travel

In Two Weeks

In just 2 weeks we will have met, if we were to meet that is.

I see it 2 ways:

  1. we do meet
  2. we didn’t meet

Number 3 might involve aliens, so we’ll just put that on on the back-burner for now.

  1. The meeting occurred at the Airport. I stood there with a bouquet of your favorite Danish Weeds in my hand, and a big sign saying, “Wilkommen til Danmark”.

A: You were all teary-eyed and almost lost your (bag of Québecian) cookies right then and there. I said that my wife was waiting in the car, which meant that excessive, outward shows of emotion were not advised. The electric baggage robot took your bag, and we mounted the monorail together. The parking lot was miles away, which meant that our first few minutes together would be above the clouds, higher than the birds would fly. When we descended once again, the weeds had turned to summer flowers, and you had developed starry eyes, and rosy cheeks. I was somebody else, and my wife told me to “Stop that!” when we finally reached the parking lot.

B: The plane arrived on time. I greeted you in the true ways of the Danish Alps, by shaking your hand upside-down, stomping my feet, and telling you how your eyes looked exactly like a high mountain stream that had dried up in the middle of summer. My friends readied their Camelo poop, and threw it upon you, as you exited the Airport Building. No better welcome could you expect from a Dane, or a Non-Dane, let me tell you Bob!

2. We didn’t meet

A: The plane seemed to be delayed. I asked at the counter when the connecting flight from Copenhagen was due to arrive. There would be no connecting flight today, I was told. It was kind of like being left standing alone at the altar. With a bouquet of flowers in my hand, and a heavy stone on my heart. Time to tell the family that my mail-order bride from Québec had gotten cold feet at the last moment, and wouldn’t be coming to the Kingdom of Denmark after all. I untied the cans from the back of the car, and rubbed out the sign saying, The Future Mr and Mrs….

There were tears in my eyes, but I knew that life could be cruel from time to time. But why did it always seem to happen to me???

B: You met Mr Right when you were changing planes in Iceland. He spoke of Belly Dancing, and you of wanting a change. The both of you went off together, hand in hand, into the Midnight Sun, never to be heard from again……

At least you Mother was happy that it happened in Iceland….

Posted in Stories - The Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door

She drives me crazy. She does! Oh, how she does!

She gets me into trouble, then laughs about it.

She follows me, because she has plans, you know?

I want her to kiss me, but I want to know when it is coming.

My mother has warned me about her, but do I listen?

Did I mention about being kissed? It seems to be on my mind as of late.

She has a dog, then no dog.

She has a suitcase, but doesn’t open it.

She is in my mind, all the time and everywhere.

She drives me crazy, and I want her to.

I want…..

Posted in Stories - The Girl Next Door

A Not Quite Kiss – 3 (The Girl Next Door)

There I was, ready to be kissed by the girl of my dreams. Eyes closed, lips puckered, who wouldn’t want to be in my place?

“What are you doing over there, you Ninny?” she said with impatience in her voice. “Come over here to the window, and see what I’ve discovered.”

I didn’t need to come over there, as I had discovered before her, that I had become somebody’s fool, waiting for a kiss, but getting yelled at instead. She had asked me, “Have you ever been kissed?” She let me into her house, and led me up the stairs to her room. Honestly, I didn’t know what women really wanted? I thought, I’d hit my lucky number, or found a pot of gold, but there were no leprechauns for me this time. Actually, I felt like leaving this situation without a word, going back to my otherwise boring, but predictable lifestyle. There was though, something that fascinated me about her, and I couldn’t let her go, just yet.

“Look here” she said and pointed at the view outside her bedroom window. “It’s not very far at all, you see?”

She was right. It was not very far, if you were into breaking your neck, or worse, but what did it have to do with me?

“Listen here, that is the blind side of your house, there is just your window visible.” True, true, but what did that get me, I wondered aloud?

“Aren’t you following me at all? We could go from my house to yours, without anyone knowing about it.” “It would be our own secret passage, allowing us to be together without anyone else to bother us, or tell us who we should play with.”

I admit, it was sounding better all the time, but since I didn’t own wings, or my own Tarzan vine, I still couldn’t see just how I was going to swing from one side to another.

“Look here”, she said, but didn’t wait for me to reply, before she started to crawl underneath her bed throwing out odd shoes, and dusty boxes without watching out for who, or what might have been  in the way of flying objects. “Here it is. Have a look!”

There it was, sure as shooting, but what was I looking at? “I don’t understand why I need to explain everything to you? It should be as clear as mud”. It was. Most indeedily so, it was as clear as mud. “Look her Poindexter, all we need to do, is to take these poles that I found here and there, and tie them together. Viola. Your own ladder to freedom”.

I don’t know if it was just me, or if anyone else saw the flaw in her otherwise well thought out plan. It looked like it would fall apart, even before it was assembled. “Uh, just where did you say you found these things?”

“Look, haven’t you been listening to me? Here and there!” She said with growing impatience.

“You mean that you’ve stolen them, here and there?”I replied rather exasperatingly

“Steal, borrow, use for a specific cause, are all parts of the same thing. I did not steal them, otherwise someone would have discovered them missing, and that large dog would have been howling, attracting the wrong kind of attention! But, that dog had found a soup bone, somewhere, at the same time that someone had found these poles, which weren’t doing any good just lying about collecting dust. Sooner or later they would have been thrown away, costing money to do so.”

She had a way of making me believe that she had done the most honorable thing, by salvaging those poles from an otherwise useless end. Some lucky dog had gotten a soup bone, the former owner of those poles would have more room to move around in, and the trash man would be less tired at the end of his work day, not having to drag some wooden poles to his truck. I thought about all of those things, while I was thinking about her hair again, why I didn’t get that kiss, and when my mother would start yelling about where I was!

We set about to assemble the bits and pieces, tossing the things that didn’t fit into one pile, and the things, like soup bones, that didn’t have anything to do with her plan, into another. When we were done, I cautiously began to see, just how long this contraption really was, finally sticking it out of her bedroom window in the direction of mine.

When the last stretch through her window was accomplished, I suddenly realized how far the ground was from here.

“Look” she said, “Don’t you remember how we climbed up that large tree? With nothing other than a few nails holding our weight? Think how much sturdier this is going to be. I’d bet, a small elephant could walk on our ladder, with his trunk wrapped around a pink parasol, while hopping along the ladder towards your room. He wouldn’t be able to fit through the window of course, forcing him to tippy toe back again, gracefully hopping back into my bedroom.”

OK. I was following her elephant story, word for word, but I still felt that the elephant had a better chance of gaining access to her room, than I did.

“What if I’ve made it all the way over to you, but your window is locked, or something? There I would be, without a pink parasol thinking of how far the ground was beginning to look again.” said while looking at the ground below.

“It’s beginning to sound as if you don’t trust me? After all we’ve been through together, you’d let your doubts replace your wanting to visit me in my room, sitting on my bed, waiting to give you a well-deserved kiss of accomplishment! Is that what you want?”

I have to admit, that after the word kiss, I lost track of the rest of the conversation, and just began to stare at her all starry-eyed, and found myself saying, “OK. I’m ready to give it a try!”

Who just said those words? I looked around to see, if anyone else but me had uttered those words, but no. It was me. I started to climb along the ladder, inch by inch, while she began suddenly to prod me even faster. “Hurry up you Ninny, before anyone discovers, what we are up to.”

I wish, I had taken a few of those soup bones to toss toward my Mother, if she suddenly found out what we were up to, hoping that she would find someplace to give them a good chew, while dreaming of entertaining guests, or whatever housewives thought about??

After what seemed like an eternity, I reached the other side. I should have shouted like an Indian on the warpath, which is what they always did in the movies, but I was so relieved at having made it over, without breaking my neck, that I just enjoyed the sense of accomplishment quietly to myself.

“Hey Tarzan! Hurry up while the ladder lasts, open the window, and get inside.”

Uh, my window was unfortunately locked from the inside, and not even a flea’s ear could fit through the cracks on the side. “Flies and mosquitoes”, my Mother would say. She’d been after my Father for some time now to fix the insect screens, and put them on the windows, keeping those nasty things where they belong, outside! “Your Father”, she would start to say, looking intently at me, as if I knew some sort of secret way of getting him to do some of those most important things around the house, but I didn’t you see. The house was tighter than a drum, with only sunlight being allowed in through the windows. I longed for fresh air, but didn’t dare open my window for fear of my Mother storming into my room, slamming the window, and giving me a reprimand that could have been heard in the next county, if not farther.

“Hurry up!”, she said waking me up from my thoughts once again. “The ladder is starting to bend.”

Sure enough, the ladder was starting to bend, …downwards…I hurried back, as quickly as possible thinking of how those things seemed to fall apart behind me, as if in those old movies. You know where King Kong had taken the ladder, swinging the sailors off, letting them fall to their death in the canyon far below. Why didn’t the hero ever get killed? Why was it always the B-actors who met their demise? Why did the hero get the girl in the end? I decided to hurry back in order to be the hero, and get the girl in the end, before his Mother discovered that the ambulance costed money to transport the silly boob, influenced by that Girl next door to do crazy things, over to the hospital, not being able to find my Father in the garage, where he normally would have been hiding.

“There, you made it.” she said as the gorilla took the last shreds of the ladder, throwing them into the chasm below.

“That was a close call, you Ninny.”

I’m not sure exactly why, but I was getting used to being called a Ninny. She was aware of my existence, after all!

“Now look at the mess below us! Who is going to clean that up?”

We both knew who that somebody was, and he was on the way to do so. We had proved that it could be done, and who knows? Maybe I will be welcomed into her Garden of Eden another time. That name was just in my head, you know, because if Mom knew, I was talking about the Bible in a less than holy way, she’d have to wash my mouth out with soap. “It was a matter of principal”, she’d say.

I was just happy that I made it back in one piece, and that my friend with the wavy hair and such was still talking to me. Who knows? She might have blamed me, if I had fallen, then I would have had to maintain radio silence so as not to disclose, whose idea it had been in the first place. I’m  glad that it turned out the way that it did all the same.

As she was closing her front door behind me, she replied, “Not so bad for a Ninny like you”.

“You are lucky to have a friend like me, saving your skinny butt and all. Darn lucky!”

It’s true, I was darn lucky….

 

 

 

Posted in Life

Waiting for a Train

All day waiting. I haven’t seen a train yet. Sitting here in the cold, waiting.

Once in a while, I went up to the tracks to have a look. First left, then right. No sign of movement. No trains in sight.

I wonder, if I tried to think Indian, something would happen?

I placed my ear upon the track, and waited to hear something.

“He’s trying to commit suicide” Someone yelled behind me.

A mass of arms and hands grabbed me by my shoulders, and whisked me away into a waiting car. “The Lord would never forgive you, if you were killed like that!”

The car swerved and the wheels squealed. Motorists and bicyclists  that didn’t get out of the way, risked coming to Kingdom Come, tout de suite. I guess, if you have to go, the best thing is to have company on the trip?

The car stopped in front of a nondescript warehouse on the edge of town. “Get out, you!” It seems that Jesus had a Bad Boy side to him, that I never realized? I always thought that there was love and kindness, instead of roughhousing those, who have strayed from the chosen path?

I was rushed inside by my rescuers, thugs, or whatever they wished to be called? I don’t know just what, but I felt that my life was beginning to pass before my eyes.

“Fall down upon your knees, and beg forgiveness!” – a voice called out of the darkness. Silence reigned. I looked around, but found that I was the only one who had the privilege of being “saved” in this manner.

“I was just waiting for a train, when….” I wasn’t allowed to continue this explanation, when I was yanked to my feet once again. “We are all waiting for a train, my son, but we never know just when it will arrive!”

Just my thoughts exactly. A blindfold was then placed upon my eyes, with a great deal of noise occurring about the same time.

“Take him to” – with the destination being muffled, I found myself being hustled back into a waiting car, with nary a word or whisper.

“Out!” “And don’t let us catch you even considering to take your God-given right of life again, or….”

I was waiting for a train. It seemed like, it never was going to come. I considered the Indian approach, putting my ear on the track, waiting for the vibrations….

I was waiting for a train.

I was waiting for a company of Angels to accompany me on my journey.

It’s best, not to journey alone……