Last Friday, as the sun disappeared south of the equator for the winter, I wished that I could follow it.  On that day, I reached my best-before-date of 68 years old.  The decrepitude is decreeping up on me.

I was allowed to choose a supper menu for my actual birthday meal, and decided on chicken schnitzel with fries and gravy.  We have schnitzel about once a month, but it’s usually pork schnitzel, purchased over at Eurofoods.  Chicken is a bit more labor to prepare, but nice to have once in a while.  Saturday night, when the son’s taste buds were more awake, we had bacon-wrapped filets with baked potatoes and fried zucchini.

Friday for lunch, I made myself another platter of nacho chips.  The son works a midnight shift and is done Saturday morning at 7 AM.  As sometimes happens, the joy of weekend freedom kept him awake.  Instead of going to bed around 10 AM, he was still awake when I finally rolled out about noon.  Since he doesn’t get Tex-Mex as often as I do, he suggested going to Taco Bell for lunch, while we were doing some shopping.  I should have been eating up leftovers to clean out the fridge, but couldn’t resist some face-time with him.

When we got home and admitted what we’d done, the wife asked if I’d forgotten what I’d had for lunch the day before.  I asked her if she’d forgotten what we’d planned for supper on Sunday, when the daughter, grandson and fiancée came over.  The stuff we picked up while we were out was for beef fajitas.  Tex-Mex three days in a row!  Am I happy?  Si, senor!  Muy bueno!

The loot presents I received on Sunday for my birthday included an Esso gift card that I can use for gas this coming weekend, and a Chapters bookstore gift card that will continue to come in handy anytime.  My grandson and his fiancée presented me with a lovely carved letter opener.  When I slid it out of its holder I thought that it was ivory, because I saw off-white, but when I turned it over, I saw amber/honey color, and realized it was banded agate.  The end of the hilt is a Scottish thistle, to commemorate my heritage.

The wife and I got me a coin for my birthday.  Since the Canadian Mint no longer stamps out pennies, they are offering a twenty-dollar, 99.99 fine, silver coin.  It has three Maple leaves as the penny did.  When I ordered it, I thought it was penny-sized, but when it arrived I found that it’s as big as a quarter.

We’re off to metro Detroit for the weekend.  I have to remember to add the “metro”, lest someone think I’m entering the war-zone.  I made a mis-turn one time, and wound up right down-town.  Ours were the only white faces, and none of the well-tanned ones looked too welcoming.  We stay at a motel 20 miles down I-75.  It’s down the street from a big Meijer store, where we plan to do some shopping, and right across the street from the Gibraltar Trade Center, a gigantic flea-market/food-court/display arena, where you can lose an afternoon, and we plan to.

Not that we need one, but the excuse for the trip is a knife show.  We’ve been down for spring shows several times, but this is the first time we’ve come down in the fall.  We’ve never had a problem getting our choice of room type.  It may have to do with college football, but when I reserved the room a week ago, all the ones with king-size beds were taken.  The wife and I have trouble fitting in a standard double after years of a king-size.  I once missed an exit in Pennsylvania, coming home from Charleston, and drove from Pittsburgh, almost to Buffalo, before we found an officially un-open motel with a vacancy at two in the morning, because of college football.

We’ve offered to take the grandson and his fiancée with us.  She politely declined because her job includes weekend work.  If we’d got a king room, we could have got a cot for him.  He’s spent a year out of high school thinking about a career.  He wondered about horticulture, working one summer at a greenhouse, but jobs in that area are scarce (aren’t they everywhere?), the pay is poor, and the work is seasonal.  He currently has a half-day job at a transport depot.

He has decided to go back to school for a year to train for welding.  His schedule will be; walk to school for two hours of class, bus to co-op placement for four hours of training, bus to part-time job for four hours of work, then bus home after a 12/14 hour day.  It’ll be a killer schedule but the job prospects for a welder are fairly good, and the pay is decent too.  His co-op hasn’t kicked in yet and he’s booked the evening off at work.  By the time you read this, we should be on our merry way to the Motor City.

His Mom had to put a rush on his passport.  We provided a copy of our reservation to justify the hurry.  All goes well, he will have picked it up at the local passport office Thursday afternoon.  As partial justification of an earlier claim, we will be taking some orphans back to the U. S. with us.  In just over two years I have accumulated 36 American quarters, 36 dimes, 25 nickels and eight rolls of pennies, for a total of $17.85.  The daughter is sending the grandson with a roll of quarters, six rolls of pennies and a handful of assorted change about half as large as mine.

We’ll wave at Chatham for KayJai as we pass.  We will enjoy the knife show on Saturday, do some shopping, including some beet sugar at Meijer’s Sunday morning, roam the flea market in the afternoon and just generally enjoy the trip and the change of routine and scenery.  Blog to you early next week.

11 thoughts on “Trippin’

  1. Sightsnbytes says:

    Have a happy birthday fellow blogger. My birthday was on the 17 of this month, and for one day, despite my diabetes, I ate what I wanted to. I paid for that the next few days, but since this is my last year of my fourth decade, I figured what the hell.

    I have to admit, I had to google ‘Schnitzel’, as I have not heard of this before. After looking at a few recipes for schnitzels, I think I shall try my hand at making some for supper soon. nice blog, sounds like your family has you spoiled


    • Archon's Den says:

      I’m baaack….And I’m spoooiiled!. Good luck, and good eating, on the schnitzel. You might have to turn your computer off for a week. I got so much good, blog-worthy stuff on the trip, that’s probably all I’ll talk about.


  2. Jim Wheeler says:

    The part of this post I found most interesting, Archon, was your grandson’s job situation. Our oldest granddaughter graduated high school last year and is still drifting, at first thinking to go to cosmetology school and then finding it not to her liking. Now she’s going to a community college in a sociology curriculum while being supported by her parents. What kind of job that might yield I don’t know, but my sense is that the prospects are not good.

    Welders, from what I read, are much in demand but the work is often dirty and physically demanding. I hope he finds a fit, but I realize finding an occupation is as much a challenge in the 21st century as it ever was, and maybe even more so now that machines and computers have taken over so much that humans used to do, especially in factories. Futures in the services industries are not inspiring.


    • Archon's Den says:

      Between robots and outsourcing, manufacturing jobs in North America have almost disappeared. Many service industries jobs are poor substitutes, but almost the only alternative. Sociology CAN lead to anything from Early Chidhood Education up to Savor the Folly’s remunerative Marriage Counseling. If the granddaughter puts her shoulder to it, it could work out.


  3. Rick says:

    Happy belated birthday. I hope you enjoy your trip state-side. 🙂


  4. Nicole says:

    Happy Birthday.


  5. kayjai says:

    Hey! Happy Birthday, Friend and thanks for the wave-by to Chatham for me! Hope you had a great time. I worked at the trades campus last year here at the college and you’re right, there are many welder job opportunities and the trades seem to be the way to go right now. Best of luck to your grandson…sounds like a killer schedule.


    • Archon's Den says:

      I’ve got a generation on you. My grandson, your oldest….we have to gently push them out of the comfortable nest. They may bounce a couple of times, but hopefully, eventually, they will learn to soar. It’s a good thing the grandson doesn’t party. He’ll need the weekends just to recuperate. Rough grind, but it should be worth it.


  6. whiteladyinthehood says:

    Well, I’m sorry I missed your post, Archon (wordpress leaves folks out of my reader at times and I never look at e-mail) so Happy, Happy Belated Birthday! Glad you enjoyed yourself and had a wonderful family to spend it with.


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