Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Perfect Day...from Jason

(I know, I know, I said this was for tomorrow...but after you read it you'll thank me for posting it today!)

* * * * *

I was nervous!
And apprehensive, but giddy with excitement over the prospects of taking Noelle snowshoeing.
She told me she loved to hike and was very passionate about the outdoors. These details were very encouraging. I had no doubt that she would love it!

The day began cold and blustery. I knew there would be some weather, which didn’t discourage me really. I was the proud owner of a large array of various jackets, hats, gaitors, and gloves that would easily combat any adverse weather. After my grandma’s warning, I didn’t want to take any chances in making sure Noelle was safe and warm. Noelle was in good hands!

We loaded the car and set out to the destination I had planned. We parked the car and, with some apprehension, began the task of layering, putting on the snowshoes, getting the poles the right length, and making sure everything was in order. There was no way this was going to go wrong!

I could tell that Noelle was a little nervous, not only with the idea of heading into the great unknown, but in her ability in learning how to snowshoe. I told her that with my 10 step program she would be an expert! So, with that, I had her take 10 steps…

Noelle picked it up very quickly and we were off to my secret destination, Jake's Love Shack. We walked around, and it seemed to elude me, but we finally found it. Apparently someone had discovered this old cowboy cabin and did some ‘renovations’ which included an old chewed up bed, some plexiglass windows, and a bit of insulation. My father had warned me about taking her there, fearing that she might get the wrong idea. I assured him that she, nor he, had anything to worry about.

Once there we went inside to find a rather cozy haven but little desire to explore the ‘love shack’ idea. We looked around, felt good that we had done it it’s due diligence and then headed out. Unbeknownst to Noelle, the hard part was ahead of us. I wanted this to be fun, but also worth remembering. Taking Noelle to Strawberry Rock, though bold and daring on my part, would give her something to talk about and definitely remember…

The route to Strawberry Rock was a little daunting, especially in the winter. The path was covered with logs, overgrowth, and brush that seemed to thwart every step we took. It was also fairly steep which made getting any kind of traction even more difficult especially in 4-5 feet of snow.

Can I just say how impressed I am with Noelle?! She proved to me that she is every bit the outdoor girl she said she was. She never stopped smiling nor did I hear her complain. In my opinion, girls like her are so rare…

We both fell many times, but the snow was powdery soft and we were so bundled up that it was actually fun! (This is Noelle...Jason is being kind. I don't think he fell once.)

Once at Strawberry Rock, a beautiful view was unveiled to us. We could see all of the Colorado Plateau, other than some ground level cloud cover, and the newly fallen blanket of snow made everything look celestial. It would have been absolutely magical, except for the wind.

I took Noelle down to a nearby rock to get out of it. We drank hot Irish Crème Hot Chocolate and ate a bit of a peach fruit bar. Here I was, with one of the most beautiful girls I’d ever known, in one of my favorite places in the world. I really did feel I was the luckiest guy on earth! There was only one thing left to do…

The way down proved to be more of a challenge and we seemed to tumble all the way down. (Me again...I tumbled, Jason ran.) It being very steep was a bit scary but Noelle took it in stride. Even after falling several times, all I heard from her was laughter and ‘please help me up’ which I rushed to do. I had more fun than I had ever had taking anyone snowshoeing! I couldn’t wait to go again!

Later that evening I finally realized what kind of toll this took on both of us. Noelle quickly settled into the couch with a down comforter and a roaring fire. This was my opportunity to show her how much she meant to me by fixing a meal which included smoked brisket, a garden salad, and steamed vegetables. All the while Noelle took a well-deserved nap. I couldn’t think of a more perfect day!

Until next time…


Mr. Thompson and Me said...

Noelle - are you making this up? Seriously...that "Boyfriend in a Box" that I gave you a few years ago was a funny idea but I think you are taking it to the next level.

Just kidding.

Jason - I hope you know (it sounds like you do) what a gem you found. I couldn't be happier for either of you.

Much deserved my friend - much deserved!

Benjamin said...

Jason, giddy is such a border-line word. Could you think of an alternate, more masculine sounding word?

Christina said...

Well, well...looks like you found a good one. ;))

Tiffany said...

...and he cooks?

Nicely done Jason. Nicely done.

adrienzgirl said...

This made my heart smile Noelle!

YEAH! A good one!

Jason said...

Ben, I'm actually a manly man so perhaps you're right...

How about 'slaphappy' with excitement? Or maybe 'fraught' would be a better word? No, I know, 'drunken'! It sounds like I need some help...any suggestions?

Karen said...

I don't want to jump any guns here but it sounds like there's a match made in heaven happening here! Love it all!

David G. Woolley said...


I don't think a manly man, if he's trying to show off his manly credentials, uses stuffy syntax like, "perhaps you're right". That's too royal, too senatorial, too metro-something. Manly talk is gritty. Gramarless. Earthy. Sweaty. A little competitive on the surface, but still gentele enough to have a hidden, noble soft center. Never urban. Never cosmopolitan. You know, guy talk.

Here's a bit of editing (I usually charge $12.00 per word, but for any friend of Noelle its free.)

Hey Ben,

(notice its not Dear Ben. Manly men never use warm, fuzzy greetings. You can use HEY like I did or choose a good rock-fisting, chest-bumping, high-fiving alternative like hey man, yo, freak, or maybe my man)

You wanna talk manly talk?

(use the question rather than the "perhaps" line in your opening sentence. Using the word "perhaps" shows far too much weakness while the question technique communicates a willingness to negotiate. It also intimates that you really have the right answer, despite any negotations to the contrary. Manly men are always right. Didn't you ever sit in the back seat when your Dad was lost, and your Mom was telling him to pull over and ask the pedestrian where you could gas up?)

Try slap-happy with excitement.

(DO. NOT. USE. A. QUESTION. MARK. IN. THE. SECOND. SENTENCE! Yo, freak. Watta you thinkin', my man? You're not talking to Ben in sentence number two. This is a note to Noelle. Be bold. Be fresh. You are publicly announcing to the world that you had a slap-happy great time. Jetison the question mark or there's gonna be some splannin' to do. Do you have any idea how a woman obsesses over a question mark? Was he really slap-happy? Was he just saying that? Did he really mean it? I think you should call Noelle and clear things up right now.)

I'm fraugthing, Dude!

(we've been over the question mark thing in sentence number two, so I won't rehash it here in sentence three. But single quote marks, Jason? Really? Manly men use the full quotes. No girly punctuation. And fraught isn't in the Manly Man lexicon. I'll send you my dog eared copy. I've been studying up. Its really a fascinating read. Also, make a note: Manly men make up words and think they are actually Webster approved. Look it up. You won't find fraughting anywhere. The real test of your manliness: Did you think it was a word?)

Totally drunken.

(drunken wasn't a bad word choice, but drop the single quote marks. Argh! They're girly-man, dude, totally girly-man)

Preciate the advice, but Noelle gives me everything I need.

(Manly men breathe colloqial mountain lingo like it was air. Preciate this. Preciate that. Preciate everything ya done for me. They also let their girl know she's the center of their universe. Don't ask the rest of us for help or you just might get an earful. You tell Noelle that you listen to her, and you'll fight anyone else who tries to tell you how to write your comments on your blog post. You ready to throw down?)

Now read your unedited version, follwed by the edited version and then tell me you don't owe me $12.00 per word and say it with a straight face.

Here's the unedtied version (read it out loud. It sinks in a lot better).

Ben, I'm actually a manly man so perhaps you're right...

How about 'slaphappy' with excitement? Or maybe 'fraught' would be a better word? No, I know, 'drunken'! It sounds like I need some help...any suggestions?

Now read the edited version outloud:

Hey Ben,

You wanna talk manly talk? Try slap-happy with excitement. I'm fraugthing, Dude! Totally drunken. Preciate the advice, but Noelle gives me everything I need.

I'll send you the bill.

Mr. Thompson and Me said...

Once again, my EFF Woolley is on a roll. (Thanks for making me laugh out loud Woolley!)

Jason, new friend to new friend - I would like to give your some advice. From this point forward DO NOT heed the advice of another single man. DO. NOT. DO. IT. Unless of course, you want to stay single.

And although Ben is married...he must be forgetting that he was pretty "giddy" when he met his woman.

Maybe we should talk to Ed. I wonder how he would word it?

Carrie said...

Jason, you are one lucky guy.

Tia said...

Jason, you are one lucky guy!!

David G. Woolley said...


You are one lucky guy!

(Exclamation points aren't usually manly man lingo, but in this case they are)

David G. Woolley said...

...and borrowing someone else's comment is totally girly-manish. Sheesh. I can't believe I fell for that one. Page 247 of the manly man lexicon, section titled: Notes on Manly Man Etiquette. What was I thinking?

Benjamin said...

Jason. Meet Mr. Woolley, He has enough spare time on his hands to ramble on inexplicably. Holy moly, he could have published that post! Most of the married men out there have experienced giddiness at some point, however it is better admitted to in hind-sight. MR. Thompson is spot-on, advice from a single man is sketchy, at best. Have a good y'all!

David G. Woolley said...

Yo Ben, My man.

I did post it. Right here at the Nice Blog, because it matters.

And I don't have ANY spare time. Two minutes, hit the PUBLISH YOUR COMMENTS button and I'm off to other stuff. That's why I freaking don't spell anything right. Who has time to re-read when they're flying over the keybaord like Chekov at the helm of the enterprize? Hyper speed baby, hyper speed. Out of respect for Noelle, I capitalize the words that you're supposed to capitalize. Now go back to your plants and let me sell some words. Today is discount day. $8.50 per. You want some? They'll be back up to full price tomorrow morning. I charge word and a half on weekends.

I really do make a living selling words. This is what I'm working on today:

—London, December 13th, 1837
The first day of Christmas

“I have a debt to pay.”

I untied my scarf, unbuttoned my winter coat and quietly voiced my request without letting the anger at my present financial troubles boil over in the presence of my editing partner, Jacob Marley, or any of the typesetters and inkers in the printing office of Bentley Publishing House, home of the weekly London Dispatch. Marley would consider shameful the pecuniary details of so much lavish entertaining. Months of parties for London’s privileged did not fall within his monetary rules governing wise social investment feted as my guests were with Cornish lamb, Liverpool hams, London roasted chestnuts, imported French wines, fancy biscuits, coach and driver, riverboat dancing on the Thames, perfumes for the ladies, and hats for the gentlemen. It was an imprudent debt without the guarantee of a shilling in return.

I said, “I’ve come up short.”

“And a Merry Christmas to you as well, Charles.” Marley raised an eyebrow of certain disdain over my social expenses and my disregard for his holiday cheer.

“I’ll have none of your nonsense this winter morning. Entertaining is good for business. They buy what we print.”

“For two shillings? That’s hardly a sound investment.”

“What am I to do? I have no means to cover this encumbrance.”

“You’re a serialist at this newspaper. An editor in this house, no less.” Marley lowered his pen and stepped away from his writing table. “You have what? Three novels to your credit and—

“Two, Jacob. Oliver Twist didn’t do nearly as well as Pickwick Papers.”

“Balderdash. They were both a smashing success. Neither has gone out of print and I doubt they ever will, sir. Have you nothing to show for it?”

I shook my head, unable to bear the sound of my own voice attesting to such folly. What had I done? I leaned in closer. “My creditors have turned the debt over. Will you have me end up like my father?”

John Dickens, my father, a well-paid clerk in the Navy Pay Office disposed to entertaining nobles and elites well beyond his means, was jailed at Marshalsea Debtors Prison with my mother and seven siblings while I at twelve years was removed from private studies at William Giles School in Chatham and sent to labor for my family’s freedom at Blacking Warehouse on old Hungerford Stairs. It was a crazy, tumble-down old house abutting the river. Its wainscoted rooms, rotten floors, broken-down staircase, the dirt and decay of the place, and the old gray rats swarming down in the cellars, and the sound of their squeaking and scuffling coming up the stairs at all times, rise up visibly before me, as if I were there again. My work was to cover the pots of paste-blacking shoe polish and tie them round with a string.

“Ball and chain, Charles.”

What an odd thing for Marley to say. “They don’t use those anymore.”

Gotta back at it...

Jason said...

To David: Dude, that was freaken funny man! Can't pay you 'cause Noelle gives me all I need.

To Ben & Mr. Thompson and Me: Noted...advice from single guys is bad!

To Carrie, Tia, & David: Yep, you couldn't be more right, I truly am the lucky one! There is no question about that!!.

Sandra said...

Really? Working on that I mean. Really? Because, oh never mind.

David G. Woolley said...


And I thought you knew more about publishing and stuff.

What was six pages is becomming 300 pages. What was a short story is morphing into a novel. Go, Chekov, Go!

David G. Woolley said...

Time to bid farewell.

Due to my extremely hectic schedule and the demands caring full time for someone who needs some full-time care, I need to limit my computer time to other stuff beyond blogging. So, sadly, I am bidding farewell to my blogger friends and such. Goodbye Tia, Sandray, Mr. T and Me, Ben, Tiffany, Noelle, and the newly adopted Jason.

I'll check in ever so infrequently, but somthing's gotta give. I think this digitally surfing thing is near the top of the list.

You all have yourselves a Merry, Merry Christmas, and I'll see you sometime in January. And pray that the world doesn't fall apart before then with Obummer in the Oval Office! That's what I wish for you for the new year. One day without any news of how the government is wrecking our country. Just one.

Just me said...
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Just me said...
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