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Get ready to hurry up and wait

Burt's Eye View

“Wanna hike through the woods?”

“That’s a great idea,” my wife said. “Just give me a minute to gather up a couple things.”

“No!” I cried. “We’ll never get there.”

“Don’t be silly,” Terry said.

“Once upon a time, when we decided to do something, we got up and did it. No planning. No packing. No hesitation. What happened?”

“We got wiser.” She headed down the hall. “Did you take your meds?”

“Older, you mean.” I flipped open the daily pill box. “Of course I … (gulp) … did. Let’s go.”

“Almost ready.” Terry and a trail of T-shirts strolled out of the bedroom. “Which one should I wear?”

“What’s wrong with what you have on?”

“I don’t want you to be embarrassed.”

I rolled my eyes. “I really don’t care what the squirrels think.”

“Fine,” she snapped. “I’ll make some sandwiches while you change your shirt.”

“We’ll only be gone an hour.” I tugged at my T. “Hey, what’s wrong with what I’m wearing?”

“I hate it when squirrels snicker. Change it.” Terry grabbed a loaf of bread and the peanut butter. “Grab the Neosporin and some Band-Aids.”

I bristled. “I’m not planning on tripping over tree roots and skinning my knees.”

“You weren’t planning on that the last time, either.”

“That was because I wasn’t wearing the shoes with the orthotics in them.” I glanced down. “Um, I just remembered something. I’ll be right back.”

“Send a text to the kids so they know where we went,” she hollered down the hallway.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. We could have been halfway around the trail by now.”

Stupid tree roots. But the pond was mucky that other time I fell. Nuts. I bundled up spare shirts, socks and other things for both of us. I never would have done something so sensible when I was younger. I would have just gone hiking.

After a stop at the medicine cabinet, I lugged the load out to the kitchen. “Where are the backpacks?”

“What do we need backpacks for?”

“Sandwiches, bandages, spare clothes… Are you doing the dishes?”

“You don’t expect me to leave them in the sink, do you? They’ll grow fuzzies.”

“Not in an hour. Let’s go.” I paused at the door. “Right after I get the sunblock and bug spray.”

“And bottles of water. Granola bars. Hats. Sunglasses. Cellphones…”

I finally tossed our packs, a tent (just in case), flashlights and batteries in the car beside the big box of plates, bowls, cups and saucers. I scratched my head. “We’re taking tableware, too?”

“I need to drop those off at Debbie’s. It’s not too far out of our way.”

“This is ridiculous,” I grumbled. I steered toward town.

“Sweetheart,” Terry said. “You’re going the wrong way for Debbie. And for the park.”

“We’re out of poison ivy ointment.”

Finally, in barely the amount of time it would have taken to plan a trip across Eastern Europe, we arrived at the park. I heaved a sigh of relief. “At last.”

That’s when the rain began.

“Well, we can try again next week,” Terry said.

“No,” I snapped. “We’re staying. It takes us too long to get ready. Pass the sandwiches.”

• Take a trip with Cole at burtsyeview@tribtoday.com, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or @BurtonWCole on Twitter.

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