Two Years of Beers

Our local microbrewery celebrated it’s second birthday yesterday. My son and I were first in line yesterday to get in. (When they opened two years ago, I was second in line.) I enjoy going to the Trading Post every couple of weeks. It’s a great atmosphere where I can meet up with friends and share a story or two. Yesterday was no different.

Being the first to arrive meant I could sit anywhere I wanted. So I chose a spot upstairs, as we usually do. Their Birthday beer was especially tasty. And I ended up having a couple. Lots of photos and social media sharing went on with everyone inside.

We were also given a special Two Year Stein to take home afterwards. Once I was home, my wife decided that she wanted to go out for a beer as well. A couple hours later, I returned to the Trading Post and had another beer.

As the sun began to go down, some live music started up. My wife and I enjoyed our date, but knew it was time to head home. We had to pick up our daughter from work and make dinner. My time at the brewery came to an end. Good thing as well. Three tall beers throughout the afternoon hit me pretty good considering I skipped lunch.

Having a fun day seeing friends, followed by a nice drink with my wife was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Some good memories have been had at this place over the past two years. I hope for many more to come.

Grilled

Yesterday I was hanging out with an old friend of mine. We have been friends for over 35 years. No matter what happens in our lives- we have always remained in contact. We have had many adventures together, dating back to our childhood. 

The first day we met was in Edmonton when his family moved into the neighborhood.  I went over to say hello and introduce myself. Within minutes, we were playing together.  We ended up going down his sloped driveway in a little wooden wagon. We rolled down towards the road where the moving truck was parked blocking the driveway. Two little boys had almost no control over the wagon. Just before we hit the truck, my brand new best friend of five minutes “steered” the wagon with the little metal bar, thus forcing the front wheels to turn sideways.  The momentum of the wagon initiated a sudden crash as we flipped over onto the concrete driveway.  Scraped and bruised we ended our first day together.  A friendship that has never faltered. 

Over the years, we had bicycle accidents together. We attended Boy Scouts.  We played Colecovision for hours.  We made Lego spaceships and had sleepovers.  We got caught by my mother as we recorded on a cassette a song we sang about our penises. We went tubing down a river and he taught me how to play D&D. He was in university and I came to visit. On that trip, we got “arrested” by mall cops for smoking weed in an underground parking lot. He was in my wedding party.  He’s The Godfather of our eldest child. Through it all, we’ve been great friends.  I gave him a nickname when we were in grade 1 that he is still called by my wife and I:

Willbum Pukus.


Last night our adventures didn’t stop.  What should have been a nice dinner garnered some excitement right before the meal was served.  I broke one of my cardinal rules but since we’ve been friends forever, I didn’t think anything of it. 

“Never touch another man’s grill.” 


I have adhered to this rule all my life.  I never BBQ at a friend’s place, even if I am asked to.  You see each grill is a bit different.  There are hot spots and cold spots.  There are places on the grill that meat sticks to or slides gently off.  My grill is off limits to everyone but me.  Even my wife won’t use it.  But last night, my lifelong best friend asked me to attend to the grilling of the pork ribs.

Everything was going smoothly until I was about to take the meat off the grill.  Suddenly a grease fire took over.  I shut all of the burners off and moved the meat to the edges.  My friend in all of his wisdom acted quickly and dumped his beer into the grill.  A huge cloud of smoke went up into the air.  With a sudden crash, the bottom of the grill fell out.


More flames remained stuck on the bottom dancing wildly under the BBQ. My friend grabbed my beer and dumped it on.  This time the flames went out.  Grease fire and beer- not the smartest plan.  I had no idea we were going to his place for dinner and a show.  

My friend and I have had numerous adventures and we have lived to tell the tales. We are only ten days apart in age (I’m older-therefore wiser). Our sons have become good friends because they are very close in age. It’s a lifelong friendship that is passing on for another generation.  Many more stories to tell.

Assuming we don’t burn the place down in the process.

Seeing old friends.

  
The memories of my late teens and early twenties were kind of a mash up of crazy adventures and avoiding trouble.  It’s odd to look back on your life and see how much you’ve changed and far you’ve gotten.  Sometimes all it takes is a flash from the past to bring clarity into your journey.  Last night I met up with an old friend whom I hadn’t seen in about 15 years.  He lives 2000 kilometers away from me now, but our schedules allowed for an evening of some one-on-one time.

There was the usual pleasantries & greetings- talking about life and what we were up to.  Then, the conversation went to discussing our different paths in life since the last time we saw each other.  We tried to figure out why we stopped hanging out, but couldn’t pinpoint the exact reason. Was it school? Was it friends? Perhaps it was moving to another area? Maybe it was a combination of all of these things.  

We spoke about the hardships, the challenges, the choices, the successes and failures we each endured over the past few years.  No judgements being passed, no pissing matches, and above all, no bullshit.

Stalking sounds so harsh…

We also spoke about old friends, trying to figure out what they were doing now.  Almost like gossip, but more just sharing the good things that were happening to those we once knew.  

The strange thing is, as we spoke, it felt like we were close friends who still spoke everyday.  (We are in constant contact through Facebook, but that’s no replacement for a face to face meet up.)  We laughed and joked like we did years ago.  At one point we said the same sentence at the same time- as if our brains reached into the backs of our minds and pulled from our memories our old personalities.  

It was real and it was fun.  I look forward to seeing him again, and hopefully it doesn’t take another fifteen years.