Friday, February 8, 2013

Togetherness ...

... is what I said to my former apartment superintendents a couple of decades ago when I saw them side by side in the building lobby painting the mailboxes.  What I meant as a joke got a sour grimace.  Turns out these two bears weren't getting along together very well at that particular moment in space and time.  Growly.  Snarly.  At each other.  They may have been working side by side but they definitely weren't enjoying it or feeling very close to each other.

Since that incident, the word "togetherness" has become a shared catchwork between my ever-lovin', ever sufferin' den mate, Papa Bear, and myself.

Togetherness ...

... is more than just a catchword.  A shared joke.  In marriage, togetherness is the glue that holds the couple together, making things work better, greasing the wheels.


Papa Bear and I recently had a shared "togetherness" experience.

We had travelled to North Myrtle Beach, SC after Papa Bear became unemployed - again.  We've been there before and have enjoyed the slower pace, the sounds of the surf, the sun, the difference in climate from southern Ontario to southern U.S.

Papa Bear has also enjoyed surfing the net and finding web cams.  One he has particularly enjoyed watching is earth cam myrtle beach, sc.  So when we decided to go to Myrtle Beach, we determined to find the web cam and, if possible, phone our daughters while standing in front of it.

Thus began a weeklong search for the web cam.  We had many delightful experiences looking for it in all the wrong places - like North Myrtle Beach near the pier.  The beach was delightful, but alack! and alas! no sign of a boardwalk like the cam shows.  The boardwalk was our  first visual cue.  The flags the second.  But where was it?  We thought it was in front of some hotels.  We were wrong.  We thought it was in North Myrtle beach, where we were.  Wrong, again.

We had all but given up hope of ever finding the boardwalk and thus the web cam when I opened up a tourist brochure and Voila! there was a picture of the boardwalk complete with flags.  BUT the brochure didn't say where it was.  So I went on the world wide web and cued in the words:  "myrtle beach" and "boardwalk".  Voila! again.  I struck oil - or gold - or whatever.

Thus, we resurrected the great "earth cam search" once again (maybe this would make a good scenario for the Amazing Race, eh?  Looking for a web cam is kind of like looking for a needle in a haystack - without the haystack.)

 With Papa Bear at the wheel, we started off again.  This time to Myrtle Beach.  Yes.  You've read right.  There is a North Myrtle Beach and a Myrtle Beach, SC.  Kind of like my own Kitchener-Waterloo - twin cities which run into each other.  We still had some fun as Papa Bear kept turning to the beach too early.  But it was still fun.  The sunset was the palest pink that evening.  Like an artist sweeping the sand, sky and ocean with the purest of pastels.

And then we found it!  The Boardwalk.  Right in the heart of tourist trap Myrtle Beach!  We wandered down to the boardwalk.  Craning our necks to find the earth cam.  And then Papa Bear cried out!  There are the flags!  We're in the area.  So we really started to look around in earnest, craning our necks, looking up.

 It was Papa Bear who found the location, i.e. the flags, and then the earth cam.

 Hint:  if you're looking for the cam in my pictures, look up in the middle of the green building and there it is!  Small.  But an ever-seeing eye.  Virtually unnoticed by most walkers-by.

We whipped out our cell phone and called first one daughter then the other and then the other in turn (three in total).  Papa Bear instructed each one how to access the earth cam.  He's talking.  I'm waving - like an idiot - at a green building.  Passers by who had no idea a web cam was even in the area gave me some really interesting looks.  We had a ball talking with each daughter in turn as they watched us from several thousand miles away.  It was the highlight of our trip.  I would rate it as one of the best experiences of my recent history.

Togetherness.  Each of us has certain skill sets.  It took both our skill sets to find it.  Togetherness.  I wouldn't want to travel through life without it - or Papa Bear, my togetherness companion in this journey of life.

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