Whooah, we’re halfway there,
Whoa-oh livin’ on a prayer,
Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear,
Whoa-oh, livin’ on a prayer …
~ Livin’ on a Prayer, Jon Bon Jovi
I grew up listening to my big sister blast this song from our bedroom every morning as she squeezed into her skin tight jeans and teased her hair to lengths that no hair should ever go. And somewhere along the line, long after my sis had grown out of the jeans and had let her hair fall naturally and had switched her musical tastes from the New Jersey boys to the Lenon-esque English classics, I kept listening.
Livin’ on a Prayer has long been the anthem playing around in my head. I’ve sung it while climbing the Grouse Grind, running up hills in hill training, halfway through a race, and even during rough times while working a contract at a summer camp in Maine. I know it’s technically a love song, but the chorus is the perfect motivation to keep me going, to get me up a hill, to get me across the finish line, no matter what that line may be. And this past weekend, my singing voice was drowned out (some, like Mario, say “thankfully”) by the sparkling, white-toothed, perfect hair, real Jon Bon Jovi.
On the way to the concert, via the LRT, I thought for sure I was gonna be getting a Tom Jones like concert. It seemed as though every second woman on the train had taken a rewind pill jet setting them back to the ’80s with metallic tights, sky high bangs, low-cut tops, and even one trying to bring back the half top! I thought for sure they’d be throwing their underwear at the stage by the end of the night, but I’m guessing they were probably too tanked by then to have the energy to do so, let alone lift their heads up from the toilet bowls!
I was quite surprised at how much ol’ Jonny boy was moving around, given that he had torn a calf muscle in the concert before. At one point, he even announced that he was “working harder than a one-legged sprinter!” Now that’s dedication.
When Mario gifted me the trip to Edmonton for my birthday, most people I told couldn’t believe how excited I was. My oldest brother’s initial reaction was the perfect summation for pretty much everyone else’s reactions: “Why?” And rightfully so, I mean, Edmonton isn’t really known for its great attractions. I’m not much of a mall shopper, in fact I pretty much hate all malls, so West Edmonton Mall does nothing for me. And despite growing up on a farm, I am not a country girl, so the canola fields, the moo cows, the oil wells, Stetsons and cowboy boots again do nothing for me. But Edmonton does have something that no other city has: My auntie and uncle.
When I first met my Uncle Herb (he’s my step dad’s brother in law) I was about four years old, and I fell in love with him instantly. On that first meeting, he told me to go and pack my stuff, he and my Auntie Elsie were taking me home with them. And, like most other four years old would have, I took him to heart and went up the stairs, grabbed a suitcase, came down and announced, “I’m ready to go!” I’m sure you can imagine my heartbreak when my moms wouldn’t let me. There may have been tears … a lot of tears.
My Auntie Elsie and Uncle Herb are now in their late 80s and early 90s respectively and they are still so sharp and witty and just downright hilarious. I’ve been telling Mario for almost a year now that we have to go and visit them, and he made it happen without me having any idea. I heart him!
In addition to visiting with my auntie and uncle, we also went to the lake for a visit with my mom’s cousin and her family.
Remember how I said I am not a country girl, well I am also not a camping kind a girl. So when Mario told me that we were going to the cabin at the lake, I imagined the kind of wooden cabin you see in movies with a porch and a rocking chair and an indoor kitchen and showers and hot water and so on – not bugs and ants and wiener roasting and dirt under the nails kind of camping. But that’s exactly what it was! Most girls would have run, but not me, no way. I embraced the camping scene … it probably helped that there was actually a trailer and NOT a tent for me to sleep in 😉
I surprisingly had a really good time. I loved catching up with family I rarely get to see, and I loved trying an assortment of new things. But that doesn’t mean that I’m a convert to camping, oh no. I will not be going on anymore camping trips any time soon and, dear darling Husband of mine, I definitely will NOT be indulging in an afternoon wiener roast either. So don’t you even try!