Sandy Watiff Off-Season
Waffle Breakfast Bickering
Trees: the Forrest and the Woods
Facing the Challenge
Travel Portrait 18
Sandy Watiff Off-Season: Part 6
August 25, 2008 [listen]
I. Waffle Breakfast Bickering
I awakened as morning broke into daylight. Eddie was fetally
cocooned in his blanket. I grabbed my cell phone to check
the weather report that was text-messaged to me.
"Sunny and eighty-four degrees--a good day to go to
the forest. I'll be able to fulfill Eddie's vacation request
early. Then I'll be able to spend the remaining time doing
what I want to do. I've got to get going."
"No need to get him out of bed just yet. I'll start
making breakfast: waffles. By the time he wakes up, breakfast
will be ready."
I went into the dining room and located the travel guide.
"Ooh, a national park--plenty of trees... We're going
there. Forty miles? Perfect!"
I went into the kitchen and whipped up some waffle batter.
I grabbed from the storage container and plugged in the
electric waffle iron. While the iron heated, I started making
Eddie stumbled out of bed and asked for me.
"I'm in the kitchen, getting breakfast ready."
"I want cereal."
"I'm making waffles."
"I want cereal."
"You can have cereal--one bowl, then waffles."
"Sit down at the counter, now."
"Where are we going today?"
"To the forest. Here's the cereal."
"Where's the spoon?"
"Wait a minute. I've got to start the waffles."
"I think I want to draw."
"What about the cereal?"
"Never mind. I think I'll wait for the waffles...
Can I have a plum?"
I took a deep breath. I heard a click. When I looked in
the direction of the waffle iron, I noticed that the green
light was indicating readiness to make waffles.
"Butter spray. A third cup of batter into the center.
Close lid. Get plum. Peel off sticker and wash."
"Here, Eddie. The plum is on the counter for you to
"I'm over here, daddy, drawing."
"I'm in the kitchen, over here, making breakfast,
son. I want to eat, get dressed, and go to the forest!"
Eddie rushed into the kitchen to get the plum. I heard
the iron "click." I decided to wait some seconds
more before plating and buttering the waffle because
this was the first one.
"Dahdee, can I have something to drink?"
"In the fridge-sippy-cup.
"Can you put more ade in the cup?"
"Sure. Let me get this before the waffle gets too
toasted... Onto the plate... Butter... One-third cup of
batter... Lid down... Sippy-cup... Ade... There you go.
Breakfast will be ready in ten minutes."
"Can I bring my drawing pad in here?"
"You'll have to sit at the counter, Eddie."
II. Trees: the Forest and the Woods
We finished eating breakfast, showered, and got dressed
within an hour. I almost forgot the sunscreen. Eddie decided
that he would wait to put the lotion on when we arrived
at the forest. I decided to put my lotion on now. We were
buckling our seatbelts within ten minutes.
When we arrived at the forest, as agreed, Eddie asked for
and applied the emergency sunscreen, which was stored
in the glove compartment..
"Don't forget your ears!"
While I waited, I got out of the car, went around to the
hatchback, and retrieved my digital camera. I checked the
batteries and settings.
Once Eddie and I completed our minor tasks, we proceeded
to the forest, walking on the path, which consisted of a
field on the left and the woods on the right.
After about a tenth of a mile, there was an entrance sign.
"Here we go!"
Eddie walked in front, leading the way. There were signs
along the path with tidbits of information and instruction.
Being the hour was close to lunchtime, the forest animals
seemed not to be out-and-about I explained to Eddie.
"Except for group of birds up there rustling in the
trees. Can you see them up there, son?"
I pointed my camera upwards, hoping to get a quick snapshot.
I made a performance of the situation by taking several
pictures--of nothing but branches.
"C'mon daddy," Eddie said disappointed. "Let's
I felt a sting on my arm that made me stop before I continued
down the path.
"Hey. What was that?"
"Daddy, c'mon already."
"I'm moving. I'm moving. Keep going."
"Ow. Ow! Wow!!!"
I pointed my camera to my arm. There was an insect perched
on my left elbow. Could this be the infamous black
"Daddy, there's a sign over there. Let's read."
"Oh-oh, okay, son," I said, remembering the warning
I received way back when I was arranging accommodations
for the vacation.
"Uh, daddy. The sign, please."
"Um. I'll be right there."
I noticed that the birds had stopped chirping. Had they
gone to lunch as well? Eddie seemed not to be bothered by
the flies, so I decided that I should not be distracted
by a couple of stings.
We trampled onward along the path, finding sticks to throw.
Eddie found a neato tree formation--created by nature, or
by a human?
"Ow. Hey! This is no kidding!!"
"I'm no kid, daddy."
"I'm not talking about you, son. I'm being bitten."
"There is no wildlife out here, daddy."
"Sorry about that son. I didn't mean to disappoint,
but I have been bitten. Ow!"
"By what! What!! I don't see anything!!!"
I pointed my camera to my elbow, and took a picture.
"Mosquito, daddy," Eddie teased.
"No, wildlife in the form of a fly, son."
"Shoo fly, shoo," exclaimed Eddie ecstatically
as the insects began to swarm all around me, but not around
Why? Why! Why?!
Then I remembered: the sunscreen. The sunscreen I used
big no no. The sunscreen (I applied to my arms,
legs, and face) was a father's day gift from my mother--a
cologne set dubbed eL-Minx as fashioned by the new
all-purpose/all-occasion designer [HYNT]-Hynnt: Help
Yourself in No Time by Hynnt. [The actual cologne is
musky with a peppermint finish. The bottle is catty-ferocious.]
Hynnt's motto for the cologne, eL-Minx, is "Smell
good by staying within your elements.")
"But I'm in the woods," I cried out.
"What are you saying, daddy?"
"Scented as opposed to unscented."
"I'm feeling a little dizzy, son. We're gonna hafta
turn back," I determined after swatting the side of
my face, boxing my ear.
"Do we hafta, dahdee?"
Dehumanized, the black flies swarm, causing me to engage
in sectarian self-flagellation.
Eddie and I walked briskly--sites unseen. The pesky surround
sound from the teeming flies harmonized the eerie tumult--a
perilous feeding frenzy that left me bloodied, yet not scarred
Having a hand in this infliction by smearing myself with
the flagrant solar salve, I remain haunted by the experience
recalled--with birds tweeting in my head.
I have away flown from the forest, cast out from the woods--flawed.