Too Young To Be Widowed.

A rather calm bear snapped, in 2002.

Dear Melissa.

You know I will always blame you when I’m feeling challenged by the Dimple. You introduced us. He’s winding me up, dropping arresting bombs about camp – now that we’re on the road and there’s No Going Back. At our farewell family dinner in Auckland, he said, ‘Angela will have to drive around with a chainsaw in the boot, incase a tree falls across the road.’ Lordy, a chainsaw? The only dangerous bit of machinery I’ve operated recently is my electric toothbrush. Can’t I just drive over the trunk in our SUV? Oh, and he casually mentioned there’s a low security prison at the entrance to camp, in Jackson State Forest, and prisoners do escape. Excellent, and I was worried there wouldn’t be any interesting people around.

‘Camp’s created a few widows’, he said on the plane with a cocky grin. To shed a few pounds, the giant Redwoods often send lethal branches – aptly called Widow Makers – to the forest floor and a few have been speared to death by them, including two cousins from one family. A few years back some guys were digging a monster hole when a retaining wall caved in, completely burying one guy. He might have survived except another bloke tried to shovel him out with his big yellow digger and accidentally scooped his legs off! Where is he taking me? The music from the Omen movies is stuck on replay in my head.

The Dimple relishes the idea of taking me out of my comfort zone. But it’s me, Lady Unpractical. I ruin pots because I put potatoes on then get distracted waxing my legs in the bedroom. Remember when you were waiting for me in the car once and came in to find me painting my toenails? Utterly sidetracked. Am I going to be woodsy enough to survive? I don’t know how to use a compass. Or axe. Or freakin’ chainsaw. And I’m far too young to become a widow. Basically, this is your fault: the adventure, the danger, the excitement and the fear. When you get annoyed that I’m a twelve-hour plane ride away then I think you know you’ve only got yourself to blame.

Love Angela


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