Happy Last Friday – Fred

Last Friday was pretty special, and since it’s still making me happy a week later, I figured I needed to write about it and share it here.

My Last Friday

The gorgeous library - with free tea!

The gorgeous library – with free tea!

I started the day by waking up in a 400+ year old monastery in Ecuador, not quite wanting to get out of bed as the fire in the room had gone out overnight and it was a little chilly.  But it was the last day of my trip in this beautiful area, and there was free time built into the Chautaqua‘s schedule to take advantage of it.  So while curling up with a book in the library would have been nice, I also wanted to get out and see some more of the countryside by foot.

The downside to this plan was that, despite being 7-weeks post foot surgery, I still needed to be pretty cautious and not overdo it.  So… when a big group of folks headed off on one more ambitious hike, I decided to opt for the one that was more of a “walk” than hike. Thus, at the fork in the road just a minute or so into the hike, they headed left up the hill, and I headed right, towards a flat lane that would lead me on a pretty easy walk through the countryside.

For a brief moment, I started feeling bad for myself. Getting over this foot surgery has been harder than expected. I really love challenging hikes, and I was feeling really bad about missing out both on a more challenging hike and getting to spend even more time with all these new friends. =(



Luckily, that funk didn’t last long. Less than a minute after splitting off from the other group, I acquired a chaperone. We didn’t speak the same language, but it became clear that he wanted to spend time walking with me and was quite happy to become my chaperone and caretaker as we meandered down a small lane in a tiny town in Ecuador. I named him Fred.

Fred walked with me. Sometimes by my side, ready to stand between me and any other critters that might try to upset me along our journey. (Lest you get too worried about my safety, the biggest threat we encountered was a puppy who barked at us for a while as we passed its house, and Fred made sure the puppy didn’t get too close.)

Fred, on alert!

Fred, on alert!

When it was just the two of us, though, he would often run a little bit ahead, sniff around, and wait for me to catch up.

With Fred, I walked past beautiful vistas,

adorable cows,



and stopped to notice the small butterflies resting in the grass along the way.


Then as we reached the end of the road, Fred seemed to understand me perfectly when I said, “Okay, Fred! Time to turn around and go back!”

End of the road!

End of the road!

About halfway back, after Fred and I had said our goodbyes to the cows, I could hear a bit of a commotion around the corner. Fred ran ahead to check it out, and when I rounded the bend, I realized it was the group of hikers that I had been so disappointed not to be able to hike with. Their trail was coming down a steep hill and depositing them right in the lane I was walking along, perfectly timed so Fred and I could walk back to the lovely hacienda with everyone else. Which we did, with me introducing everyone to Fred along the way.

My hike walk wasn’t the one I started the day wishing I could have, but I think it ended being exactly the one that I needed. In large part thanks to Fred. And that little guy is still making me happy a week later.


What’s making you happy this Friday?

17 comments to Happy Last Friday – Fred

  • It’s been a rough last two weeks for a variety of reasons (the election being only one). But a few things are shining through:

    – finals just finished. While I have grading and planning for next term, I’m really looking forward to a well-deserved break

    – we are expecting our second baby in April, and I think I’ve been feeling the baby start to move

    – our two year old has been so much fun. We played with bubbles and made muffins yesterday after school. There’s a special event in town about construction equipment tomorrow, and I’m really looking forward to taking her. She is wild about construction; we read a lot of books about it.
    Leah recently posted..The little thingsMy Profile

    • I’m sorry about the rough weeks lately – hopefully things get better there. But in the meantime, bubbles and muffins sound amazing – as does the event about construction equipment!

  • Oh my god. Fred is really cute. What a nice walking buddy to have. I always get nervous when puppies start following me like that, because I’m afraid they’ll forget to head home!

    This Friday, I’m happy that we have several prospective tenants for our empty apartment, and more viewings tomorrow. I’m going to concerts tonight and tomorrow night. We’re busy planning our first effort at cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the family. And I installed a browser extension that eliminates any news, tweets or posts about our president-elect, plus I’ve been posting only happy music on Facebook to counteract the bad stuff! Yay!
    Norm recently posted..The Marie Kondo TestMy Profile

    • Fred seemed to know where he was going, and I knew I would be coming back the same way so I wasn’t too worried about him getting lost.

      Hope the concerts and Thanksgiving dinner all go well! We had our Thanksgiving dinner tonight and it was tasty and lovely (thanks to Mr PoP’s parents).

      Re the browser extension – I finally converted my gym buddy to watching HGTV when we warm up on the bicycles. He really thought all the politics would leave his favorite channels after the election and that hasn’t been the case yet.

  • Norm, could you share that browser plugin with me?!

    Fred sounds lovely and even if you didn’t get to go on the strenuous hike, you still saw some very lovely vistas!!

    We’ve been working on planning a reception for next year and that has been bringing me a lot of joy to be able to celebrate our marriage with whoever ends up coming from our friends and family! :)
    Leigh recently posted..Hindsight on Years of Aggressive Mortgage Pre-paymentMy Profile

    • Ha ha. It’s called I Haven’t Got Time For The ‘Paign. It eliminates some other election talk too, besides talk of the Orange One.
      Norm recently posted..The Marie Kondo TestMy Profile

    • The reception sounds awesome! That’s kindof what we did. Since we eloped and bought a house pretty much at the same time, we just had a little party where we invited family and close friends to the house a few months later for a belated wedding/housewarming/halloween party. Some people wore costumes. It worked. =)

  • What a gift! Thanks for sharing this great story. Fred looks like a pretty cool guy and looks like he was right there to give you some needed help.
    Money Beagle recently posted..Christmas Checklist: The Early EditionMy Profile

  • Nothing beats making a doggie friend, even if temporary, while on a walk. And how serendipitous that you wound up at the same spot as the group at the same time, despite different routes!

    I’m happy in a content way right now. Like that deep down happiness that seems to be fleeting when there are too many things going on in life. I’ve been working only 3 days a week leading up to my retirement in January and the extra time and lack of job stress is working for me. I’m not necessarily “happy” from moment to moment, but the little difficulties are what make life interesting.

  • I’m a long time reader, first time commenter, but the spirit of this post just really tickled me.

    I’m home sick today and feeling kind of down about myself, but seeing cute dog pics, being surrounded by cheery Christmas decor, and reading some of my favorite FIRE blogs is starting to pick me up!

    Sounds like your walk turned out to be lovely! And hope your foot is still on the mend!

  • What a cool post, and what a pleasant adventure.

  • That’s a beautiful story. (Maybe a short book or a children’s book idea?)

    Your pictures reminded me of our time in Cuenca. We rode horses through the mountains and felt like South American cowboys. One of the best trips we’ve taken.
    Done by Forty recently posted..Deep Work, Financial Independence, and EscapeMy Profile

  • Mrs. PoP…

    I didn’t know it was YOU with us at the Chautauqua. It was only after that Mr. 1500 spilled the beans.

    No worries, your secret identity is safe with me.

    But I just knew there was something about you… 😉