How I learned that I talk stupid and (unrelated) a hike to Blue Lake

Travel is great for exposing you to new ways of being, and living somewhere different for an extended period of time really highlights those points. After residing in California for almost a year now, spread out over 2 summers, I have finally conceded to a painful reality: all this time, I thought that JJ and I talked like news anchors, with no real accent, but we actually say a lot of words, well, maybe a bit stupid.

I had inklings of this issue last summer, as soon as apricot season started. Customers would order an “APE-ri-cot” pie and I would confirm their dessert as an “APP-ri-cot” pie. They would ask for a glass of “MELK” and I would serve them a cool glass of “MILK”. They took “THE” 395 up to Mammoth Mountain, to ride the “gon-DOH-laa”, whereas we took my sister on a trip up the “GON-du-luh”.

This summer, though, I realized the extent of it. JJ and I love to say “Hold on, hold on” in the style of our niece, Jordy, as she interrupted a family dinner with the exclamation. Once she had our attention, she simply wanted to recommend that we just skip to the dessert she so wanted. And the way we use it now is just the way she said it in her little 2-year-old accent “Hoed on, hoed on!……..Ice keem!” The thing is though, I never understood that JJ and I say words like shoulder, hold, and cold just the way that little Jordy did. We don’t pronounce the “l”, and they instead come out like rhyming with “goad”. In the case of “shoulder”, it’s more like “SHOW-der”.

Once our co-workers noticed this, they started trying to get us to say those sorts of words, just for the amusement of it. Yes, it has been rather “cold” in the mornings here, but I describe it as “coad”. I had a lengthy discussion about it with a few of the folks at the resort recently, and partway through, I realized they were just getting me to say “cold” for funsies. It’s all good, though, as I tease them mercilessly about orders for “MELK”, when I’m pretty sure the customer wants “MILK”.

I know that there’s no real right or wrong way to pronounce anything, but I have to admit that it’s easy to get a complex about your speech when you are away from the land of your people. Whenever I feel self-conscious about my words, I remind myself that we are in a world of Philistines, who don’t even know the definition of a candy buckeye, Johnny Marzetti, tree lawn, or what we mean with idioms like “two shakes of a lambs tail” or “a fart in a skillet”. Plus, these people think 60% humidity is awfully high and expect to see the sun throughout the winter….how can you reason with someone like that?! 🙂


The exploits continue for the Tuesday Morning Adventure club, as JJ, Mary and I hiked up a canyon outside of Bishop. The trail to Blue Lake was only 6 miles round trip, but it was a whole lot of up. I’ve done a lot of hikes in this area, but this was definitely one of my favorites, because there were constantly great views, and the sights were always changing. At the end of the day, we tried out the pie at Lake Sabrina Marina, which was pretty darn good!

Love the lake names around here:

Fall colors starting everywhere!:

I really loved this montage from when Mary accidentally took about 30 pictures in a row, like gunfire, and I come after her to stop it:

First views above Lake Sabrina:

Amazing viewpoint panorama:

Blue Lake:

Peach and blackberry pie:

Til next week!


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