Thursday, July 28, 2022

Twenty Years of Thumbs

I first heard the phrase "please hold thumbs" from the South African would be my son-in-law.

Since I had never heard this before, he told  me it was "something we do for luck". In other words, it's the equivalent of crossing one's fingers. Does it work? Well, as the expression goes, time will tell. In this case, that time is ten years long.

Two entire decades has passed since my wife Laurie and I took the definitive adventure of our concurrent lifetimes when we traveled to the other side of the world just to attend a wedding. Of course, it wasn't just any wedding, but that of my brilliant and beautiful daughter Lindsay to that South African triatheletic motormouth love of her life, Chris.

That 11 day long saga going from here (Portland, OR) to there (South Africa) became the basis of my book,  PLEASE HOLD THUMBS, a tome I am proud to call my very own. This is the tale of the ultimate Cherney Journey, one that included an honest-to-garsh safari (with amorous lions and pissed off elephants), air travel troubles I wouldn't wish on my worst enemies (well...maybe) and The Main Event, the most extraordinary nuptials ever. For a place I wasn't sure I ever wanted to be in the first place, South Africa got under my skin and into my soul.

What started out to be a mere vanity project (What I Did on My Summer Vacation zzzzz....) evolved into something else entirely over time. I came to realize that PLEASE HOLD THUMBS at its core was a love story. Naturally that included Lindsay and Chris' whirlwind romance, but also the love I have for my wife, family and even finding a way to love myself, probably the toughest pill of all to swallow. I finally came to terms with my place in the world and discovered that it's all a matter of perspective. I also realized that the journey ain't over 'til it's really over.

So what about that "luck" thing? 

At the end of July, Lindsay and Chris will celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary, a milestone that must be shouted to the heavens. Their union has produced their best collaboration possible, the loves of my life, our granddaughters, Aefa, my theater girl with the golden eyes and the fierce warrior peanut herself, Athena. The love story continues.

Consider this a biased testimony, but as far I'm concerned, holding one's thumbs works.

I should do it more often.
Me in Kruger Park back at the turn of the century

I have several excerpts from said book on this here blog, all gathered together on the page I cleverly called CHERNEY JOURNEYS

Individually, they are:

The first chapter in full

The painful three day trip from Portland to Johannesburg

A little something called a Tokoloshe visited me in my dreams

A side-trip to Tijuana when I was a young 'un

The amazing safari in Kruger Park

For anyone who has an interest in reading the whole story go to:

But, most importantly, because without the two of them, this grand adventure would never have transpired...