Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

I haven't posted since our late season golfing foray on November 18th.  The bike was put away on the 26th, the latest I can ever remember storing it.

You can see from the preceding post that we lost Mom back in January.  She suffered a heart attack and a stroke almost simultaneously in mid-December.  Hospitalized, she was unable to communicate and it was difficult to know just how aware she was.  As she slipped lower, the CAT scans showed substantial damage and the doctors gave no hope for a meaningful recovery.  Fortunately, Mom left Dave and I no choice in the matter as she had left us with a strongly worded directive that, if she was not going to be able to enjoy a substantial standard of living, she be allowed to go peacefully.  Dave got back from Edmonton on Christmas Day and we spent the next two weeks with her as she was moved first to the Palliative Care Wing of the hospital and then to the new ARCH Hospice up on the 4th Line.  I can't say enough about the staff and volunteers at the ARCH.  Wonderful people.

Mom slipped away at 1:10 PM on January 8th with Dave and I and some friends at her bedside.  Dave and I sang Isn't It Grand, Boys at the end.  The others looked at us a bit funny because the song is a touch (OK, a lot) morbid, but this is a family favourite in these situations.  Sister Dana, one of the few young nuns I have met lately and a true sweetheart, joined in with us before we finished.

Rather than mourn her passing, we were grateful that she was able to live on her own terms almost right up to the end.  I miss her but she lives on in our hearts and memories.

Dave is back in Edmonton right now but is working on a plan to commute between Alberta and Ontario.  He bought my half of Mom's house and will be based in the Soo when he's here.  He's not sure how this will work out but will play it by ear as he goes along.

The rest of the winter was pretty quiet.  Leo, Doug and I attended the early December bike show in Toronto and got stranded in Midland by a blizzard on the way back.  Sandy, Heather Tom and I attended the other bike show and VROC Frozen North Dinner in January.  We made a few trips to Cambridge/Waterloo to see the kids.  Jolene is growing like a weed.  Check out some photos on Mike's Flickr Photostream.

I didn't take the snowmobile out once over the season.  Winter, which had entered like a lion in early December, just kind of fizzled out.  The snowblower ran once after Christmas, just a little cleanup job.  It looks like Atlanta and Dallas got more snow than we did.  I will hand it to Normie and his STP people because I heard that they made passable trails with almost nothing to work with, but I had no desire to ride at all.  Normie was good enough to grant me a Leave of Absence from STOP and I hope I find some interest before the fall or I fear I may get rid of my last sled.

Anyway, winter is behind us and a new travel season beckons.  The bike came out of storage today, very late since the snow left at the beginning of March and many have been riding for six weeks.

I had first intended to go to Sherm's Lettuce Ride in Yuma Arizona last month. but we cancelled that for several reasons.  We are now heading for SEVROC in Maggie Valley, North Carolina on Mother's Day.  This is the first year in a while that SEVROC has not conflicted with our Combermere weekend.  Heather and Tom will join us in Maggie and we'll all ride back up to Combermere via the Blue Ridge Parkway and other scenic roads.

So I apologize for not keeping up over the winter but we are now back, the bike is running and I have a new camera.  We'll be seeing you down the road.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

R.I.P. Fred Poysor 1929 - 2010

Fred at Cyclefest 2010

We received word from Ginger that old friend Fred Poysor of London Ontario passed away after a brief fight wih cancer. We didn't even know that he had been sick.

Fred was a regular on the Ontaario rally circuit for many years. He had traveled first with his wife Wanda, who was also a rider. When she passed away several years ago, he continued to come out and, for the last few years, had been keeping company with Ginger. Fred and Ginger. It took me a while to get the significance of the names.

Although Fred rode his 2002 Illusion Blue GoldWing to most events, at Cyclefest on Labour Day weekends he would show up in his truck towing his large RV trailer. He had mosified the door so he could get the Wing into the kitchen and it was truly an awesome thing to watch him load it and unload it.

When Heather didn't pass her first motorcycle test a couple of years back, I contacted Fred to see if he could coach her. In addition to riding with a drill team, Fred helped many ladies acquire the skills they needed to get their licence. He brought his 1976 Honda 125 to the lot at the New Dundee Community Centre and spent several weekends setting up pylon courses and teaching Heather how to get through them. There was a special moment at last year's Rainbow Rally in Sudbury when Fred, at 80, won the oldest rider and Heather won the youngest.

My last ride with Fred was at the final Cyclefest last year. While Ginger was working and Heather and Sandy were out looking for a marriage licence, Fred and I too a ride up the Hockley Valley Road to the General Store for coffee. We returned via the Forks of the Credit and, despite his age, I couldn't lose him in the corners.

So long, Fred. Although I am glad you didn't suffer long, we sure are going to miss you.