Friday, August 25, 2017

Quiet summer

My last post was July 9th, the day we got back from the California trip. We knew then that we had nothing big planned until September. The Great Lakes VROC Michigan gathering was set for the same weekend as the 24th Annual Freedom Rally so, as Freedom Riders club and rally treasurer, the annual pilgrimage to Michigan cherry country was not to be.

When we got back on the 9th, I knew we were pretty much staying in place until the beginning of September. That seemed like a lot of time to get things done but, as with life, tempus fugit. Plus I am not very good at getting things done unless I am faced with a deadline.

The first plus when we got home was that Corrie had finished the work on the house. The last step was to get the big furniture moved upstairs and, thanks to Gerry and his people at Harris Movers, that was done with a minimum of fuss. Living on one floor is cozy and I like it. The two large rooms in the basement will probably be finished with drywall and flooring before we sell (some day) because Darren, our real estate guru, tells us livable space is a key number affecting the sale price.

Once we got home, I started planning for my part of the 24th Annual Freedom Rally. This year, I resolved to stick to the Treasurer role. Before it was done, however, Sandy and I ended up also looking after the door prizes and the attendance/meal lists. The rally went very well except for the weather. Planning is already underway for a major blowout to celebrate the 25th annual next year. The Freedom Rally is the last of what was once an active circuit of club motorcycle rallies across the province (an into NY state) and the club has resolved to keep it going.

Diane finished the work on Sandy's mother Jan's house. The decision was finally made to sell it since Jan, 89, has been in a long term care home since last November. Di volunteered to lead the effort to spruce it up before listing. It must have worked because there were two offers within a week of putting it on the market. If the first deal goes through, the sale will close just after we get back from our last trip.

Jan's house

I spent a lot of time while we were home helping Lesli Green get Safe Ride Home Sudbury off the ground. After 18 years running a chapter of the national Operation Red Nose program, she decided that we could better serve the needs of the community operating without the constraints that were part of the larger initiative. She, along with partners Cambrian Ford, Tim Horton's and the Greater Sudbury Police Service, announced the change on August 10th. My part of her organization has grown over the years. Now I am officially Volunteer Coordinator and Head Trainer, but I end up getting involved in all manner of jobs.

After a couple of years as Secretary/Treasurer of the O.P.P. Veterans Association Chapter 13 (Sudbury and Manitoulin), I asked that we split the job up. I am happy to continue as Treasurer but am not able to do justice to the Secretary role. In addition to taking the minutes and circulating notices, the Secretary should be in touch with the membership on a regular basis to tie the group together. Because I was a volunteer Special Constable specializing in snowmobile enforcement, I don't know a lot of the members. Hats off to Tommy, who stepped up and will do an excellent job.

Throughout the time home, I got in some golf (although not as much as I would have liked). The game finally started to improve when I made some changes to my swing and my thoughts. The worst six inches in golf is between your ears. Playing low compression balls and limiting my back swing have cost me distance but have vastly improved my accuracy and consistency. I am sorry that, now that it seems to be working, my season is coming to an end. Our home course is Cedar Green Golf Club but we did get out to other courses a couple of times.

Waiting for the shotgun start at the Mine Mill Retirees tournament at Pine Grove

Denis, D'Arcy and Leo, my Mine Mill teammates

Jim and D'Arcy at Timberwolf Golf & Country Club

So, after a month and a half at home, it is time to travel again.

This weekend, we are heading to Waterloo to see Heather, Tom, Jasper and Fiona. We will travel back to Sudbury with Kim, Mike and the girls, who have rented a place on Long Lake for the next week. This is the same place that they had a couple of years ago.

On Labour Day weekend, we head for Wolfman's Wandering Rally XI in St. Clair, Missouri. We arrive Monday and leave the following Saturday. Then we will spend my 65th birthday in Branson, Missouri, staying at the Dutton Inn for two nights. Monday, we make the annual appearance at the Eureka Springs Arkansas Reunion before returning home by the 18th. We will be sharing with Sherm at both rallies.

The last trip will be from the 22nd to October 3rd, involving a week with eight other couples in a rental place on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The Outer Banks have been on my bucket list for a while, but a trip there in 2015 was cancelled due to my second stent. Except for Linda and Billy Bob, these aren't motorcycle folks but we are looking forward to it.

So stay tuned for future developments. The adventure continues.

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