Saturday, December 31, 2022

2022 In The Rear View Mirror

When we started this blog back in 2005, it was to be a journal recording our travels. And we had many right up until the end of 2019 when the COVID Bomb dropped. Since then, our travels have not amounted to much. We did get to Maggie Valley, North Carolina this past August but that was our only foray out of Ontario in three summers.

Although there have not been many posts over the last year, we have kept moderately busy.

Summer motorcycling was pretty much a solo affair. I explored the area on my own and found a few new roads. Up in the Mulmur Hills around Creemore and Terra Nova, I experienced some of the best Ontario roads that I have encountered. Then there were the old standards like the road from Galt to Paris and the Belwood Loop. I'm sorry I didn't get out more. The bike had a fork seal fail over the summer. This would have been serious because shops that can work on the Traxxion Dynamics suspension are few and far between but then I discovered Accelerated Technologies in Buckhorn, Ontario. They fixed the front end and also a blown O-ring in the rear hydraulic preload mechanism. It will need a little work in the spring to overhaul the rear brake caliper and get the cruise control working right (I suspect a clutch microswitch problem) but, overall, old Quicksilver is running well.

This past summer, I managed to join the Waterloo Seniors Golf League. We played every Wednesday morning, rotating among four different courses. Players could play either 9 or 18 holes and walk or ride a cart. It was a good chance to meet new people, most of whom were at a similar skill level. I also spent a fair amount of time at Jim's Driving Range while learning how to compensate for golfer's elbow in my right arm.

At the end of 2021 I joined the Waterloo Region Model Railway Club, which models the CPR Sudbury Division circa 1975. This was the period where my INCO job had me working with various high volume, high cost commodities shipped by rail. The club layout is in a Quonset hut in Maryhill. I am not much at modeling but I took over the Treasurer job and am learning how to manage car control. Railways, after all, are all about moving goods from one place to another and that aspect is part of the modeling we do.

I did step back from my executive roles with the Freedom Riders Motorcycle Association, passing the Treasurer and Webmaster jobs on to other members. Sandy and I will remain Freedom Riders regardless of where we end up but the more intricate tasks are difficult from afar.

That did not stop me from continuing as the Volunteer Coordinator for Safe Ride Home Sudbury, a position I have held since 2015. The last year we operated was 2019 and there were some concerns about bringing the service back after the long hiatus. But we introduced a new online application system that made working remotely feasible and we got a reasonable response to our volunteer recruitment. Call volumes have been down up until now and we are not sure which of several factors are the primary cause. COVID fears, changing social dynamic, inflation and other things can all be playing a part. But we got the job done and there is now just New Year's Eve to go.

Sandy and I, often with other family members, attended a few live shows at theaters in Galt, Petrolia and Grand Bend featuring our friend John and Lorie Grandmont's brilliantly musical offspring Jesse and Leah. Both are fiddle players and excellent vocalists playing with skilled ensemble casts.

On November 1st, we started the 3rd year in our Deluxe Apartment In The Sky. We recently bought some furniture from a gentleman in Building 4, a couch, chair, coffee table, end table and two bedside tables. So we now have the ability to entertain visitors. We still need a few things but they are not critical.

Finally, a living room

Office with a view

On a sad note, we pushed our big family Disney vacation (scheduled for late January) back for another year. The original cause was a resurgence of angina on my part and a concern about getting health insurance. It was a good thing we did because Kim has been suffering greatly from what has just been diagnosed by MRI as a herniated disk. So we will have to get better in 2023 so we can get back on the road.

So that about sums up where we have been and what we have been doing during the last year. It hasn't been everything we hoped for but we have taken things in stride and made the most of them.

We wish everyone all the best for 2023 and are looking forward to some good times.

Happy New Year!!!!!