Fall Happenings in Tillsonburg

I must apologize as I have been extremely delinquent in updating the website. I have no good excuses other than “time just got away from me” and “my life didn’t seem very interesting”. And the last one is quite true.

The finished bathroom renovation has been a wonderful improvement to our home and we are very proud of it. Once that was done, Murray started helping some neighbours with changes and renovations in their home. That kept him very busy. My aquasize classes continued on into September, until the pool was closed for the season.

In late August, I received an e-mail from the librarian at Atlantis Resort in Nassau, Bahamas, inviting me to do a book signing for The Pig That Couldn’t Swim. She had read it and loved it! A date in December was suggested and, with some changes of dates, we made an agreement. Man, was I excited!

At a dance in August, a resident came to me and asked if I could teach some line dancing classes. With little twisting of my arm, I agreed to teach a series of basic line dancing classes in September and had upwards of 19 persons in attendance.

Also in September, Murray and I worked on the car rally for the Hickory Hill Residents Association. We drove the 100 km rally route many times, checking and re-checking questions and instructions. I had found a new caterer, Eat Your Heart Out, from the Ingersoll area and everyone was excited to try out her food. Whether it was just the food or the chance of an afternoon of fun, we had 19 entrants. But, the route instructions proved too hard for most and only 6 managed to finish the whole route. But they had fun and the meal was enjoyed by all.

We had our annual cruisers get-together with Jane & Bob Argue (s/v Flextime) and Doug & Sharon Sandercott (s/v About Time) in September. This took place at the Argue’s cottage on Monck Lake, near Bancroft. It was a super time with good friends – lots of laughs and way too much great food!

You may have known that we had hoped to travel to Newfoundland this past summer. The trip was postponed as we had the sense that the cost of accommodation would be above our budget. Thus, we started looking at options – bringing our bed with us. Could we tent at this advanced age? Maybe Murray could but my joints wouldn’t be happy for long. Perhaps a van?

First we looked at the Volkswagen Westfalia. But, even though those are mostly quite an age, they are also very expensive or, if cheap, needing lots of repair. The next thought was a travel van, like a Roadtrek. Talk about expensive! There are cheaper options and we dragged our friends, Doug & Connie (who travel in their fifth wheel), along for a day of checking out the Class B’s in London.

Doug said “ You have a great car. Why don’t you look at trailers.” And so we did. We looked in London, Hamilton, on autoTRADER and on Kijiji. We looked at tent railers, hybrids and travel trailers, both new and used. I found several that I could live with but the max weight that the Volvo could tow was 3500 lbs. Once you add supplies and belongings to the trailer, the max weight was usually surpassed.

Finally one day Murray said that he still was more interested in a van or Class B motorhome. That way, we could just stop for the night, not unhook the trailer, level with jacks but also have the basic necessities with us – a bed, a frig and stove and a bathroom. Back onto the internet we went, searching the sites again.

When the weather co-operated, Murray worked at the farm harvesting the crop-du-jour. First wheat (about 250 acres ), then soybeans ( about 700 acres ). His brother, George, certainly appreciates his help.

The family got together here for Thanksgiving and for a few days the grandchildren kept us running. Murray had a super idea to buy pumpkins and, one rainy day, the dads and kids gathered on our porch to carve their Hallowe’en pumpkins.

In October, we found something interesting – a 1997 Winnebago Rialta. It was 21’8” long, with a double bed, a small frig and stove and a bathroom. It was for sale in nearby Port Colbourne and we made the trek one cold Sunday to see the unit. Inside, it looked hardly used except for the carpet and that could be replaced. The Volkswagen engine seemed to be in good shape and we took fired it up and went for a short drive. At the end of the drive, we shook hands with the owner and made a deal. We now owned a motorhome! Just the details such as payment, paperwork etc to accomplish and we picked it up a few days later. In fact, we picked it up on the Friday and had planned to head to the boat on Tuesday, storing the motorhome for the winter. But…..

Murray had been complaining of numbness in his right hand. Our family doctor initially thought perhaps it was a complication of diabetes. In September, he sent him for EMG testing, to rule out carpal tunnel. Heather’s magic fingers had managed to find him an appointment for the testing with a doctor in Paris within a couple of weeks. The tests revealed severe Carpal Tunnel! Then he was referred to a plastic surgeon in London and that appointment was made for the day after we were planning to leave for the south. Oh well, re-schedule the boat move for later that week and we would see what she had to say about leaving the surgery to spring. Nope, not an option. “It needs doing right away and there is an opening for this Thursday. “ So, the surgery took place on Nov 7th, a great birthday present. Murray didn’t figure that it would keep him down for long but the doctor has said “ Don’t lift anything heavier than a coffee cup with that hand, if you want to best outcome from this surgery.” So, it is good that he is ambidextrous as he can do little jobs with the left hand. The incision runs for about two inches from his wrist into his palm and seems to be healing well. I change the bandage once or twice daily and keep a close eye on it. He will get the stitches out on Nov 18th.

This delay of our departure has also allowed us to plan to take the motorhome south. Murray has been busy checking over the systems, replacing the house batteries ( before surgery! ) and trying things out. Our plan, at the moment, is to head south in early December, four weeks post-op. But, we will go slow and take about a week to get to the marina. Then, we will just do easy, light jobs for another week and that should allow him to have his full six week recovery period. Our winter in the islands will be shorter, but it cannot be helped. I will not be able to make the book signing but can only hope that we are able to re-schedule it for a later date.

Looking back on everything that I have written, perhaps our life wasn’t as boring as I thought. But I will try to do better and also to post some photos of our new “toy” .

Take care,
Heather & Murray
hard ashore