I had intended to wrap up this record of our journey with this posting but (due to my OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) it think it would be “tidier” to end it on April 30 - so I will do one more post after this one with a summary of “lessons learned” on this road trip.
I’m also considering starting a new blog for the “day to day” of our mission to reinvent ourselves as we move into our 3rd year of retirement.
We arrived in Sault Ste. Marie around 5 p.m. on Monday. – after 62 days and over 4200 miles (7000 km) on the road. It was time to stop travelling because when we started we were paying $2.32 or so per US gallon (which we thought was pretty bad compared to last year). On Monday we saw several places where it was over$3.00 (although the most we paid was $2.92)—That’s a big ouch when you are using a gallon every 6 to 8 miles.
It got cooler as the day went on and it was around 50F ( (10C) for the last couple of hours. It was cool enough that I considered stopping and turning on the heat (another story but the heater control wasn’t working and I had to jury rig some that requires me to get under the hood to adjust the heat). Anyhow – we had dressed warmer and managed to persevere.
The other shock to our system was seeing some traces of snow in the ditches and bush along the road in upper Michigan about 30 miles from the Sault. However, once we were in the city there was no sign of snow but it did freeze overnight every night until Friday. In my first post in March I showed the BBB in our snow covered driveway before we left -- this is how it looked when we parked it when we arrived home
Curiously, people told us we must have dragged the cool air with us from the south because it had been in 70’s (20’s) the prior week. Usually it is the other way – when we go south and it is cold - we are accused of bringing it with us from Canada. Actually, I know we don’t have any control over the weather so I don’t pay much attention to these “complaints”
Since arriving home I have experienced a curious mixture of being overwhelmed with all the details of trying to get settled back in to our routine at home and fighting against the “let down” of having completed this journey.
On the “getting settled in” side –
Monday evening we called my Dad, Linda’s mom, my brother Rob, our kids and sent out some emails’ to let everyone know we had arrived safely.
Our son Kevin had completed his ethics exam as part of the Ph.D program in Neuropsych on Monday. Tuesday we found out that he had passed but was required to complete a paper to get a satisfactory mark on the record. Kevin is at the stage of needing to get his dissertation research proposal ready and they have had a lot of sickness and other circumstances that have kept him from spending as much time on that as he wanted to. Hopefully, this can get turned around in the next couple of months. At the same time they had taken our grandson Will (age 2) to the dentist for the first time. The good news was that Will handled this with ease and was the “star of the show” at the dentist office. The bad news was that they discovered that a tooth he had chipped about a year ago was “dying” and either needs root canal and capping or to be extracted before it becomes infected. Either way it requires a hospital visit and general anesthetic. Needless to say they (and us as well) were very upset about this. We are praying that it will work out OK.
Tuesday and Wednesday I spent a fair bit of time going through the backlog of mail, paying some bills, getting my income tax filing ready (due April 30 in Canada) , entering information into Quicken to track our household expenses and taking care of other business. I also sent notes to John Sanders and the Kilberns at Pascgoula. (I found out from John Dobbs that it was David & Elaine's anniversaryso we sent them our best wishes)
Linda was unpacking the BBB, doing laundry, touching base with her niece who had twins on the 13th, and with other friends. Despite the time I spent there is still a pile of paperwork to sort through and I seemed to keep getting sidetracked from it.
Tuesday morning I went to Sandro’s –restaurant to see if our regular elders- preacher breakfast was on. However, it was Lloyd’s (Hotchkiss) birthday and since I hadn’t called Roger (Lansdell) he didn’t think I would be there. However, Bob Wilding – a friend from my days at ASI was there so I had a cup of coffee and visited with him while he was having breakfast. We got up on some “gossip” about the various people we knew at ASI, shared what was happening in our families and shared the challenges of moving into retirement .Bob also has taught part-time in the Business program at AUC(and at Lake State) so we have some common interests there as well. Interestingly, our ”ups & downs” in emotions regarding retirement seem to have followed similar paths. It was a very good conversation to be able to share what I was feeling with someone who had similar thoughts. When I got home I called both Roger and Lloyd to get a brief update on “what was happening” - as usual there are some good things happening including a developing relationship with Nick who was released from prison a couple of months ago and is working hard to start a new life. – and a few “not so good” things that we are praying about and trying to help people deal with.
I went to visit my Dad on Tuesday afternoon and we had him over for supper Wednesday. As we we preparing for supper Linda’s sister, Arliss showed up with her daughter Alyssa. Alyssa had just had her wisdom teeth extracted and they came in for an to let her rest before heading home to Thessalon - Alyssa will be attending Algoma University in the fall and she plans to stay with us since the school is so close.
Thursday we went to WALMART (not to camp!!) to buy a new phone since our cordless had “died” while we were away—it had been flaky for sometime before we left and we couldn’t revive it this time. We got one with 2 handsets so that should give us a better ability to have a phone near us no matter where we are in the house or yard. (double the pleasure of searching for misplaced handsets!!). We also took in my camera card and got prints made of some of my pictures plus a film Linda had taken on her camera. Linda picked up some potting soil and other stuff to plant her ”elephants ear” bulbs that he had stored over winter and which were showing signs of wanting to comeback to life.
Thursday p.m we loaded up some garbage in to the truck because the dump was waiving the $6.00 tipping fee this week. We didn’t have that much time to sort through stuff and we didn’t have a full load. I called our friend Russ who had been our house sitter and went over to his place after supper and finished the load with some things he needed to haul away. While I was there Russ was showed me some renovations he had done in his house this winter his house. I took this picture of him and his grandaighter Michaila on their porch.
I made the dump run early Friday morning. Friday afternoon we drove to St.Joseph’s Island (in our car!!) to visit Marjorie Garside (our friend from church whose husband Bill had died while we we were on our way home). We had a good visit with her and her son Pat- sharing memories of Bill--- a few tears and some laughter -- and telling them the story of Katrina as we had seen it during our trip to the coast .
After that we went on to Thessalon to visit Linda’s Mom and Meryln. Linda brought supper and we ate with the. Her sister Arliss was there when we got there and her sister Theresa came in just before we left. Got caught up on all the happenings in the Goodmurphy side of the family.
I had mentioned before that Chris was being promoted to sergeant in the Aurora police department. Click here to see a newspaper article about this. Chris is mentioned near the end. The promotion ceremony was on Friday and Saturday morning Chris called to give us all the details..– Tammye was asked to come up and pin on his new sergeant’s badge and the chief gave her flowers. Chris had to give a short speech about how he felt about the new role—overall he seemed very pleased with how it had gone .Hunter and Camdyn got to be there and see it as well. He starts his first shift as sergeant Saturday at 2 The downside of this is that he will now be working afternoon shift with Tuesdays and Wednesdays off – He had been days and weekends off for that past 3 years so this will be quite a change in the family routine.
So it was a busy week and we got a lot done. However, as I mentioned at the beginning there was also a “let down” feeling and I found myself “wasting” a lot of time playing computer games and reading to avoid the necessary but “mundane” aspects of “settling in” and the challenges of taking action to apply to lessons of Pascagoula to our lives here.
One morning we listened to a sermon by Marvin Phillips that John Dobbs had posted titled “How God is using Katrina” to his glory ( see sermons on the Central website).In it Marvin talked about how he knew a lot of people there just wanted things to go back to normal. He was encouraging them to seize the opportunity of Katrina to actually embrace the ongoing need for service and to “redefine” normal to be the ongoing “messiness” of meeting needs – rather than the “tidiness” of “church” as we so often have made it to be. I think the biggest question we are struggling with is “How do we avoid returning to “normal”???
Well that’s enough for now–
Charlie & Linda