Thursday, August 10, 2006

Summer Vacation – Part 2

At the end of my posting yesterday, we were enroute to Kingston to see our daughter Melissa on the second stage of our “summer vacation”.

While we were settling in at the *MART “campground”, we received a call from Melissa about her car. I had bought her an old “clunker” (1985 Dodge Omni) in 2002 and her mechanic was telling her that it was time to send it to the automobile graveyard. So that gave us another “job” to do while we were there. (I didn't get a picture of it this time but the one here shows it parked by the "BBB" when we visited Melissa in 2004)

Thinking about the situation with her car reminds me of 2 things --

First, as it says in James 4:13-17 we never know what will happen tomorrow and we need always to make our plans with the prayer that “If it is the Lord’s will we will live and do this or that”. We so often begin to believe that we are in control and that things will go as we plan. I am thankful for these gentle reminders that God is in control and that our primary mission is to honor and love him. Everything else we do needs to be seen in this context and always with the understanding that “his will be done”.

We didn’t plan to be dealing with the “death” of a car but it had to happen sometime and this was the "right time" because we could be there to help her work it out. It was also a case of being in the "right place" when needed since the car was registered in my name and I needed to sign the "death certificate" (paperwork needed to dispose of it).

Second, in his post for Friday July 28 John Dobbs (Hope Remains) mentions the “Prattville van”. We remember John Sanders driving us to work on our project in that van and his comment that they would likely use it until “the wheels fell off”. According to John’s report it seems it “died” around the same time. However, the real reason I mention it was John’s comment that “ We do not need anything new, just reliable people movers.”

Melissa uses her vehicle for trips around town for the “necessities” of living – going to school, shopping, doing laundry, going to exercise classes and the like. She didn’t want anything fancy but not having a vehicle after 4 years would be a challenge.

We arrived at he Kingston KOA early Friday afternoon. Melissa came out for supper. Saturday morning she came back out and we looked through the ads to see if we could find something “reasonable” that would get her around without having to spend a fortune.

We came across a single owner 1994 Ford Escort wagon that seemed like it might do. It was being sold “as is” so Melissa got the lady to agree to let her take it to her mechanic to check it over before she made an offer.

Monday morning we took it to Cosme Auto Services. While we were there we made arrangements to dispose of the old car (Melissa said she called it” Frederic”) and cleaned it out. It was a sad moment for Melissa since it was her first car and she had become attached to its peculiarities.

Who would ever forget their first vehicle. Mine was a 1955 Chev station wagon that was given to me by my Dad in 1961 – it had been rolled once so the body wasn't in great shape and it had engine problems but it was mine and it got me were I wanted to go (most of the time). Any first car stories out there?

Anyhow, it took a couple of days before the mechanic could check it over. Overall it was in good shape and the mechanic thought it should be OK for her purposes. It needed some work on the brake lines and exhaust and based on the cost of the repairs required to pass the “safety” check. Melissa made an offer and it was accepted. She hadn’t actually completed the deal before we left and I haven’t heard for sure but I’m assuming she is has “wheels” again.

It was sweltering hot the whole time we were there so we spent a lot of time inside the “BBB” with the air conditioning going. Melissa rented a car for the weekend since her’s had “died”. That was a good thing as well because “Frederic” didn’t have air conditioning and we would have melted if we had to go without.

We had several long conversations with Melissa getting caught up on her life and talking about her plans for school and – hopefully—some time soon - a wedding.

We had been kidding her the fact that Chris was married in the year of our 25th anniversary and Kevin in the year of our thirty-fifth -- so she had to either get married this year (our 40th) or wait for another 5 years – anyhow – time will tell but she may break the pattern.

We also got to visit with and get to know her friend Alexander a little bit better. He is from Sweden. They met 3years ago when he was in Kingston as an exchange student. Melissa has visited with him in Sweden and has met his family. We met him in 2005 when he was back for a visit. He was able to get a one year “work experience” visa. It is a serious relationship and they don’t want to be separated again so I guess they’ll have to figure something out before the year is up.

Alexander was supposed to be working afternoons but Friday they sent him home early so he could come back and do the early shift (6 to 3). He is the “cold line chef” for Pan Chancho Café & Bakery--which means he puts together the sandwiches. Anyhow, the switch in shifts meant that we got to visit with him more than we might have otherwise.

On Saturday we met him after work for a late lunch at Tir Nan Og . We spent that evening together, had a late (for us) supper around 7:30 so Alexander could get home to sleep before getting up at 5:00 for his shift. Sunday Melissa came out for brunch and, after Alexander’s shift we went to the Charleston Lake provincial park for a picnic and swimming (at least they swam –I went in for a short dip –mostly we laid in the shade and read. We had supper together at the KOA.

Monday evening theywanted tocook for us but it was too hot in the apartment (no air conditioning) so they brought the “fixings” and Alexander did the cooking in the “BBB”—we had a Swedish meal including a “cabbage pudding” (we would call it a casserole- with cabbage, rice and hamburger)- very good.

Tuesday at noon we had lunch with John Dorland and his wife Ruth. John is an old classmate of mine from my days at Queen’s. We had lost touch with each other until he contacted me in 2005 because he was coming to Sault Ste Marie to go cross country skiing. It was strange to discover that he was living in Kingston. Anyhow, we thought it would be nice to chat about old times. So we met at Chien Noir (The Black Dog) and had a pleasant lunch talking about our families and various people we knew.

Wednesday morning we packed up and headed for Haliburton – I and, as it turned out – we drove into the “eye of the storm” – but that’s for tomorrow.

God Bless
Charlie & Linda

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