Saturday morning 101 (actually) October 1st. No matter how or when we drive it, the trip between Northern Comfort and our little condo is a twelve hour event. This time we made a stop next to the Cabela’s oversized outdoor gear store in Dundee, MI. Found a Sports pub, ate, had a beer, and watched a bit of the Bengals game. Made it home in twelve hours.

“I got some old brown green shoes
I stomp ’em on the floor road
I stomp ’em on the floor road
I just stomp ’em, on the floor road”
~ Ray Wylie Hubbard; Pots & Pans (paraphrased)

Most everything has been stored and packed. All the canned goods schlepped back are tucked away. The empty containers stacked in our basement storage unit. And our bed here is just as comfortable as I remembered it.

Just prior to leaving the, now out of production, rear door lock broke – in the locked position. DSCF3211 Great for leaving the place empty, not so good when you’re living here since the door would not open. One of the first ‘bits’ was take all apart, assess what was wrong, take those parts to Larry’s Lock and Safe (who now know my name). The next day the right ‘bits’ were picked up and a forty-five minutes later we had a working door. See, we’re getting back to normalcy.

Walking – Due to partnering with Marlene, Dia, and Noreen the summer meant that I walked between 2.6 and 3-miles every morning – almost daily. A routine I wasn’t about to give up.

I had, what for some unknown reason, I had always assumed was a 3-mile loop through my neighborhood. Wrong! Dragging my old GPS along, it proved without a shadow of doubt that I was walking a 2-mile loop.

That ‘bit’ was fixed within a day! A little plotting and planning, picked some of the more scenic streets, and so, for the last four days have been walking a 3.5-mile route; I’m making up for lost distance. Not as punishment mind you, just because it feels good.

Also, I’ve become more introspective (especially since I don’t have partners to talk to with).

The other morning as I walked between Angel’s Way and Delmar one of those waves of nostalgia washed over me. See, there is a wide wall which runs along that sidewalk, not high, just wide. That’s when memories of a just learning to walk Vai would be lifted by me onto that wall, and scared as she could be grasping my hand would walk on top of that wall. One of those terrified but absolutely proud events for her.

Then there were those other moments that ‘popped’ into my mind’s eye. The first time I saw Derek coming towards me in Kirstin’s arms and me hugging him. Even as recent as last Wednesday when in the rain I picked Dinah up from school. She had just been elected to be the Fourth Grade representative to the Student Council and had her first meeting. The whole way back to the condo she could not stop gushing on and on as she poured out her excitement.

Don’t know which I like better, talkative Dirk or introspective Dirk. I do know what those around me would say.

Mayhem at the corner – Barely a week ago I was sitting on a yard chair watching Loons laugh on the lake. Staring at Red Breasted Mergansers teach their young how to fish. And, overhead, pointing out large ‘V’ formations of Geese and Cranes heading south – this after hearing their honking for several minutes prior to coming into sight.


The city is different.

Wednesday I heard different cries, screams actually. A major argument was underway across the street. The house across the street has always been a bit of a ‘novelty’ with a “Runyonesque” cast of characters.

Definition of Runyonesque, those with; “a distinctive social type from the Brooklyn or Midtown demi-monde”. A cast of characters which Marcia and I have given to calling by colorful monikers such as “the Slapper”, “Skinny”, “Hefty”, or “The Seldom Seen Kid”.

Back to the screams. “Floor-length Sue” in her grey floor-length sweatshirt was busily hauling out bags and baskets of her ‘stuff’. She was leaving. Leaving in a hurry. Leaving, not under the best of circumstances, or in the best mood.

Even then, things escalated. Fairly soon the baskets were being thrown about the front yard. Clothing, purses, and much kitsch flew here, there, and everywhere. Things flew among the little piles quickly dropped by the two sub-sized dogs that ran about in tight, panic stricken, circles – they do that you know.

Then, helped arrived in the form of a Social Workerly looking woman (she show wore a tag around her neck). She placed “Floor-length Sue” in her car and quickly began to gather ‘stuff’. That was, until she stepped into one of the little piles deposited by one of the sub-sized dogs. Then she proceeded much more carefully.

That also meant that matters now proceeded much more slowly thus giving “Floor-length Sue” time to reflect. That she did and in a split second she popped out of the car and headed straight for a large tire iron which had magically appeared next to the front steps.

In the driveway stood a brand new, shiny, white, Cadillac.

“slow-moving John” who’d been standing quietly with his arms folded immediately saw what was about to transpire. “Floor-length Sue” swept up the tire iron and dove behind the house. Keeping his distance “slow-moving John” followed. However, in a second “Floor-length Sue” whipped around the building complete with new plans to create a “Cadillac-with-Dimples” look.

She proceeded to do just that.

The Social Workerly lady managed to get a hold of her and got her back into the car (I did hear an expletive or two come from a lady whose job it is not to cuss). They left in a hurry.

About five minutes later two Police cruisers with four officers rolled in. Marcia and I saw much note taking and a bit of an evaluation of just a dimpled Cadillac would look being parked by the corner of Chaos and Mayhem

Welcome home.

Finis – Here is a tip for all who, once a year, celebrate an Anniversary. Do NOT have it fall on a Monday. I repeat, NOT on a Monday. Do you realize just how many restaurants are not open that day of the week? For us that included Suzie Wong’s, a place we discussed all the drive home.

Yesterday was our first trip to Costco. I got my fix, Marcia had enough. However, gasoline was just $1.949 per gallon, compared to what we’d been paying in Canada it’s about half price.

Vince went on his own to get a scan at MD Anderson, a three hour drive away. Just good to see he’s got strength back: Rally for Vince.

Sunday the ‘Nati’ gang will be here for brunch. Since coming home I haven’t seen Tevita, Cathy, or Marin, so it’ll be good to catch up.

Now it’s time for my new 3.5 mile loop. Care to join? Then it’s to Findley Market, in the inner city it’s our outdoor veggie place of choice.



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