Last Saturday, this time, I was stepping out into 31-degree weather, packing the truck in preparation for our 12-hour run back home. I believe that this morning I am still paying a penalty for this whole event. Beginning last Sunday I felt I had hit a wall. That was followed with seemingly a non-stop week.

”I’ve been a long time gone now
Maybe someday, someday I’m gonna settle down
But I’ve always found my way somehow
By taking the long way
Taking the long way around.”
~ Dixie Chicks

Jason – made an overnight journey north to assist bedding Northern Comfort down for its winter hiatus; hard work, a planked salmon dinner to die for, more hard work, a little learning, a fancy beer, a bit of bourbon with a cigar, a little more work, and finally a great brunch at Java Joe’s in St. Ignace. Then the long haul back, caravan style.

Thanks Jason! It made a week’s long chore easy (1½ day) and with a little fun tossed in.

As an aside, Jason made a HUGE discovery. The previous week we’d been having water problems; our system would not keep pressure forcing the water pump to run every 3-minutes – and all my checks proved fruitless. So we had water off most of the time and forcing a re-prime each startup. While I was in the lake taking the water line out and handing it to Jason, he noted a small puncture in the line close to the foot valve (probably by an animal) and that was the culprit. Next spring it’s a quick fix and we should be good to go.

Experiencing the new – Monday morning I was in the Dermatologist’s office wearing a little gown which could have been a bib in a previous life. It was me under the bright lights. A little scrape here and a little freeze there.

All of the above was new to me; and when reaching my well-worn years, not a bad thing. I guess that High school years spent as a life guard and on the beach, a few years of sailing, and the last ten summers on the lake does a number on the old ‘derma’.

Reaching an age best described by Abraham Lincoln as “Four Score” (or younger) it probably wouldn’t be a bad thing to get checked out.

CCJO – By Thursday I needed to recreate. At the last minute I realized I had forgotten that, that evening, it was the beginning of this season for the Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra (CCJO). Marcia couldn’t cope with a 45-minute advance warning so I did a solo run. It was a great evening listening to our 17-piece Jazz orchestra.

The soloist, multi-instrumentalist (from contrabass to the C-Melody saxophone) Scott Robinson, was well worth the listen – in fact, he was great. At one time he was the youngest music professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Aside from a lot of recording, he’s played with notables such as Ella Fitzgerald, Elton John, Lionel Hampton, Paquito d’Rivera, and Louis Armstrong, and was honored by being named as the US State Department Jazz Ambassador.

For us he played one number on a rare and primitive woodwind instrument, a Hungarian tárogató. Fun, fun, fun!

Vince – This week it was exactly one year ago that we lost Vince. Paraphrasing Kirstin, at times it seemed that each day was a year and now that’s it’s been a year it seemed like a day.

It was truly poignant that TLC – GreenWeek (Please DO click on the TLC – GreenWeek link for a wonderful piece on Vince) took this year’s event to also celebrate just how much Vince meant to his work family as well as us, his family.

We really miss you Vince and celebrate over and over again that we had you as such a part in our lives. Love you guy!

daily ‘scribble’ by Gary Andrews

Finis – I did not think it possible, but yesterday when I accompanied Marcia to a nearby ALDI grocery store I discovered a “not so” moment. Her quick ‘light’ shopping trip would get us through a week or so of food ended by laying out a few pennies short of $200.00. “At ALDI’s” you exclaim, yes at ALDI’s, and you probably thought that to be impossible.

Tuesday I rerouted my walk to veer past our Board of Elections to take advantage of the start of our early voting period. It gave me the satisfaction knowing that at least for a few weeks my vote actually provides an edge over those my kids will cast.

In actuality, since we’ve been back it’s been quiet on the corner of chaos and mayhem. Although there was a shooting about five blocks from here on night one. It’s life in the city.

Make it a great week.

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