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Life in Rockburn, eh?
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“I meant Euro, Zac.”
“Who's Euro Zac?”
“lumberzac with a manbag?”
“IOW, same old Zac.”
“He's a young Zac, actually.
Nimblefoot is an old sack.”
““I hear ya, Currahee. We (my rugby club) lost a 34 year old to brain cancer after a long and courageous struggle about two weeks ago.
Last Wednesday a good friend dropped dead of a heart attack at work. He was the youngest of five brothers and two sisters. The third brother, Dave, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour about five years ago. He's still doing pretty well, however.
The oldest brother, Donnie became close to Dave (actually, they're a very close knit family) and would travel in from Toronto once or twice a month to visit. He dropped dead two years ago last November. He was 48.
The kids were all tested and they all have a heart defect except Jerry, the second youngest.
They're all athletes, the three youngest Dave, Jerry and Denis played rugby and Denis was an excellent hockey player as well. He was 41 with two young children and a widow waiting for a liver transplant.
It took two hours to visit at the funeral parlour and when we got out at 6.30 people were arriving for the 7.0 p.m. session. I got to the church Monday at 2.0 knowing that I'd be standing outside if I arrived any later for the 3.0 o'clock service. The women walked in sobbing and at the first eulogy (of three) the speaker broke down.
It was pretty weird to see a bunch of rugby and hockey players weeping.
The second eulogy was given by his boss and he broke down too.
It was hard.
Just needed to share. Thanks, everybody.””
“Gremlin, when are we doing the Santanonis??
Jackstraw needs those peaks.”
“I'd wait a about a month. The mud should be good and deep by then.”
“The Santanonis would be cool.
My knee is healing and I'm back at the gym.
Let's pray for a dry summer - two roads into the village are flooded right now.”
This is überkuhl ...
“... even for Rockburn (crossroads of the galaxy, eh?)
Joey, now in his late thirties is a kid who made good on talent alone. He is now co-owner of a Montreal moving company that has exclusive contracts with the Montreal Alouettes (Canadian football - don't ask) and the Montreal Canadiens.
He lives up the hill and hires local kids and supports local organisations ( breast cancer et c.) to give back to the community.
Last Saturday was our Captain's dinner for the Ormstown Saracens Rugby Football Club and we were enjoying a few beers during the pre-dinner pool and darts tournament (at the same time and in about the same place - you need to know rugby and ruggers to understand). Joey, a past president, was fielding questions from the kids and seemed to be enjoying a new celebrity status (again).
I don't watch or listen to commercial radio and TV and so I missed it.
Now beer and ice hockey enjoy the status of religion up here as many of you know.
Joey was interviewed (it happens regularly) on a Montreal rock station and he said that now the Canadiens are back in the play-offs he had an idea.
Some years ago the Habs moved from the legendary forum to something called the Bell Centre - yeah, yeah, I know progress )-.
Joey said the problem of the last few seasons was that the team moved, but the ghosts of Montreal hockey had stayed in the forum (now a cinéplex thingy). He said he intended to move the ghosts and bring the élan back to the team for the play-offs.
Anyhoo, he arranged for a 53' float and a dozen blow-up lawn ghosts (Hallowe'en) with Canadiens logos printed on the front. His moving company logo proudly visible, of course.
Problem is, you're not allowed this kind of rig in downtown Montreal - not to mention a publicity stunt of this kind and Joey got a call from the Montreal police the morning of the move.
'They asked me if I had squared it with the city or had a special permit.' said Joey.
Of course he hadn't - he hadn't even thought about it.
Here being here, the cop called him back and later that day Joey pulled up to the forum, pulled out a dozen plastic thingies, blew them up on the float with the compressor and drove them over to the Bell Centre and took them in ...
... with a police escort of four policemen mounted on horses, six mortorcycle cops and six police cars.
How cool is that?”
“That is Quebec Cool!”
“only a dozen ghosts??? not enough IMO
what numbers were the ghosts wearing???
last edited: 4/15/08 1:53:50 PM”
“I don't think he got that trchnical. He says people poured out of stores and restaurants cheering and taking photos. He's had over a dozen interviews on radio and TV about it.”
“Wave after wave of snow geese and Canadas. Geese by the side of the road, in puddles, on flooded fields and in every bay of the river. The first flush of a ruffed grouse. The brace of wood duck flying over my buddy's barn. Turkeys everywhere and the first turkey vultures circling overhead.
Cursing the deer tracks by the side of my road as I go for a walk just beside where I hunt and saw nothing.
Sitting in my kitchen cooking my AT boot linings and looking out to see two geese walking down my road pecking at the tarmac - wondering if they were hurt and watching them honk and take off, probably toward flocks dropping in on the pools of the Rockburn just over the orchard in front of the house.
People walking everywhere as if they'd just been launched out of every barn and house.
Steam everywhere as the sap boils. Cars and coaches full of tourists stopping for snacks and syrup, pony rides, petting zoos at the sugar shacks (Stevenson, Yelle, Blair, Rankin, Faille, et al.).
Flat beds going up and down the road with huge plastic vats of sap.
The first fishermen's car (from Quebec) on the side of the road by the Marble River as I drive to Chateagay, NY to get my mail. Getting out the Battenkill and the Palakona, checking my flies and looking over my waders - waiting for the water to drop and become wadeable.
Barbequeuing when it's still light out.
The first tailgate beer at my buddy Bob's with his wife sitting in the sun on a folding chair laughing at just how stupid we still are.
Going to Gander Mountain (this Saturday) in Plattsburg to get gear for turkey hunting.
Leaning on the truck with a beer just about anywhere and watching buddies drive in, get out and open a beer.
Still looking forward to the first drink on a Montreal sidewalk terrasse watching the most beautiful women in the world who have just shed their winter coats.
Waiting for my wild plum trees and blackthorns to bloom at home and in the ditches (the first). Having a beer on the terrasse of my village pub when the orchards across the road are in bloom and smelling them too.
Gotta stop - I'm making myself horny.”
“Oh yes (while I'm horny).
The first trilliums by the road in almost unbelievable plenty. Wild garlic (ramps) freshly and legally picked. Fiddlehead ferns and the smell of washing them and the first taste of them in a salad.
“When I got home after posting here the ducks had arrived on the swampy parts of the woods beside my place and the peepers (horny little tree frogs) were chirping away.
When I take off my storm windows the birds building nests in my blackthorn shrubs will wake me up at the first hint of light.
Bob, my buddy has legal ramps for commercial exploitation - I think it's easier to get a handgun permit - in fact I know it's easier to get a handgun permit than one to grow ramps. They're highly protected here.”
“And woodpeckers - how did I forget woodpeckers?
Opened the windows Saturday morning and walked down to Bob's to help him split wood. It was the first time I'd worked with a big woodsplitter and on the toy scale of 1 to 10 it's a solid 9. Yes indeedy.”
“When is Rockburnstock taking place this year?
I will need a tie-dye shirt and fringe jacket.”
“Oh yeah....................Fookin' Eh!”
“I didn't know they made tie-dye flannel.”
“LZ, go to a quilting store. You can get flannel in any pattern you can think of, including tie dye patterns.”
Rock on, eh?
“Believe it or not we have a country music festival that draws a surprising number of people for such a tiny place. There is also 'Breast Fest', a music festival in support of the fight against breast cancer. My two rich friends organise and sponsor it - Joey (of the 53' float) and my buddy's brother (the one who stole the pig at the Ormstown Fair).”
“I will be in the quaint little town of Canada in a few weeks for the annual fishing trip. I might even stop in for Breast Fest but the one I'm going to is in a bar in the middle of town.”
“Gawd put it in the middle so even a fool could find it.”
“I prefer 'quirky' to 'Quaint', NC. Gonna put up anoter TR like the last one (LMAO, BTW)?”
“If I don't get carried away by the black flies first!”
“Yeah, they go for the tourists first.”
“Thursday afternoons some of the local 'colour', myself included like to share a libation or two at the Legion in Ormstown (Royal Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League). My buddy Bob got me into it.
Bob and Roger work for the town and Roger took a week's vacation this week to get things done and see the doctor. He made an appointment with Bob Campbell, the plumber, to put in a new, electric water heater (electricity is half the price of oil or propane here) Wednesday.
Well, Roger and Irene forgot about the appointment and decide to travel to Brockville, Ontario to see their daughter.
Bob says that when he got to Roger's house there was no-one there and it was locked tighter than a frog's arse (and that's waterproof) - which is unusual here.
'You can't keep a plumber out.' said Bob yesterday, and so I got in, installed the new heater, took out the old one, locked up and left.'
When Roger 'phoned Bob Wednesday evening to apologise for forgetting, Bob told him the heater was in and working. He told Roger he'd give him the bill at the Legion on Thursday. Roger was surprised at how little it was.
'Campbell's a cheap burglar.' my buddy Bob said.
Yup, Rockburn style service.”
“I thought sure the story would end up with the water heater in the wrong house, lol.”
“You've got some great people around there, Doug.”
“And their had better be plenty of beer in the fridge, too, by golly.
last edited: 4/25/08 1:22:47 PM”
“Hey Gremlin, any black flies yet?”
“"I thought sure the story would end up with the water heater in the wrong house, lol."
......or the wrong bed!”
“My buddy got his turkey last Friday. I'm not hunting this spring - next year. I put my money on my car for Trail Days. Blackthorn, hawthorn and wild plums are in full bloom - looks like I'll be making jam again this year which is unusual for wild plums. trilliums everywhere.
Spring is at my buddy's while deer season is at Bob's. We had smoked wild boar and deer steaks on the BBQ and lots of other stuff (did I forget to mention beer?).
All ready for trail Days and we're booked for Gettysburg. My buddy is into cowboy shoots and has always wanted to see the re-enactment and so we're going.
I have to work outside to-day so that I can put my brand new kayak in the water to-morrow.”
“Hey Gremlin, I live aboot 90 kilos from Gettysburg, eh?
ENS is 50 K from there in York.
We should have a meet-up, old bean.
I'm not going to Trail Days so whadduh ya say?
You have mail.
Well, I got the kayak in the water and paddled round a National Wildlife Area (a marsh of the St. Lawrence) beside a Ducks Unlimited marsh.
When I got back home Kevin, the Township Secretary (Town Manager?) was at the pub when I dropped in. His son Alex is in the Royal Canadian Regiment and has done two tours in Afghanistan and was in the battle for Pandjwi (sp?) - the Crazy 8's.
Alex called home to say he wouldn't be home for Mother's Day because his company had been put on alert. Apparently they are trained and equipped for emergency relief work and his group is equipped for the recovery of bodies. Alex said he did the math and it make about 1 400 corpses per soldier.
He said he asked that because he's (I don't know if I should continue, but ...) on reduced duty due to a back injury if he'll get only the kids. Another soldier pointed out that he's from the country and should bring a pitch fork.
It's called gallow's humour. It's the army, eh?”
For some reason I think Zac could be a member of THE EH TEAM.
He's dang near to Canada, eh?”
“Sorry, to disappoint you MarkO, but I'm of Scottish, English, & German decent; no Irish.”
“Nobody's perfect, Zac................eh?
You might still qualify for THE EH TEAM.
Hockey, ice-fishing, critter-shootin'.............any other outstanding qualifications?”
“Grem, part of my "chores" during my second tour in Vietnam was finger printing stiffs. That sense of gallows humor (and a lot of alcohol) help to keep going.”
“A good stiff drink after a day of holding hands with dead guys?”
“A cold one??”
“On a more serious note, my best buddy's taken to cross dressing.
As you might (or might not) know, cowboy shooting involves senarios. One this Sunday was to put on an apron and hand clothes with a shotgun on a hay bale and a baby in a basket. 'Indian rustler' target pop up and he had to yell, 'Chilluns in the house!' then shoot the targetes with the shotgun, pick up the baby and set the basket down in the 'cabin' - ten seconds penalty for any bounce.
Ensuing carnage with short range rifle and revolver and then run out to get the laundry after saying, 'A woman's work is never done.'
Never a dull moment.
See y'all next week. I'm off to Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia to-morrow, then to Greensboro, NC to see an old buddy.”
Give us a call if'n ya feel so inclined while passing through Merry Land.
Happy trails and safe travels!”
“Hi, everybody. It's been a while.
Well Pennsy has heard me b!t¢h about cyclists in my part of the world. Now, some of my best friends are cyclists if you know what I mean, but this is not the suburbs. My road is not a 20 mph street - it's an 80 kmh (50 mph) road and we have milk trucks with 90 000 pounds of milk and logging trucks, not to mention tractors and trucks hauling hay at speed.
Traffic is much less dense, but faster and heavier and it makes me crazy to see cyclists riding side by side up a hill when I can't see what's coming the other way. Often when I give them a quick honk they'll show me the finger.
A few get killed every year and it's a miracle there's not more.
Last week I saw a pile of vehicles at the side of the road. This stretch of road is heavily forested on both sides and there's not a lot of room and so I slowed to a crawl.
They were Bird watchers! Bird watching is a great activity, but they had what I call the 'suburb syndrome'.
There were motorcyclists coming the other way and I waved them through. Just as the first motorcyclist drew up the the first car the woman pulled out - never having even looked in her mirror. I stuck out my hand, pointed to her face with my teacher look and pointed to the side of the road and she pulled over.
The others all drove off with their stupid Tilley hats.
Yesterday I was having a beer at Bob's when the Fire truck drove in. Bob needed it to fill his pool and I got to play with the fire hose (male end in first - always) and ride in the truck top the station to fill it up. Great fun.
Well that's about all the excitement I can stand right now.
Guess I'll have a beer.”
“He used the fire truck to fill his pool? LOL!
Your birders remind me of the bear and wildlife watchers around the Smokies. They just park their cars in the roadway and wander off to look at something they shouldn't be going near.”
“The horse-watchers in Assateague Island National Seashore do the same thing.
They don't always bother to pull out of traffic but just stop in the road to gape at the wild horses.”
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