Sunday, September 06, 2009



I was busy this morning with an eraser & a piece of paper erasing pencil check marks & lines through a list of items written in ink. About the same time last year I was doing the very same thing for the very same purpose. It's our long 'to do' list that I (notice that I said...I) begin to work on for loading the motorhome for the winter's travels. I'm not a last minute person so I like to start things early plus it's a great way to give myself a little physiological travel boost. The real excitement won't begin though until I see Kelly head out to the motorhome with a that first big arm load of stuff in about a month from now. She's more last minute than me. It's not until I see her bringing out her stuff that I know our trip is a go for sure.......10-4:))

My list is divided into categories starting now to double check on things. Here's a few examples....... THINGS TO START NOW
- is the motorhome insurance slip up to date & in the glove compartment
- clear any accounts with balances owing so we don't have bills arriving via snail mail when we're away
-transfer the frogs from front yard pond to big pond across the road
- make sure pre-dated lease, tax, water testing checks, etc are made out for next 5 months & left with the park's owners
- check quotes on health coverage for our stay in the States
- Motorhome & Santa Fe tune-ups
- make sure we have our doggy papers & shots up to date


As we get closer to departure date we'll have things like:
- replace front door screen panel with the glass panel
- all lawn ornaments put away, outside water turned off & garden hoses drained
- all liquids like paints, fertilizers, power washer, pond pumps, etc into the house
- Disconnect BBQ tank on the deck
- Fill all gas tanks like lawnmower, van, etc.
- utility trailer into the carport
- make arrangements to have cable TV & phone put on hibernation programs
- cover the outside air conditioner or winter snow coming off roof will crush it


Last minute items can be:
- load cameras, laptop, coffee maker, cell phone, meds, doggy toys, passports,
- turn water heater off, lock all windows & doors, etc
- load 35 cases of Tim Horton coffee & 55 cases of President's Choice Natural peanut butter
- leave a note in the mailbox for mailman telling him......"no junk mail"
- peel Al off the ceiling & get him focused on the trip ahead


Lists have been an important part of my life for many years & without them I would probably just clank to a stop & cease to function. In 1983 I was alone at the end of a marriage & found myself in a position where I didn't even know where or how to even pay a phone bill. I was surrounded by total confusion & had so many things on my plate all at once I was literally going round & round like a merry-go-round. Only way off that was to grab me a notebook, a pen, & get myself organized as fast as possible. Had to start writing down everything I could think of so I wouldn't forget things. It was important for me to stabilize quickly & what better way than a daily listing of my current day's activities!! From that day to this very day I have always carried a small notebook & pen in my shirt pocket. Everyday now for nearly 26 years!! COULD BE A DOGWOOD LEAF

I write down everything each day like, get bananas, milk, celery or check oil in the minivan or shoelaces for hiking boots. Clean living room windows, license tags this week, start motorhome generator, wash motorcycle, email to Bruce, check the Santa Fe's tire pressures, etc. etc. etc. Everything goes into my book. Also in the back of my little book I have the license numbers of all the vehicles plus tire pressures for each one including the bicycles. Phone numbers in the back of the book as well including our own because that one seems the hardest to remember. I am in & out of 5 or 6 different nursing homes several times over the summer & each one of them has a different door code to punch. Yep, got em all in my book. IN THE CORNER OF OUR SUNROOM

I've had many note books over the years with each one lasting maybe 6 to 12 months or more. Depends how diligent I am at writing things down as to how long I carry any one particular book. I get very irritable with myself if I forget something so it's imperative that I treat myself well by making sure everything is in the book!!!! But, it nearly tripped me up one day. REFLECTIONS OF MORNING SUNLIGHT THROUGH MY CAMERA LENS

As helpful as my little black (yes, it's actually black) book has been over the years it did very nearly cost me a second date with a very good looking blonde I had just met in a coffee shop one afternoon in Doon, Ontario. It was my first time meeting Kelly & I had pulled out all the stops. Wore my best used shirt & even bought her a coffee as I recall. My pen & notebook were securely in my pocket promising to be on their best behaviour. Everything went well (probably was her free coffee) & we agreed to meet again later in the week for a movie. It wasn't until a few years later that she told me when she came into the coffee shop that day & saw the pen & notebook in my pocket she had me pegged for a nerdy type & she definitely was not looking for a nerdy type. (good thing I had taken my glasses off & stuck them in my back pocket) Well, somehow me, my pen, & my notebook all survived the close coffee shop encounter that day & have been a part of Kelly's life ever since & that's been over 15 years now. Who would have ever thunk it huh. Now, how's that for a happy ending to a story between a man, a woman, a pen, & a notebook................:)) TWO OF MY OLDEST & MOST RELIABLE PALS....MR. PEN & MR. NOTEBOOK.

GROANER'S CORNER:(( What do Eskimos get from sitting on the ice too long........................Polaroids.

The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.


  1. Al, I was going to comment on your lists, but first I have to check mine to see if there's anything I need to add or change. I'll let you know, later!

  2. Our next trip, whenever it comes (October, we hope) will be our first since having a well-stocked home to leave behind. There will be so many things to do, stuff to transfer, etc. Now I see I need to buy a Mr. Pen and a Mr. Notebook just like yours. Only thing is, I almost never have a shirt pocket as we usually wear T-shirts.

    Question - do those little pond frogs return on their own each year, or do you have to go and catch 'em again?