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Posted on May 26, 2022 under News & Updates with 2 comments

Working on next week’s Words of Wisdom

 

Would you be prepared to spend .96 a week to read my posts?

As most of you know, I have been writing posts on my website for over 10 years. (1,317) What started as a hobby, turned into a passion and then a small business. These days my business model is not working.

The costs affiliated with my website (maintenance, domain renewals, upgrades etc) keep going up. It has come to the point where it is costing me money to write stories.

I am reaching out to my readers to see if some of you might become subscribers or supporters of my website. I am looking for a minimum of 50 people to pay $50 annually. (.96 a week).

Please send me a private message on Messenger or an e-mail at lenpdmacdonald@gmail.com to let me know if you might be interested in becoming one of the 50. No money required right now.

I know that most people are getting content for free so this may be bold of me to be asking.

I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks.

 

 

 

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Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (And Whimsy)

Posted on May 25, 2022 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with 2 comments

 

Still patiently waiting to get behind the wheel

 

“Maybe you might have some advice to give,

On how to be insensitive, insensitive, ooh, insensitive.”

Insensitive – Jann Arden

I have been motoring along quite nicely on two legs for the past three years. I live in the heart of our small town and am within walking distance of the liquor store and the hospital, two of the most important institutions in any community! I don’t need a car and I don’t want anything to do with a car but when presented with the offer off a 15-year-old Prius, at no cost, who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth? A person should never look a gift horse in the mouth, unless the horse has a smirk on its face.

I have owned many cars in my lifetime. Actually, most of these vehicles were jointly owned by a bank or finance company. Do normal mortals ever actually pay off their car loans? My first car was a used 1970 VW that I purchased in Victoria for under $5,000. It was my pride and joy. The last car that I drove was owned by my wife, but I was insured on the policy.

My brother and his wife recently purchased a new Prius. Initially, they decided to trade in their trusty 2007 as part of the transaction but on sober second thought, my brother hated the idea of parting with the older Prius. After all, how many cars sport both a Boston Marathon sticker and one for completing an Iron Man competition? This is when he and his wife decided to gift the car to me.

Because my brother practices medicine in another part of the province and typically comes to Antigonish late in the week, we didn’t get around to arranging the paperwork to transfer ownership for three weeks. During that time, I made a road trip to Halifax and a few other shorter jaunts. I even took it to school one rainy day because I was transporting my guitar that morning. But mostly, the car sat idly in the parking lot of my apartment building.

Two weeks ago, our schedules finally meshed and late on a Friday afternoon, we drove over to Access Nova Scotia (not sure why they changed the name from Motor Vehicles which seemed to sum up rather succinctly what goes on in that office) in his sleek 2022 Prius.

We took a number and waited patiently for our turn.

Papers were signed and money was exchanged. Now, it would take far too long to explain what happened when my brother initially traded in the old Prius but much to our surprise, we discovered that the 2007 Prius did not have a vehicle permit nor was my brother’s car insurance valid on the vehicle, even though he had kept it in force. In other words, I had been a common criminal for three weeks, galivanting all over God’s half acre without a care in the world… or a permit and insurance. I was told that I couldn’t drive the car until I came back to this office with proof of insurance.

It was now nearly 4:00 p.m. I decided to get the ball rolling and wandered over to Main Street, a two-minute walk from my apartment. A young insurance agent took all of the relevant information and generated a quote. I was aghast at the cost of it. I had been led to believe that my age and my stellar driving record, would qualify me for preferential rates. I was informed that the issue was that I had not had any car insurance for three years and as such, insurance companies were treating me as someone with no driving experience, despite the fact that I have driven hundreds of thousands of kilometers over my lifetime without a single claim. The agent suggested that I shop around as other companies in town had access to a bigger line of secondary insurers.

It was now getting near to closing time when I entered the offices of the next company on my list…. the one second closest to my apartment three minutes from home.

I went through essentially the identical process providing my name address, phone number, and driver’s license number. Much to my delight, the agent told me that there were two companies prepared to underwrite a policy at a reasonable price. But there were caveats. To ensure that I would not be a menace on the road and a threat to society in general, they needed my driving history.

I contacted their office again on Monday by e-mail. I received this message from the agent: “Not to be insensitive but is your legal name Elizabeth?” It took me a few minutes (after picking myself up off the floor) to compose myself and send a cheeky reply.

I grabbed a cold beer and turned on YouTube.

Johnny Cash was rattling around in my head.

“I tell you, life ain’t easy for a boy named Sue”.

I am patiently waiting to get my driving record.

Have a great weekend.

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Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom (and Whimsy)

Posted on May 18, 2022 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with one comment

 

Rub a dub dub. An old man in a tub

 

Substitute teaching. 3.0

The variety of opportunities for a person to embarrass themselves are limitless when they are substitute teaching. In no particular order, my latest assignments included pre-calculus, science, guidance (nobody needs more guidance than me!), resource room, math and Gaelic. I don’t speak a word of Gaelic. The only three words that I can easily identify are cead mile failte – one hundred thousand welcomes.

If you don’t know the story of the slaughter of the MacDonald clan at Glencoe, you can skip this part and go look it up on your own time. Taking the attendance in period 1 of Gaelic class, the first student on the class list was a Campbell. I looked at him and asked him if he knew about the massacre of Glencoe. He nodded in the affirmative. I joked with him and warned him to be on his best behaviour. By the way, the MacDonald’s have gotten a lot of mileage from that ancient story at Glencoe. I am told by some historians that the MacDonald’s were well known horse thieves and may have had this coming to them! At the end of class, I pulled out my guitar and sang a few Scottish and Irish songs… including The Massacre of Glencoe.

I’m “mailing it in” folks.

Three years ago, at this very moment, I was walking across Spain. (The Camino) This is one of my fondest memories of this great adventure and one of the funniest. I had just walked a very long stretch the previous day with Charlotte, a lovely woman from Texas.

I woke before dawn today and listened to the birds.

Having discovered this small treasure along the Camino in the remotest of locations, I had decided to stay an extra day. I was on no fixed schedule and my body was telling me that a rest day was required. I was also aware that several of my friends were a day or two behind me, so it made perfect sense to stay put and relax.

Charlotte and I had a simple breakfast. I told her my plans, but she was determined to forge on. I walked her back up the steep incline until it connected with the trail. We bade each other farewell and that is the last I saw of her. I watched her disappear over a hill and I returned to “the spa”.

When I’d been lying in bed earlier that morning trying to decide on my plan for the day, the number one reason for staying had been the Jacuzzi. Spending another day here afforded me the luxury of having a relaxing soak without worrying about tying up the bathroom. When you’re on the road, you’re always conscious of other pilgrims and their needs. Taking long, hot showers in albergues is frowned upon, because everyone deserves a bit of hot water at the end of a long day of walking.

I must admit that I can’t ever remember being in a private Jacuzzi. I have been in several outdoor hot tubs and the ones they have in hotels, but never in a bathroom. Every muscle in my body ached from the wear and tear of nearly three weeks of walking, combined with yesterday’s travails. The sides of the tub were so high that I wondered if I would be able to get my legs to cooperate. I turned on the hot water and put my head back. It was rapturous even before turning on the jets. My entire body—particularly my feet—were deliriously happy.

It took quite a while for the tub to fill; this was a beast and required a lot of water. I watched carefully as the levels rose to cover the half dozen jets, and I hit the start button. It didn’t make the smooth, soothing sound I had expected. Rather, it sounded more like an angry bull that had been poked with a cattle prod. There was an explosion of water and, despite the fact that this was a very large bathroom, the spray seemed to find its way to all four walls, the floor and the toilet. Let’s not forget the ceiling, as water now surrounded me and even dripped from above. I turned the jets to the off position. I wasn’t sure what to do next.

I concluded that there hadn’t been enough water in the tub and now there was even less, as half of it adorned every square inch of the bathroom. I stepped out and turned on the hot water tap again. I grabbed my bath towel, which was only moderately wet, and started wiping down the entire bathroom. I prayed that there wasn’t a secret camera taping this entire escapade. I was terrified of falling, but not because of the possibility of broken bones. No, I was worried that I might not be able to get up off the floor and someone would eventually discover me sprawled in the midst of the large mess I’d made.

I re-entered the Jacuzzi, which now contained enough water to float an ocean liner. I gingerly turned on the jets again and could hear a low thrum. I was in business. The jets blasted water at every square inch of my body. Every sinew, muscle, ligament, tendon, organ and extremity sang the Hallelujah chorus. There was even a jet at the back of my neck, a perpetual thorn in my side (neck!).  After about 25 minutes of luxuriating, I pulled the plug, fearing death by relaxation.

I dried myself off with a wet towel.

Have a great holiday weekend.

 

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