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Heading south no easy task

Heading south for the winter is quite an involved task.

Packing (or should I say stuffing) the vehicle with every conceivable item requires not only strength, but quick reflexes to slam the hatch without the mound tumbling out.

It takes a full day.

This is further complicated by our detour to eastern Ontario to visit the gene pool, so the whole process has to be repeated before leaving there. By then we are more or less proficient at it.

Evaluating the gene pool

My wife, the Pearl of the Orient, and I have invested a lot of years—and substantial cash—in the gene pool.

With year-end upon us, perhaps it’s time to review those investments and decide which ones should be liquidated.

On the negative column are all those colds that are brought home from school and visited upon visiting grandparents. Could certainly do without them.

Then there is the complete absence of spare change from both my pockets and the top of the dresser. At first I thought it was just the Pearl gleaning my cash, but she always left me enough for coffee.

Christmas treat doesn’t last long

Norm makes really good caramel corn. Sort of like Cracker Jacks—only much better.

Let’s call it Gourmet Crunch. It’s delicious. But we only get it at Christmas because it’s addictive and my blood sugar and dental state simply could not handle any more.

My wife, the Pearl of the Orient, put her order in the other week vowing to restrain herself and to hide the batch from me.

“You know, Norm, what I’d really like is some of your Gourmet Crunch Corn,” the Pearl said. “The grandkids are just crazy about it.

Christmas events in works

December will be upon us soon and with that comes many annual Christmas events, beginning with Emo’s always-enjoyable “Holly Daze” festivities.

The Santa Claus parade takes place on the evening of Dec. 6.

The Emo Legion, meanwhile, will host its “Crafts Galore” on Friday, Dec. 6 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and again Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

The tables have been sold out, which means there will be crafts and goodies of all types.

The event also will feature a soup-and-sandwich luncheon both days.

Buck fever still raging on

With winter close upon us and the Rainy River starting to skim over with ice, the topic at the debating table in the Bakery in Rainy River has changed from lunker walleye to the big buck.

The finesse carbon fibre rod and reel tension have been forgone in favour of the best ammo, accurate sighting techniques, doe scent, and tree stand etiquette.

“Had to make a major purchase this week. I don’t know if I can afford toast this morning,” remarked Pickle, his nervous twitch emphasizing the serious nature of parting with hard cash.

Be careful how you strut your stuff

“What are those kids doing out? It’s not Hallowe’en yet!” I thought the other day as I spied two kids—one decked out as a witch and the other as Marie Antoinette—strutting down the street obviously on a mission.

Then it hit me it was just the diminutive Lou and her sidekick, Nettie, on their way to a Mad Hatter . . . er, Red Hatter celebration.

I reflected on strutting one’s stuff. I, for one, no longer strut. I saunter or shuffle now, particularly if it’s a little icy.

Shock and awe

Shock and awe—that’s the only way I can describe it.

The snow that greeted me the other morning gave me a niggling feeling we had waited too long to head south. But I had to make the best of it, so I dug out of the garage the musty old coat and shook it out.

The toque I had left in the sleeve was still there, along with a 10-pound stash of weed seeds some chipmunk is going to be really ticked off about losing.

The insulated gloves I’d hidden in the tool drawer were well-chewed on by the resident mice, but they will have to do.

A real haunting

At first I thought it was the approach of Hallowe’en. The gaunt, haunted look plastered on the faces of many around the debating table at the Bakery in Rainy River was upsetting.

What was causing it? The composite truth leaked out after some intense questioning.

I first noticed the Runt was more morose than usual. What was bothering him, I asked.

I’m too sexy for my clothes (not)

I was on a mission. Those comfy old shoes with the Velcro fasteners were down at the heels and in true senior fashion (cheap and tender footed), I would rather get them re-soled than break in a new pair.

I headed through the mall in search of the shoe repair kiosk with my wife, the Pearl of the Orient, trailing 35 yards behind.

As I rounded the corner, I heard her shout at me that I could pick her up right there when I was finished. Great, I waved back, and hurried on my quest.

Lightening the load

I finally found it! The floor of the garage, that is.

It all started with the approach of the hibernation season.

“Elliott, you left the garage door open again. If we get a skunk in there, you’ll never be able to root it out of that jungle of junk on your side of the garage,” my wife, the Pearl of the Orient, chastized one morning on her return from a close encounter of the stinky kind.

“And you’ll need a place to live if I get sprayed!” she warned.