Quirky Stories

That was supposed to be easy…

Have you ever seen that movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles with the late, great John Candy and Steve Martin? Yeah, I thought 1000% a situation like that couldn’t happen to someone.

I was wrong. Even right down to the deer…except ours was a moose.

End of April I was heading 17 hours north to retrieve my daughter from university. She so happens to be besties with an author friend of mine’s daughter. Problem solved. We’ll have a girls trip to get the girls.

My couch mate Toby as I was hanging at Allison’s waiting to leave

We were stoked. We were prepared and yeah…life had other plans.

We left Toronto about 1:30 a.m., we made excellent time, although we were a bit punchy and aggressively friendly to gas station attendants in the Sudbury area (hey at least we were friendly). Things were going smooth and we hit Sault Ste. Marie at 9 a.m., which meant we should’ve got to Thunder Bay at 5 p.m. to have dinner with our girlies.

WRONG.

The drive around Lake Superior is a beautiful one, but it is hilly and windy. And at that time of year, still snowy, melty and foggy. OH and the big game animals are starting to wake up…but more on that later.

The hill the alternator pooched on.

Two and half hours north of Sault Ste. Marie smack dab in the middle of no cell phone service, Allison’s faithful truck decided to blow it’s alternator. Something no one could predict. We had a moment of freaking, BUT limped her 20 kms into a small town called Wawa. This was around 11 a.m. We left the truck with the mechanic, had lunch…but we were freaking internally the whole time wondering what was happening. It was Friday and we were in a small town up north.

We got the bad news that the alternator had to be replaced, the trouble was there were no alternators in Wawa. Not for the truck. Trust me, we tried everywhere. There were no car rental places and our dear sweet mechanic didn’t work on Saturday.

We had to call a cab (since the provincial government years ago cut train service to the north and Greyhound closed shopped due to COVID). After an $800 cab ride back to the Sault (it was either 2 and half hours to the Sault or a $2000 5 hour cab ride to Thunder Bay), we had a room, we had a rental car…which was an ordeal to find and we had a plan.

Our dear sweet Mechanic had ordered us an alternator in Sault and we were going to pick it up and bring it back to him Monday. With alternator and rental, we blasted around Lake Superior and the eight hour trek to Thunder Bay, with a stop to see Winnie the Pooh and restart our mojo (Winnie is the half way point).

We both have a keychain to remember.

We tried to rest easy, but being tired (we had barely any sleep) meant we accidentally booked our hotel room for Sudbury. DOH, but they had a room. We loaded up the girls and we were stuffed to the gills in the rental.

And then the moose.

The moose decided to run out in front of us.

I spent 44 years never seeing a moose. I saw my first one in 2019 when I camped up near Thunder Bay, but now I see them all the time and dashing in front of me. You don’t want to tangle with a moose. It’ll damage your car and possibly kill you. It’s that bad.

Allison, stared that young moose down and it looked at us and turned back. LOL

We dropped Allison and the alternator in Wawa and I drove the rental and the girls back to Sault Ste. Marie so we could wait for Allison to come with the truck the next day. Her ordeal at the Inn that shall not be named, is a story I leave for her to tell.

Waiting on Allison and her truck in the Sault.

Why do I keep calling our mechanic sweet, because seriously he helped us out and didn’t charge us much at all. Even trusting us to get the alternator and bring it to him and holding the truck safely in his shop. He had Allison on the road within an hour and first thing.

Some things do test a friendship, but I think ours is stronger for it. We went through some stuff together and we survived for the better.

In the end, it all worked out and we got the girls home for the summer, with better plans for next year. The girls plan to have an apartment and we’re getting a storage unit and flying them home! 😉

YAY! All fixed, much more comfy and our last 8 hours to home!
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Treasure Hunt!

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but my father is downsizing. He’s moving into a smaller place near my brother, about 3 hours from me. And I’ve been in charge of cleaning and going through what remains of his 74 years. Things he has to part with and things I’ve been sorting through for him and storing.

It’s been a whole process let me tell. It also meant going through and dealing with the remains of my mother’s items that were decorative.

But I found some unique stuff I’m thrilled to own now and will keep safe and a couple of photographs that amused me. The north is my jam, I love everything about the north, so a lot of these things are from there.

First up, my grandfather’s typewriter. It’s made of iron and heavy as I’ll get out.  My grandfather bought this new when he was 18. Now, the thing about my paternal grandfather is, he was born in 1885 and was 61 when my father was born. I never met him. By the time I reached the age of 7 in 1985 he would’ve been 100.

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I now have his typewriter. One he bought and lugged all over the north while working on the railroad. This thing was bought before WWI , which my grandfather tried to serve in but he was too ill and they wouldn’t take him. He tried to get in on WWII, but he was too old then and they wouldn’t take him. Drat, but instead he worked to keep infrastructure in the north going by working the railroad. And, German POW’s were often taken north on the rails once they were sent to Canada.

Yeah, so this Underwood is, about 117 years old. Heavy and I can get it to work again and restore it. I’m Super excited about it. I’ve always been fascinated by this.

Another piece I found was this plate. My Dad’s brother worked in what is now known as Nunavut, but then it was still part of the Northwest Territories and this plate depicts St. Jude’s Church in Frobisher Bay. On April 1, 1999 Nunavut was created, thus severing the vast NWT in two, making 3 territories in the north.

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Frobisher Bay became Iqaluit and this church St. Jude’s Anglican has the largest area of any Anglican diocese in the world as it covers the NWT, Nunavut, Nunavik and northern Quebec. Actually, the church depicted in this plate was lost to a fire in 2005 and a new igloo church stands in its place. Still, it’s pretty cool!

Which leads to this fella. Something else my uncle gifted to my parents when they were married in 1976. A seal carved by a Inuit artist, I think from Chesterfield Inlet. I would love to learn more about it.

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I found a series of photographs my father took while the CN Tower in Toronto was being built. I can tell you, that the waterfront is much more filled and cluttered today.

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And then this gem. Sigh. Me. I was about 2 months old, yes, I had teeth at month. My original derp face. LOL

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So that’s just some of the stuff I’ve been finding. They really have no monetary value, but they’ve been part of my life and my parent’s life for years and bits and pieces of the history of Canada.

And we’ll slowly get all the work done as we get Dad settled in with my brother. I’m going to miss having him close by, but this is for the best with the chemo he’s on.

It gives him his best shot and I want Dad to stick around for a while longer.

I do write about the north when I get a chance and you can read my latest and my 25th book which was set in Yellowknife NWT right now!

 

Medical2  His secret: he’s a prince!

Her secret: she’s carrying his baby!

After ER doc Lev Vanin shared one unforgettable night with gorgeous Dr. Imogen Hayes, he never expected to see her again. He couldn’t tell Imogen he’s actually a prince! But when a revolution at home forces Lev into hiding, he ends up working in Imogen’s hospital and his secret is out! Plus, Lev’s life is about to be turned upside down once again…because Imogen’s pregnant with his heir!