OT: a note from Foreman

I went up north today with a friend, B.
It's the first time I've done that without Mary. B. wanted to have a look at the boatlift I have there that I no longer use or need. He
was a work colleague. He and his wife knew Mary for decades and in later years she and Mary became very close confidantes. I'll bet she knows stuff I don't and never will.
B is an engineer (a very, very good engineer) and so is, by definition, cheap. :<} They recently bought some lake property and a boat, so now he needs a boatlift. I told him the one I have at Big Sandy Lake could be his if he wants it, free for the come-and-get-it. It was Mary's Dad's, is in very good condition, and I know that's what Mary would do: give it to a friend like B if he might like it and use it well.
I hadn't even thought about if such an excursion might be difficult for me until we got to Cambridge, going up that 65 highway. Then it hit me. Well, that's overstating it; I became aware of how I was going up that road without Mary that we'd traveled so many times together, thru Cambridge, Mora, Grandy, and thence thru seemingly 900 miles of stultifyingly boring tamarack swamp to get to McGregor which is like arriving at nowhere with a Dairy Queen.
I was pleased to note that Mary's "road" (about 1/10 mile) wasn't grown shut with saplings and raspberries after three years of total neglect, nor was the steep hill washed out. It's definitely off-road 4-wheel-drive country, no problem for B's 4WD vehicle. . The land is remarkably un-overgrown, given that I've not mown there since 2010 if then. Lots of shade, drought year in MN, fire risk HIGH.
The lake is as beautiful as ever.
I may have to mow my way in next spring, no problem. Amazingly, the steep hill down to the lake has not washed out. We used to have to get that part of the road fixed about every 3 years, but the last time weI went to order delivery and dump-truck-spread of a load of class V (clay and gravel) the guy asked if we might prefer class VI (class 6). Huh? I was an officer in the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers, knew that there is no such thing as class six! He just smiled. OK, dis is up nort', let's go with a load of class six.
Tellyawhut, it is at least class six and maybe seven if there were such classes. This stuff is downright amazing. After three or maybe four years there is only a minor erosion gully down the middle of the hill, nothing that would impede the progress of a VW or even a wheelchair -- though the pusher of said wheelchair had better be hanging on tight with heels dug in because it is a rather steep hill. Going down, no problem. Stopping before going into the lake could be an issue, at least for the passenger. Oops after splash isn't always good, particularly when the temp is about 40. Going back up would require a winch or a team of Norwegians in harness. Given the stoic and taciturn nature of Norwegians, can there even be such a thing as a team of Norwegians?
A big tree had fallen on the boatlift, smashed the hell out of the canopy and bent the hell out of the canopy frame, but the lift is completely undamaged though it could use another paint job. The bolts that mount the canopy frame were amazingly easy to pop loose so removing it will be no problem. I'd brought a chainsaw to deal with fallen timber if necessary, but we didn't need to use it this trip.
We'll probably go fetch it next spring. It's getting late in the year, B won't close on his lake property until about 9 November and I'll be gone for most of November after that -- and there's no burning hurry.
We had lunch at the new Big Sandy Lake Lodge. http://www.bigsandylodgeandresort.com/
This is about adjacent to Mary's land, separated only by help-yourself-H's property. It was operated for decades (since Mary was a girl) by Mrs. Stringer who shooed snowmobilers off her land by making dismayingly close poofs in the snow with her .30-06 rifle. In later years sledders worried more about her marksmanship: she'd always missed precisely enough to be quite persuasive but how good was her vision as she passed her mid-eighties? Now it's gone yuppy, too bad, though I must say that the Oktoberfest goulashsuppe today was quite good.
I refer to help-yourself-H because neighbor Dr. H seems to think that anything and everything within his view is there for him to use -- and perhaps to then secure against the intrusive use of such rabble who might actually own what he's found useful and therefore conscripted.
The trip back home was unremarkable, other than I noted that B about never shuts up. I guess that wasn't a bad thing under the circumstances. He's a good guy and a good friend.
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<snipped>
Good to see you are doing ok Don. In another life I reckon you'd have been a writer!
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...

...
Good to hear from you on this NG Don.
There ain't no class six. Bet you got a custom blend of rock and clay with none of the material with the screen sizes in between. Was it crushed stones (sharp points on the rock) rather than washed rock from a gravel machine (round well worn stones - little marbles) I've found that the crushed rock mixed with clay is amazing on steep grades. Its our goto solution on the many steep sections in the township I'm the supervisor for. I'll tell Jim (our gravel vendor) about class six with the next order.
55 more days till Big Dave and I go fishing. Dave is about to get another boat. (I hope) Bet Vick will like Dave even more than you.
Karl
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On Sun, 07 Oct 2012 02:16:51 -0500, Karl Townsend

Do you think she'll "like Dave even more than she likes me" or "like Dave even more than I do?" <G>
Sounds like a good deal for Dave either way! Do I get free fishing and guide service for bringing her?
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On Mon, 08 Oct 2012 00:35:51 -0500, Don Foreman

Catching a lot of fish with Dave, Julie, Vik, and karl is the most fun you can have, with all your clothes on.

Nope, you have to pay double. Vik gets to go free.
Same deal with Julie and me.
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Don,
So good to hear from you again.
Yes, life goes on - if we let it. It's not the same as before, of course. But when has that EVER been the case?
Sending love and best wishes,
Richard and Dorothy
On 10/6/2012 7:28 PM, Don Foreman wrote:

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wrote:

Thank you! That means a lot to this crusty old curmudgeon.
We need to do more than let life go on, we must make it go on, pursue joy. Not doing so is surrender to the grim reaper, ready to be done with life. I certainly don't fault that attitude because I definitely understand it, but I'm not yet ready to quit most days.
I've known a number of CABG (coronary artery bypass graft) survivors who quit, lost interest in life, didn't soldier on. They're all dead now.
I wasn't supposed to survive my quintuple CABG back in 2009, but I did. I had to because I knew that loss of me would have been devastating for my lifemate Mary. Mar wasn't supposed to die in 2011 but she unexpectedly did. It wasn't for lack of trying. One of her doctors said that she had the most positive attitude he'd ever seen in a patient.
I see a wide diversity of spouse loss grievers in the group that I attend. The first three groups I tried were horrible but this one is really good. I've found some good friends there, including Vick who has recently become rather more than a good friend.
This particular small subgroup seems to have an "attitude" that now seems to be spreading to the larger group. Our small spouse-loss breakout group can get a bit weepy wailey when we welcome a new joiner who is experiencing the kind of pain we all understand so well. Newbys get unlimited time to ramble on however tearfully, there's a big box of Kleenex on the table. But this particular small spouse-loss group doesn't stop there by any means, oh my no! We also HAVE FUN. There have been casual social events at the homes of several in the past few months, and we have dinner and drinks somewhere after "group" each Thursday evening. That can get raucous and rowdy; it's always a lot of fun.
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Don Foreman wrote:

Me too on it being good to hear from you on this newsgroup Don.
I'll assume that "Vick" isn't short for Victor and hope that things go well for you too there too.
Judith and I still fondly remember our trip to Minnesota eleven years ago when we had a chance to visit with you and Mar "in the flesh" and meet many nice friendly people in your state.
Time moves on, and like a roll of paper towels it seems to run out faster as you near the end of the roll.
I celebrated my 55th college reunion this year and Judith and I are still running the family business together. I think I'll keep working until some health issue make me quit, I've had too many friends in my generation who "retired" and unexpectedly moved to "the wrong side orf the grass" shortly thereafter.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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There's no question if you just sit in the rocker, you'd best start shopping for a headstone.
Karl
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Den 07-10-2012 02:28, Don Foreman skrev:
Good to hear that you're still alive AND kicking.
Going back up would

Maybe not, but a team of Nordic aint the worst ;-)

Always liked to read what youre writing.
--
Uffe

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Don Foreman wrote:

Wow, I can only imagine how tough that might be!

A friend of mine has a chunk of property on the Current River (MO Ozarks) and the last bit of road (which is all his) is quite steep. He has a 4x4 but we go down there at times with various minivans and such, and it approaches the limits of 2-wheel drive vehicle to make it back up the road. I always go with a 100' crane cable and a comealong. But, maybe this class VI is what he needs to make the road repairs last longer.
I did make some repairs by picking out good-shaped rocks and putting them in the gullies and soft spots.
Jon
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wrote:

Mary and I once canoed the strikingly beautiful Current River, a very pleasant and liesurely float trip.
There's a whole bunch of steep in Missouri and Arkansas.
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On 10/8/2012 5:00 PM, Don Foreman wrote:

I did a few streams in north Arkansas back in the 70's. It is indeed beautiful. So were the girls!
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I'm sad to hear of her passing. But, life continues for the living. I hope the pains fade, eventually. Leaving only the joy of a good marriage, and good memories of gentle times.
I also hope your marraige was sealed in the temple, for time and for all eternity.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
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Don Foreman wrote:

Yes, we get out there usually once a year for a week or so. The kids like to take a 16 mile canoe trip, which is just about what I can handle. We also do a bunch of floating on truck inner tubes, only go a mile or so and then walk back. Our friend has a cabin inside the national park, it was built by his grandfather in 1931, and "grandfathered" in. My wife and a couple of the kids are a bit freaked out by the rustic condition and the critters that live in the attic, so sometimes they make us stay at the Montauk lodge, but we stayed a couple nights at the cabin this year and it was really nice. Last year my son wasn't too good at catching fish (or maybe it was too crowded and the fish were scared off) but this year he caught some great rainbow trout and a spotted bass, and I learned how to clean them right. Wow, that was GOOD!
It is really nice there, and if you are not right at the peak season it is pretty placid, almost like the river is all yours! (If you are there July 4th weekend, it is a complete riot, like America's funniest videos every 5 minutes as the inexperienced crash into stuff and flip their canoes.)
And, glad to hear you are getting out and doing interesting stuff!
Jon
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