Joe Writes . . .
Yes, we are still alive. No, we did not travel the Grand River in 2019. Yes, we will complete our journey in 2020.
This was not a year for canoeing. I have been busy for at least a year, remodeling one house and preparing another for sale. My wife and I love our new home – located just outside of Dexter, west of Ann Arbor – but we worked like fiends for a long time to make it habitable. Literally. The house was in rough shape. We moved in to our new home early in the summer while the renovation was in full swing and got our condo on the market in August. I’ve included ‘before and after’ pics of the porch at the main entrance of the new house, below. This has become my favorite spot for a sarsaparilla (that’s the correct spelling, I looked it up) before dinner.
My real estate business was slow this year so I took a part-time job at Lowe’s selling appliances. This turned out to be a blessing in that one of the benefits of working at Lowe’s is an employee discount, which I used frequently for renovating the new house and for getting the condo ready to sell. Long story short, I worked three jobs in 2019 – remodeling the house, real estate and Lowe’s – and that didn’t leave much time for canoeing. But I missed it, that’s for sure.
Tom has been busy as well, and while he probably had more time available than I early in the year he is now recovering from surgery on a broken ankle, for crying out loud! He slipped on some ice in that early-November snow storm and now he’s holed up in his apartment, waiting for doctors give him the all-clear to put weight on his ankle again. I’ve urged Tom to work diligently at his rehab so that we can be on the river once the spring surge subsides.
We met up, spouses in tow and Tom in a wheelchair, for Thanksgiving dinner on the Grand River at The English Inn outside of Eaton Rapids, a spot we learned of while paddling that section of the river. It is a beautiful setting and the Thanksgiving menu was wonderful.
On top of all those things, there are people we love with health problems and various other concerns which have consumed our time and thoughts this year. The result, sadly, has been that we did not get out on the river. But we missed it, and we will.
With no news to report from the river until paddling season begins, I plan to use this space to write about other things for the next few months and will urge Tom to do the same. Stay tuned.
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