Thoughts from Thunder Bay

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Thanksgiving in Canada was celebrated this past weekend. Mrs. Syd and I loaded up the truck with a turkey thawing in a cooler and all the fixings plus assorted supplies including winter tires to bring to our daughter who is away at university. Sixteen hours of driving: eight hours from Owen Sound, Ontario, to Sault Ste Marie via Sudbury and a motel sleep then another eight hours via Wawa brought us to Thunder Bay, Ontario on Monday. Today, Tuesday, the turkey is going in a brine and tomorrow Miss Syd’s apartment will be filled with one of the best aromas in the world: a turkey roasting in the oven. The day after that the stock pot will simmer all day and Miss will have a supply of turkey broth to last her a while. Mrs is holding down the kitchen duties while yours truly puts up shelving, curtain rods and closet rods. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, it falls in a beautiful time of the year, and it can bring families together for a welcome pause from the daily grind.

The state of Minnesota lies southwest of Thunder Bay with Duluth being the closest major urban center. I believe I’m correct in saying that BRaG and Seth K. are residents of Minnesota, and maybe there are more AGers living there, so howdy to you Minnesotans from north of the border. The drive along the north shore of Lake Superior winds through rock outcroppings and the craggy hills of the Canadian Shield. Foliage has been frost-bitten up here and autumn colours are in full swing so it is a stunningly scenic route. Whitecaps froth and roll across the lake-water but not as viciously as when the gales of November rage and blow. BRaG once wrote about seeing a model of the Edmund Fitzgerald at a marine museum, a huge lake freighter that broke up and sank in those gales of November some time ago. Gordon Lightfoot wrote and recorded a song titled The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, a haunting tune that brings to life that tragic voyage. The drive along the north shore of Lakes Huron and Superior is no doubt equally eye-popping as routes through northern Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin at this time of the year and certainly no less so than any northern New England tour.

A federal election is about to be held up here – Monday, October 21 is the day and there is currently no front-runner. The Liberals (centrists) and the Conservatives (right of center) are neck-a-neck in the polls. The New Democratic Party or NDP (left of center) has a core support demographic but have never won a federal election. The Green Party (environmentalists with a conservative economic agenda), the Bloc Quebecois (the separatist spirit lives on in the Province of Quebec) and People’s Party of Canada (right of the Conservative party) round out the six main federal political parties. I think there are still a few candidates put forward by the Rhinoceros Party, and of course one always has the option of completing one’s ballot with a write-in candidate including one’s own self. The main thing to me is if you don’t vote then stop your bitching.

None of this has anything to do with the Kansas City Chiefs and that is the point. Our team has suffered two disheartening losses and I’d go bonkers if I didn’t find some kind of perspective, some way of reaffirming that life goes on. An elderly friend of mine is experiencing serious health concerns and my visits with her at the nursing home remind me of what really matters. So: life does go on, or sometimes it ends and blessings and prayers to those for whom the fates are calling. Don’t get me wrong: I thought all that stood between the Chiefs and hoisting the Vince was a beat-down of the hated Patriots but now I’m experiencing the angst all too familiar to Chiefs fans. Mind you, there’s nothing like the prospect of a game against the donkeys to get the blood boiling so let the roller coaster ride continue and long live the Chiefs.

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You are correct WRT me and Seth, though I’m north of him – and Duluth, as well. Up near the Great North Woods, for you Dylan fans, or the iron range, if you’re into industrial minerals. Or the lakes district, if fishing’s your thing. And while we’re “warmer” than y’all are, Syd, that ain’t saying much when compared to here vs. KC, lol.


Great read! Sometimes we all just need to take a deep breath and look around us. Life is more than Chiefs, but it is better tonight after they won!