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FROM THE VALLEY: Am I Having Fun Yet?

I finally decided to travel north to our camp on the St. Lawrence River. Because of the situation we find ourselves in, it was my first trip there this year. My wife left several days ahead of me; and besides the anxiety just referred to and my penchant for procrastinating, I was my usual late-to-the-party self.

Nonetheless, this is the first article of several which will describe, in detail, my time there. So buckle up, stay tuned and you could be our next million dollar winner. Skip that part. I have no idea where it came from, what it means or who's on first.

I mentioned procrastination even though that's not probably the correct diagnostic term. I'm not sure what you'd call a feeling of being uncomfortable with my preparation to take the 250-mile, 4 and a half-hour long trip. I never am. My problem is that I fret over forgetting something that I will need when I get there. And for good reason: it's nickname, 'The Labor Camp,' is based on solid justification.

Oh, sure, we enjoy the river, don't get me wrong, but there are always speed-bumps which arise when we get there and I need to make sure that I have whatever tool (with me) necessary to address the job at hand. Speed-bumps, by the way, which we encounter on a daily – if not seemingly, hourly - basis.

Of course, I already have a basic supply of gear there, but some of the equipment I might need is something I have only one of and have to cart back and forth.

Admittedly, I did drag my feet when it came to getting the boat trailer inspected and registered. But I finally got it done the day before I left. I then proceeded to load that and my truck to the hilt. If it wasn't packed in there somewhere, it didn't exist. Not packed, not invented.

The night before I left, I even picked my own night-crawlers to take with me. After packing them, my dog, Maggie, and her personal bus-load of fleas somewhere in the mini convoy, I thought 'this is how Noah must have felt after he loaded the Ark.'

Incidentally, can you imagine the amount of feed that he (Noah) had to take along with him? Evidenced by the fact that not a trace of that wooden ship has ever been found, it's my bet that the termites were the best fed critters on board. Just saying. Burp.

Because I am a TV junkie, I called Spectrum to hook up my seasonal cable and internet service before I took off. I told them that I would like to add a second cable box (which I did not have last year) for another room. “No problem,” I was told. They'd send an extra box, wire and a splitter ginkus.

I explained that my wife was already there, in case they needed her to be on hand. Unfortunately, I was advised, because of the pandemic, they are no longer sending someone to the site. Instead, they would have a Fed-Ex delivery person drop off a self-install box with the equipment and instructions inside. (Yeah,”inside.” Like they could pack it outside the box. Why do we say stuff like that?! Whatever.) Fine.

Naturally, it was delivered to our neighbors. (No biggie, they kindly brought it over.) When I got to the river and opened it (the box), I found it odd because of the two languages included in the manuals. There was English, of course, and the other was Spanish. Spanish … what the …?!We are on the Canadian border. 'French Canadian' ring a bell?! Canada sits a mile away, right in front of me, across the river. Not Mexico, hombre. Canada!!! Parlez vous Francais, Monsieur Spectrum geography genius?

More on the annoying side, was the fact that the extra cable box came with the splitter, as they said it would, but only an extra 6 feet of cable wire. Think about that! Who in the hell installs two cable boxes 6 feet apart from each other? Good Lord!

Naturally, I didn't bring any extra wire with me in the truck. You now know why I have panic attacks figuring out what to bring. That meant a pain-in-the-ass trip to town to buy more at the local store. Welcome to the Labor Camp.

There's more to come. Stay tuned.

And for now, that's the way it looks from the St. Lawrence River Valley.


Tvalley@Rochester.RR.com




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