transitioning back on grid

29 Nov
2012

It’s been a bit of a tumultuous journey the last couple months.

Closing up from my amazing off grid adventure this summer took a great deal of effort during an extremely cold and wet end of season. It was topped off with tropical storm Sandy and some damage on the property to my neighbour Neil’s trailer.

What a summer though. Sad for it to end but I enjoyed the projects and it was an amazing learning curb. Slowly, I’m getting the tools to make it more comfortable and cope with the potential hardships while living off grid.

My winter plans were originally to go to Europe and house sit. I have a few destinations in mind – Ireland, England, France, Spain or The Netherlands.

This may still happen for a short visit but I spent the first bit of November visiting in Ontario and awaiting a friends 50th Birthday. I followed this up with a trip to Alberta to visit a few good friends. Five of them in fact…a couple of them I haven’t seen since high school over 25 years ago.

I had also intended to do a ride share so I could save costs…this didn’t quite pan out and I was delayed by one party. The delay made for an interesting and costly journey.

On the ride out, in Northern Ontario, I hit a major snow squall in a very remote area during the evening and had a daunting drive between Thunder Bay and Kenora, a distance of nearly 500 kilometers with only 2 small towns on the way, both of them closed in the evening.

The following day, just west of Regina, Saskatchewan I was driving 30 kilometres under the speed limit because of an ice and snow storm which had just hit. I hit black ice, a condition which blankets the road with a sheet of ice. The car went into a spin on a busy 3 lane highway and I swerved sideways hitting both shoulders and regaining control. It was rush hour and somehow, no other cars were hit.

I stopped for the night shortly after and took a slow daytime drive the next morning, thankful I had been spared any damage or injury.

The lesson learned for me was to not travel during the night or take long trips in the winter months. At my age, it’s just not something I want to do any more. If I take a long trip again, I will have a much better budget to deal with rest and make it enjoyable.

What I will say is that on both occasions, I stopped at Tim Horton’s a famous Canadian Coffee and Donut shop along the way…and they were life savers.

Thank you Timmies.

So, now I’m in Alberta and getting ready to return home…slow, steady and carefully.

I’ll be leaving in about 10 days and taking my time with daytime driving only.

And now the good news. I’m leaving a little earlier not only to be safer but because just before I left, I was handed a great bit of news from my parents. My daughter, Sylvie, who is almost 16 is coming to Toronto for Christmas. I haven’t seen her for 3 years and it is one of the reasons I was going to Europe this winter.

Life has a way of bringing you good things when you need it.

Anyway, the transition to on grid life has been done in my usual style with a little bit of excitement and adventure. Next year, I’ll have more time and ability to focus on a smoother transition.

All in all…life is a journey…stay tuned for the ride share from hell and a major announcement on my new business venture.

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