Anyway, I'm going to start from the most recent past and work my way back. I have a whole bunch of little notes saved on my phone, and I hope that I won't have forgotten what most of them mean. A hypothetical (and mundane) example: "Got strawbr sstore". I'll be scratching my head trying to figure out why I thought the strawberries at SuperStore were notable. Sometimes it comes to me later, and that feeling more than makes up for the forgetting.
I'm still going through physio. My neck is a mess but it might be getting a little better. Driving and walking long distances are still murder on my feet, but standing up to take a shower or do the dishes no longer is. I can type, but I can't do a lot of mousework. My left thumb flakes out after only a few minutes on a D-pad, and I find myself wishing that all of my old games supported analog (stick) controls. They're quite a bit easier on said thumb. I think I wore it out on my DSi.
Speaking of the DSi, I finally got sick of Dragon Quest IX - I put it away in disgust after the DQVC items started to repeat. I don't have everything in the game, but I did finish every quest and defeat every enemy, and I got all of the accolades for getting accolades. I never did get a 5-star weapon. It disgusted me that the chance to get them was random, and after having to work so hard for the ingredients, too! Anyway, I'm putting the game away for now. I think I spent about 700 hours with it. I don't dare turn the game on to verify the exact time.
Last weekend most of my mother's side of the family was in Sherbrooke for my maternal grandfather's 90th birthday. I took my stepfather down on Friday, though first we stopped at the Costco in Dartmouth. Apparently it was Sample Day - you couldn't turn around without tripping over somebody offering the opportunity to try something. You could have cruised the store in lieu of having lunch.
Since we were already in Dartmouth, we drove out the eastern shore. (If I were leaving from Bedford, I'd go through Antigonish. Google Maps would have you go Blue Mountain but that road can really mess up your rig! By the way, if you're going by way of Antigonish and are worried about getting lost, don't take the directed shortcut through Addington Forks.) The road was uneven in places. We got to Sheet Harbour to see the streets all torn up and being adorned with streetlamps and a sidewalk. It's going to be beautiful and it was badly needed, but why not also put in bike lanes while you're recurbing? I was mentioning this to my grandparents' neighbour and he said it was even worse that they didn't put in water and sewer. Anyway, I guess smooth pavement and a beautiful sidewalk are a start.
It had such an effect on me that I even thought, "Wow, I could live here..." and of course there was a girl at the Irving with an adorable accent who took my breath away.
"Will that be all?"
"That's $1.68. Debit?"
"Will you marry me?"
I'm making that last line up. Anyway, once you're past Sheet Harbour and then some, it's mostly good pavement from Moser River east. Guess the road crews are working their way west.
Oh, and I've "solved" the puzzle of the (to me) infamous Short Cut Loop: It's in Marie Joseph. Good luck finding it from the west - the only sign I know of is on the east side. I only found it thanks to the aggressively-set GPS in my stepfather's van. It's a dramatic little slice, and I wonder wonder why they just didn't build the road through there or at least pave it and mark it as a bypass. Turns are wicked tight in there, though.
And finally Sherbrooke is as beautiful as ever. I'd forgotten the "quietly dramatic" scenery and taken it quite for granted.
On the first night we played 31 with the cousins and our grandmother. When it came to be my turn to shuffle and deal, Andrew declared it time for a beer run and 7th inning stretch. That was kind of funny. Boy do they know me.
The second day was the party itself, but what might actually stick with me more is another, unrelated party that we crashed that night after things at the house wound down. There were two bonfires, music, delicious chili, and lots of friendly folks, and it was all under a brilliantly starry sky. Good times were had.
Next time: I'll talk a bit about Toronto.