October of 2021 saw a few more things return to normal for us in the COVID era. The Fryeburg Fair, a local agricultural fair, has been canceled last year. It was back this year and I was asked to be a timer for Woodsmen’s Day again. I love volunteering for that. It’s a lot of fun and I get to watch participants compete up close.
These pictures are from 2019, I think. This year I didn’t have time to take as many pictures since I was working most of the day. Up until this year, I was a relief timer who took over when other timers needed a break. This year I worked most of the day – I didn’t even stop for lunch. There were fewer competitors since the land-crossing with Canada wasn’t open yet, and some people just don’t feel safe traveling yet. I thought we’d be over quick, but they managed to pace events out well and I had a great time.
This hasn’t been a huge writing month for me for several reasons. One of which was the trip I took out west. Unlike the one earlier in the year, this was a fly to Vegas trip. I’d planned a week there with a friend who had to back out due to COVID concerns. Completely understandable. I was going to cancel the trip and get a refund on what I could (airfare was free with Southwest points, so I would have just had points to work with again). I then decided to see if there were some geocachers out there interested in a trip.
That was how my bar-hopping trip was transformed into a mega-Geocaching trip. We visited Bryce Canyon National Park which was amazing. We saw the Hoover Dam (again). We went to an old saloon where Clark Gable waited for 3 days for news of Carole Lombard’s fate following a plane crash. I saw the world’s largest thermometer. We geocached along the E.T. Superhighway. We visited Valley of Fire State Park. And I had a HUGE martini.
And I made two new friends. I had met both of my companions previously, but now we really got to know each other. We had great weather too – not too hot and not too cold.
That’s a big reason my writing numbers were off a bit this month. I had the best of intentions of doing better, but life got in the way and my muse seems to have been gone most of the month. I have a bunch of notes to put together new reviews, and a bunch that need to be reworked from Epinions, but I haven’t been driven to do much in that regard. It could be the impending anniversary of my oldest daughter’s birth. She would have turned 31 tomorrow, November 1st. Instead, she’s forever 22. Every year it weighs heavy on me as I think about what was happening 31 years before and how much I miss her.
The other news…
Grandbaby #3 is on the way! My daughter who lives with us is expecting, so we’ll have another little one in the house. It’s a boy and the name she’s chosen is Bryson Walter. The middle name is after my Dad, and I have to admit I teared up when she told us. She’s currently suffering from extreme morning sickness and nothing is helping.
This is the next geocaching challenge I stumbled on. It will take me all over New England and I am having fun doing it. A couple of years ago, I completed a challenge where you have to find a geocache in each of New Hampshire’s 234 towns. At the time, the only other one around was for Massachusetts and numerous trips back and forth to there really didn’t seem possible or a very good idea. Last year I heard about the Vermont 251 challenge and started working on that. Then, on one of the geocaching Facebook groups, someone posted a link to this map and a count of all of the towns in New England.
Challenge accepted! As you can see, I added 10 towns this month, and that was with being out west for part of it. Since we can’t take our family trip to Disney in April (baby’s arrival will be imminent!) I booked the April vacation week at a timeshare condo in Western Massachusetts so I can work on all of those towns in that area of Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. While there’s no snow on the ground I’m making as many trips as I can. The problem is that most of the towns I need are at least a 2 hour drive from the house. It would be more practical to stay overnight, but then hotel rates have been pretty high this summer. I’ll be watching the snow-cover maps soon and deciding where to go based on that.
Books I read this month:
I didn’t even get that much reading in this month! I can’t say that either of the two books on Kindle I read this month really grabbed me. They were both okay. I had listened to Howard Zinn’s book on audio and posted a review of it here. I think more people really need to read (or listen to) this book and digest a more complete history of our country.
I am currently reading the book on the right and the book on the left is the one I’m listening to. I have a long drive next weekend, so I should put a dent in it.
It was warmer than usual leading up to the month, so the leaves have stayed on the trees a lot longer than usual. We had a nice foliage season, and as I was driving home today I noticed how many trees still have leaves, even after a big storm last night. Don’t get me wrong – we’re way past peak foliage. However, it still is pretty out there when I drive around. We only had our first freeze a few days ago; a lot later than it usually is.
I hope everyone out there is taking care of themselves and navigating this crazy world we live in with care.