The tiger fans have been moving in droves to all empty spots in the park. They’ll be gone by Saturday however, as Auburn plays tomorrow in the Citrus Bowl right down the road in Raymond James stadium. As the year ends some of our new found friends have decided to move on. One such couple is Gerald and Mary de Varennes. Let me tell you how this association came to be. I had always felt an uneasiness about the French-Canadian snowbirds that are the majority in this park and many we have entered. I didn’t know if it was me, my ignorance of ethnic customs and differences, or just something imagine. I thought perhaps that it may be the language, and the fact that they speak only French and keep to themselves, and perhaps shyness on their part manifests in our own minds as being stand-offish. I didn’t understand. After all, we’re all North Americans, we’re neighbors, and above all we’re RVers and there is a bond that transcend all RVers to some degree or another. So when I found our neighbors were French-Canadians that spoke English I decided to ask Gerry just what it was. His good judgement told him not to answer and he stated he would give me an answer a day or so later. And this he did and introduced me to what he called Canadian Rye. Here we just call it Crown Royal. Over several cocktails Gerry told me that it stemmed from some 350 years ago when the English finally defeated the French in colonial North America. They hatred had begun earlier in fact, but the coup de grace was this loss of North America. From then on the French despised the English speaking Brits and the fact that Americans have the same language, sometimes we get looped in with them. Sort of guilt by association. I wasn’t sure I bought this but I was having fun with Gerry and his stories and historical analogies were getting the best of me.
He introduced me to a book, which related that Gerry’s ancestor was the first white man to settle in the Dakotas. In fact, there still exists a placque in honor of his ancestry located in South Dakota. Today, Gerry and his wife Mary left the park for Port Richey so last evening we celebrated their departure by emptying a bottle of Crown Royal that I had gifted them.
Here it is, New Years Eve and I have found Robin to be a bit edgy today. I thought the 76 degree temperatures would lighten the mood. Now, life is good, but I don’t want anyone to think all is bliss and every day is utopian. We still have our difference and living in 400 square feet is quite different than going to the basement or upstairs to the bedroom in a stix and brix home to get away from one’s spouse. So when I could take her edginess no longer I hopped on my motorcycle and just cruised for a good hour and a half. Upon my return, I walked the mile over to the gym, hopped up on the elliptical machine and stepped for another half hour until several hundred calories were burned. After the mile return to the RV I had found that this was just what Robin needed. My ride and my workout had done wonders for her psyche. She just seemed to be one happy camper. So unlike the Gen Xers that will party down tonight, we’ll take the four steps from the galley to the living room, snuggle up with some of that Canadian rye, and hopefully make it to the dropping of the ball. And to all of you that read this. I wish you a successful and glorious New Year.