Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Shellbrook to Regina via Nipawin

For those of you who don’t know Saskatchewan geography, that is by no means a direct route.  In fact its hard to think of a longer route that wouldn’t involve at least some backtracking.

We spent a couple of nights in Reg & Ken Miners’ bin yard.  They fed us and we fed them and we had a great old time catching up on our visiting.  Mick-Mick (or maybe that’s McMick) kept careful watch over us just in case I might happen to feed him some more cheese.  I had trouble adjusting to a Miners dog that wasn’t named Trixie but the dog didn’t seem to mind whatever I might call him.

We had an appointment for the frenchy-bus at Darrel Ozmun’s shop in Nipawin on Wednesday morning.  Tuesday morning Marilyn drove into P.A. for some meetings and I met her at the rental house later in the afternoon.  We had a good visit with the tenants, inspected the house, discussed some work that needs doing and stuck them with a little rent increase.  We need to make some time this summer to go back there and kill some trees because the yard is slowly disappearing into a forest. 

It was dark when we got to Nipawin but we pulled in at our old shop and parked in front of the loadout spout.  That turned out to be a mistake because Kevin has the shed rented out to Aylsham Agro and Growplan.  Somebody’s super-b showed up shortly after we did and we got to listen to the sound of the plant running for a little more than an hour after that.  We could have moved but I had already set up the internet dish so we didn’t bother.

Setting up the dish turned out to be more of a challenge than usual.  I guess all the metal and electrical equipment in the plant must have confused both my compasses.  When I finally found the satellite it was over 20 degrees off where the compasses thought it should be.  The compass on the align-a-site is usually pretty flaky but this is the first time the other one has let me down.

Today we got the bus settled in Darrel’s shop.  Last fall when we did the B.C. safety they flagged the curbside tag axle brakes as being close to out of spec.  The pads still have plenty of thickness left but when they put a dial gauge on the camshaft and measured the full travel rotation it measured just over 90 degrees.  Out of spec is 110 degrees.  That’s been bothering me all winter so the main plan for today was to remedy that situation.  The risk is that if I made a hard brake application the brakes might cam over so it’s important to get it fixed.

When we got into it today we quickly determined that the problem is serious.  The tag brake drums are badly worn as are the cam bushings.  We didn’t tear anything apart but we did get the parts ordered. 

Having a few days to kill while we wait for parts to arrive wasn’t all bad.  Earlier this week father got offered a bed at Wascana Rehab.  That facility was our first choice for him when we placed him at Dove House.  Our intent for Dove House was that they would be a stopping point while we waited for father’s name to come to the top of the waiting list for Wascana.  We’ve had a few hiccups along the way but earlier this week I accepted the bed at Wascana.  Once you accept a bed the system expects you to get moved into it immediately so we are now on our way to Regina to get father moved. 

By early next week father should be in his new room and our parts should be in Nipawin.  There is a lot of room for slippage in that plan but that’s the one we are presently working on.  Lately a long range plan for us has meant that we know what we will be doing a week from now.

Tonight we’re parked outside the entrance to some provincial park on the south side of the Qu’Appelle valley. 

Tomorrow we’ll get settled in again at Comfort Plus and then we’ll go break the news to father.  The next couple of days will be tough on everyone but we’ve been through it before and we’ll get through this one too.  It wasn’t easy when mom & dad sold the house and moved into their apartment but they were still together, still more or less healthy and that was entirely their decision.  It was harder for them to accept when we helped them move into Victoria Park but that was still their decision and all we did was help them implement it.  We didn’t have any control over father’s move out of Victoria Park.  They sent him to the hospital and then refused to take him back so that move was forced on everyone which actually helped because we could all be mad at the Vic Park staff.  This time the decision has been very difficult because everyone knows that father won’t be making any more moves. 

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