Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

September 6, 2012

FROM THE VALLEY: And that's a fact, Jack, Gary and Brad

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — As of this writing, I’m at the river with my wonderful wife, Kathie. It will probably be our last chance at summer-time fun before we start the process of closing down the camp. The last time I was here, I came alone — no wife, no dog and no cat. I wrote a column about that experience and was questioned on the veracity of what I had reported. Was the article a fabrication?

I was asked how I could have so much trouble every time I went north to the river. I can’t answer that. But I’m writing this to let everyone know that all of that story was fact – every bit of it. The last time I was here: the septic line broke, the water pump fizzled and I almost broke my toe when a bag of frozen fish fell out of the freezer. It happened — what can I say?

But because of the skepticism, I’ve decided to change my approach and start telling these anecdotes with a more positive spin. Let’s face it, most of the time things work out fine — it’s not always a disaster. Otherwise, why would we come here in the first place? And so, here are a few incidents that happened upon our arrival – all told with a different spin. From now on, the glass is … half-full … so to speak. Off we go.

Good fortune has beset us. After the tedious four and a half hour drive (and five trips up and down the 61 steps to unload the truck) we were exhausted. It was time to unwind and settle in. Unfortunately, when we entered the cottage, we found out that the building was completely overrun with fleas. Infestation on a major level.

You could not take a step without your legs being completely engulfed in black creepy crawlers. (Hang on, the fortunate part is just around the corner.) My wife must have been more sensitive to their bites – after running outside to brush them off, tiny red marks appeared from her knees to her feet. It looked like a million red-Sharpie marks all over her legs. It was sheer havoc.

Here’s the good part – here’s how fortunate we were: after running the 10-mile trip to town and looking in a half-dozen stores, I was able to locate and purchase the necessary spray and debugging bombs. (Not bad, huh?)

Here’s even better news: after prepping the inside, I set off the fumigating ‘bombs’ … AND we had to sit in the pickup truck for only – check this out – four more hours (to let the insecticide do its thing) Then we were able to enter the camp to air it out. How lucky could we get?

Wait! It gets even better. After getting inside and unpacking, I sat down to watch the last few innings of the Yankee game. The cable-TV box failed to work — the TV screen said that I was unauthorized to receive the signal. That was not the case — it was paid for and supposed to be working.

I tried to call them (the cable company) but for some reason my cell phone didn’t work from the camp — it usually does. But talk about good fortune – after walking up the hill (in the dark night) and hiking only a half mile into a field of mosquitoes, ticks, skunks and more fleas, I was able to get a hold of them and have them turn it back on. And to top that stroke of good luck off — as I stood there growing a beard waiting for someone to talk to — I was on hold for an amazingly brief 38 minutes — at a mere $3.00 a-minute roaming charges – before they took my call.

Life is good.

And before you ask me ... yes, it’s true.

That’s the way it looks from the Valley.