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Nickel & Dimed; Canadian Lament; My New Girlfriend

I am one of those guys who hate to carry change in their pockets. I also won’t carry a purse. So after buying a cup of coffee or a donut somewhere, usually for $2.03, at the end of the day I’ve accumulated a bunch of coins… and they have built up over the years in a couple of plastic bags and in a plastic tray on top of my dresser. I think it has been about ten years since banks accepted a pile of coins, counted them for you in a machine, and handed you back some “paper money” that you could actually spend. Today I got fed up with the piles of copper and nickel (and a token amount of real silver) and started rolling the coins into paper sleeves. 

When I was finished, I had most of the little buggers all neatly packaged for their trip to their new homes. The bags and tray I had unloaded also included several safety pins from race numbers, a golf tee, a golf ball marker, two stainless steel nuts, one machine screw, a driving range token from far, far away, several Canadian and European Union coins, a handful of pocket lint, a crimpable electrical connector, two rubber bands, a button, and a key (to a lock no longer remembered). I glanced up at the clock, which read “3:54”. After all that work, I had but six minutes to get to the bank. I walked in the door with my 10 lb box of wrapped coinage at 3:59:50… “10 seconds to spare, YES!” I left with $104.50, lots of crisp new bills, and yes… two quarters to start the process all over again. Sigh…

While w-a-l-k-ing the puppies in t-o-w-n, we met a 74 year old Canadian gentleman. He was a charming fellow, and after admiring Rudy and Gretchen, he told us how much he loved living here in The Villages during the winter months, which are a bit colder than his native Ontario. He also likes the medical care here… especially after undergoing an interesting problem back home. Seems that while in Canada, he contracted an eye infection, and after several months of ineffective treatment, he was getting no better. He insisted on a referral to an eye specialist, but had to wait six months for his appointment, during which time his cornea effectively died. He finally had to come to the USA, where he paid $13,000.00 out of his own pocket for a prosthesis that he could not even get in Canada. Moral of the story: Since this is not a political blog, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions…. but one great line does come to mind, “Ah, the glories of ‘free’ socialized medicine.”

Here is a question for the guys: When was the last time a female friend of your wife’s “set you up” with another female friend, a frisky blonde even? Well, it happened to me yesterday. My Lovely Bride knows about our meetings, and has even consented to my time away from home, even though I come back tired, sweaty, smiling, and with a few stray blonde hairs on my shirt. (You are asking, “What, is she nuts?”) Well, before the guys get envious or the ladies become outraged, give me a few lines to explain.

Our good friend Catherine asked if I would take a friend’s dog out for some exercise. Jingles is a 54 lb, very active, enthusiastic, one year-old female Golden Retriever in training to be a service dog for a wounded veteran. She would likely pull her mom off her feet and down the road if she decided to chase a bird or another dog. Catherine thought that either (a) I could better control Jingles while she got some much-needed exercise, or (b) I was expendable; or (c) maybe both? So far, after two days, she hasn’t yet pulled me off my feet. Actually, she is very well behaved for a year old Golden. 

I’ve had three of these wonderful dogs in the past, one of whom, Scarlett, used to run with me almost daily while I was training for marathons. It’s fun to be running with a big dog again, but I have assured Rudy and Gretchen that this is a short-term relationship, and I won’t be bringing any 50-75 lb retrievers back home. After all, Rudy is The King, and Gretchen Our Princess. 


  • Jennifer
    Posted March 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Interesting story from this Canadian..I thought Canada was very progressive but apparently not in Health care..Interesting Graph…

  • Lois Anne
    Posted March 13, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Jingles is a treasure, and you are a blessing in her life, Ty. She reminds me of our Haley. Enjoy! And thanks for posting…

    Hugs to Rudy and Gretchen, too.


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