The Klondike season was officially over Labor Day weekend. Several of the residents started heading south to their winter homes shortly afterwards. The last dinner of the season, a spaghetti feast, was awesome and we sure hated to see the last Sunday morning breakfast . Horrors -Lucille will have to cook breakfast on future Sunday mornings now!
Niece Cindy and husband Steve hosted a wonderful Labor Day cookout in their home in Derby, Connecticut- we enjoyed spending more time with Larry's family as well as hanging out for a few hours with Steve's.
The following weekend, Larry kept his 'smoking' skills current by preparing another batch of baby back ribs which we enjoyed with friends Lou and Anne. Scrumptious as always, as were the fixings that accompanied the meal, including the fresh peach cobbler Anne had made.
Time for a quick road trip to Bainbridge, New York (just east of Binghamton), joining fellow Habitat friends Tom and Diane on a one-week build there. The local affiliate had arranged for us to park at General Clinton Park, a very popular and well-used community park with ball fields, an amphitheater and a paved walking trail around the park. After we got set up, Tom and Diane, our team leaders, had an informal meet and greet session with the rest of our team - Tom, Jim, Ira and Mary Jo. We met in a gazebo overlooking the Susquehanna River - the view was gorgeous. It is hard to believe that this scenic river is the one that severely flooded the area in 2006 and 2011 - at least twelve feet above where we were sitting - wow!
That evening the affiliate had a welcome dinner for us with a potluck meal provided by a local Methodist church. In addition to meeting Kathy, the affiliate's coordinator, and several board members, we were introduced to the future homeowner, Lorraine, and her 28 year-old son Garrett, a quadriplegic resulting from a tragic day-care accident when he was just four years old.
Most impressive about the Chenango County Habitat for Humanity affiliate is that they are 100% volunteer-run - there are no paid positions, including the construction supervisor. A loyal core of volunteers has worked every Saturday for years - this was their fifth home. Noreen, one of the board members and part of this core, had taken detailed pictures of the building progress, starting in May when construction began. We watched the slide show during our welcome dinner. When we got to the build site, it was ready for windows, doors, and siding.
During our week there, we (along with local volunteers) installed all the windows and doors, all siding, soffit and fascia, blocked all the interior walls for cabinets and such, and started to run the electrical wiring. Not a bad week's work from the eight Care-A-Vanners and the half dozen or so locals that joined us daily. Noreen had recently started a new job and took her first earned vacation day to help us, along with a community day her employer provided - that's dedication! The local churches provided lunches and snacks, keeping us well fed the entire week - from pizza to sandwiches to chili to casseroles to a trio of homemade soups - we didn't go hungry.
We opted not to work on Saturday after having worked five days straight but that morning attended the communion service conducted by the affiliate at the job site - an inspirational end to our week. We learned that our small group had helped to accelerate the building progress by about three months - very rewarding to know that Lorraine and Garrett will get to move in a little sooner. We said our goodbyes to all and headed back to Klondike, just a short three hour ride away.
We continued our family visits through the end of the month, either at Klondike or in Connecticut, returning at least once more to the Country Corner Diner in Bethany - one of our favorite diners to visit in the area, thanks to Bonnie and Brian introducing this restaurant to us. An impromptu wine and cheese gathering at Klondike's clubhouse gave us an opportunity to visit with about a dozen fellow Klondikers before we all headed to warmer points south - maybe we'll start a new end-of-season tradition!
The remainder of the month was spent getting ready to head out in early October - we did some last minute maintenance items on the Legacy fifth wheel that remains in Klondike year-round and prepared it for one last set of visitors - our Ontario friends Harry and Marie, from whom we'd bought the Legacy several years ago. They came up the day before we all left for our New England cruise, sleeping in the Tillotson 'Bed and Breakfast'.
Because most of the cruise overlapped into October, we'll tell you more about that in next month's update, including our 'wake-up-call' the morning we left for the cruise.
Coming up: After returning from the cruise, we head south to Huntsville, Alabama, where we'll hang out for three weeks, taking care of our annual medical and dental appointments and getting in lots of visits with our friends there. We'll be wandering around Alabama and Georgia for parts of November and December before moving over to 'Camp Carr' in Rincon, Georgia, where we'll be parked through the end of the year.