As you know, A CHRISTMAS CAROL has occupied my time since my return from Portugal November 9th, but I was way overdue for a “day out.”  So today I combined a few last CHRISTMAS CAROL errands with a road trip.  I packed in the car 6 cartons of food for the Fall Mountain Food Shelf donated during the play and bundled the checks.  I got gas, returned the clock borrowed for Scrooge’s living room, mailed books, and headed off to the food shelf to deliver the food and checks.  MaryLou was awe struck, even though she knew I was coming.

I then headed north to do some book scouting, have lunch, and look for a few gifts for my grandchildren.  Since losing Cathy I have taken what we would have spent for family adult Christmas gifts and given the amount to charity, and in return told my family not to send me anything but give to charity instead if they wished.  In our family we are all blessed, have so much, and need nothing material.  My daughter-in-law, Mari, when she was here last weekend said that the kids get so much not to bother, but I want to leave something when I see them – something they can open a day or so later.  On the way up Route 12 I heard a strange sound in the back of the car, and when I arrived at one place where I usually find good books I smelled brake pad, and in checking wheels a rear wheel was too hot to touch.

Well, if you know me, not much bothers me. I am relaxed and take what happens in stride.  Hey, with what I have experienced you learn that nothing matters to get upset about.  I bought 4 cartons of books, and when I was done I checked the phone book to locate the local Chrysler dealer.  It was not too far away in a section of Claremont that I had never explored.  So, off I went figuring it was the best thing to do.  Do I love small towns!  I arrived at the small dealership, went in and explained my problem, and in about 5 minutes my car was in the garage.  The mechanic came up to talk with me and explained that the brake caliper had stuck, but was now loose and I should be alright.  But this had occurred before as I recall, so we discussed things and he said to be safest, and avoid damaging the brake pads the caliper could be replaced.  He gave me a price of $169, and I said go ahead.  Shortly he returned, and sadly one of the brake pads, although with much life left, had cracked from the heat generated from the frozen caliper.  Pads are only sold in sets for both sides, so I asked if he could install just the one side and I keep the other side for the eventual change.  He said fine.  So, one and a half hours later I was back on the road.  Now, if I had gone to my own dealer, when I got an appointment (hopefully without further damage) it would have been a 45 minute round trip plus the repair time.  Time is money – and I saved my time, and possible further complications.  I am blessed.

Of course for lunch I had a book with me, TITANIC CONSPIRACY (thinking about going to Titanic events in Belfast, Ireland in 2012 after a trans Atlantic crossing on the Queen Mary 2), and also put my IPodTouch in the car thinking the spot I wanted to lunch at, TIP TOP CAFÉ (in White River Junction, VT) may have WI-FI.  Well, I comfortably sat in the waiting area, book in hand, and internet at my fingertips with WI-FI at the dealership.  When I saw my car come outside I went to get my jacket on, and at the table next to me was a copy of the newspaper EAGLE TIMES.  Yesterday morning I sent a letter to the editor about the wonderful contributions at A CHRISTMAS CAROL.  “I wonder if they published it?” I said to myself, and I picked up the paper.  There it was, under the heading –


The Walpole Players 4th Annual production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL has concluded and we wish to thank our communities for their generosity.  The show is our gift to the community, but in return we ask that the audience members make a monetary donation to The Fall Mountain Food Shelf and Our Place Drop-in Center.

In these difficult times we expected donations to be off this year, but instead we were pleasantly surprised, actually overwhelmed.  During the four performances, with over 600 people attending, the cash donations exceeded $4,515.  Not a drop from last year, but an increase of 43 percent.

It is so heartwarming to know that our communities care about others less fortunate just as Scrooge learned from the ghostly visitations in A CHRISTMAS CAROL. 

Thank you so much for attending and making our production such a success. 

Merry Christmas, yours, Ray Boas and Tara Sad

If I had not broken down, I may have missed seeing the paper.  I asked, and they let me take their copy.  I stopped my subscription during my travels and haven’t started it up again.

So, off to the Tip Top Café ,Cathy would have loved it – I discovered it about 2 ½ years ago, but it was 2 PM and I got hungry so I stopped at a little café just off Exit 8 off I-91 and went in.  While enjoying my veggie wrap I noticed an “interesting” fellow pull up in the parking lot, pop his hood, tinker, get back in, and proceed to turn my way and smash into the corner of the building outside my window.  Nonplussed, he backed up, got out, talked to a woman who came out, got back into his car with mangled fender and drove away.  Supposedly, I was told, to get his driver’s license.  Only in Vermont!!!

Now if you live in our wonderful area, and you do not like “shopping centers” and crowds – that is me – there are not many shopping opportunities, especially for little ones.  But I had some great ideas.  I first stopped at the Montshire Science Museum gift shop, but nothing “grabbed me.”  I then headed to my planned destination, a small country store in Fairlee, Vermont called Chapman’s Country Store which has been run by the same family since 1897.  Cathy and I discovered this small town and store before we even lived in NH, and she loved to shop there.  Originally a Drug Store, Mr Chapman had developed a salve that Richard E. Byrd used at the South Pole (and you know my connection to the South Pole). Next door is a card shop, one of her weaknesses, that also has some gifts, in fact Betty, that is where she got the cookbook we gave to Matt.  We always found wonderful gifts there, and my last stop was on June 8th in “Black Beauty” returning from my endurance run to Franconia in the blistering heat.  Yes, I bought gifts then too – if you like a store or restaurant vote with your pocketbook!  I again was not disappointed, and 3 items “grabbed me.”

Chapman's Store - 4PM with my IPodTouch. Have to remember to have at least this with me if not a camera too.

Time to head home, 4PM, about 2 hours later than I thought I would be, so because of the car problem delay I had to delete a few stops, and the weather was turning fowl, so time to head south and home.  I love being “on the road” and I love being home.

So, why am I posting this?  I just want to reiterate that no matter what happens to your day, smile and make the best of it and have fun.  Thanks, and at least one more post will come before year’s end. As always, yours, RAY

This entry was posted in Day (or maybe two) Trips and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Marian L. Michlig says:

    What a fantastic day you had. Now, the car trouble would have made me sit and cry.
    Wish I had your mind set. Thank you and Walpole Players for their wonderful contributions.
    Merry Christmas to all.


  2. Debbie says:

    sounds like a great day! There is only one answer I can think of;

    “ I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite. ”

    Buddy the Elf
    from the film, Elf (2003)

  3. Brian Shriver says:

    Oh the pulchritude of serendipitous wanderings! or as my cousin from Arkansas would say “havin’ fun … a gettin’ no-hwares!” I don’t really have a cousin in Arkansas. Glad your repair didn’t put you in a “fowl” mood.

  4. Chris Burchstead says:

    Hi Ray,

    What is your connection to the South Pole?


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