Arrival

Tank did me proud!

While I was staying at the little house in the city, Tank was a bit unwieldy. When visiting the shops, we parked on the periphery of the lot, where there were few vehicles, and chose parking spaces that could be “driven through”.

Yesterday morning I awoke at three, mused till four thirty, arose at five, and was backing out of the driveway by five thirty. The morning was crisp, snappish, and the stars were brilliant above.

The roads were empty as Tank made its way down the dark roadways towards Highway 401. An oncoming vehicle flashed its lights at us, letting me know that I had only Tank’s parking lights lit. I found the headlight switch, then we were good.

It was when I merged into the traffic on the 401 that Tank came into its own. The transport trucks on the highway, approaching the merging lane, were many, and travelling fast. Merging was effortless. Tank handles like a dream on the high speed highways! Who knew! Tank is the largest vehicle I have owned, and I am impressed. I have driven a large motor home, but it was awkward, difficult to manage, and had a full compliment of “unseatbelted” passengers, very unnerving. Tank, well, Tank’s real element is highway driving. Tank is an “off road” style vehicle, so this was a surprise.

Several stops for fuel revealed that Tank will cost approximately $30 per trip more for fuel, than Four Doors. Not bad!

After arriving home at the country house I unloaded everything, and got down to the business of putting all that gear away.

Then Attila came home for lunch, which was a real treat for both of us.

He brought the new microwave oven into the kitchen, before he had to leave to go back to work. Immediately I set to rearranging the kitchen counters. I seem to be on a real roll with this rearranging the kitchen thing. After getting the kitchen sorted out, I turned my attention to the pile of bills on the table. Finally I stopped to rest, plugged in the computer and had a gander at what was going on online.

It was nice to be with Attila once more, and our evening patterns fell into place immediately. A shared dinner, dishes, firewood, masonry heater firing, numerous household tasks, a quiet chat, and then off to bed for a good night’s rest.

I planned my return north around the weather reports. Yesterday, Tuesday, was to be cloudy with a few flurries in the afternoon. Today however, did not look promising. Beyond a few days the weather reports are not accurate, so they are not helpful. My trip was made on clear, dry roads, with good visibility. I chose well it seems.

Now that I have an independent mode of transport, I can travel between the north and the little house on carefully chosen days, that offer ideal driving conditions. Attila, on the other hand, will have only certain days off work, which will dictate when he can travel.

Keeping record of Tank’s performance meant taking note of the mileage. A one-way trip to the little house in the city is 330 km. (200 miles), a round trip is 660 km. (400 miles). I drove north yesterday, will drive south next week. Attila will make three round trips during December, that is 1,980 km. or 1,200 miles of travel. Go, Attila go!

In 2015 I will be making most of the round trips, but not nearly so often as will Attila during the Christmas season. From the beginning of the New Year, until the spring, Attila will likely have three two-day breaks, that is three “weekends” in the first quarter of the year, one of them legislated statutory holiday. If the weather is cooperative he will visit the south on his breaks. The rest of the time Attila works six days a week, and travel is challenging and exhausting for him.

This morning it is snowing. It looked so charming, drifting down in front of the headlights, as Attila backed out of the driveway as he left for work. As the day wore on, the storm intensified, to blow snow, and drip drizzle. By mid afternoon it was by turns sunny, then stormy, then sunny. It would not surprise me if we lost our electric power again by the end of the day.

Facebook can bring interesting points to my attention. This morning it was a grammatical error that was pointed out, rudely and condescendingly I might add, by a commentor on Facebook. The error wa in an article written by someone else. I had read the article, as the commentor did, but missed the grammatical error. The grammatical error had no relevance at all to the article, that is why I considered it quite rude to focus on the error, rather than on the content of the article, and to express the correction using a very condescending and disrespectful demeanour. The commentor’s comment spoke volumes about him, and said little about the woman he was correcting. Unable to offer an intelligent objection in regard to the article, he resorted to a petty criticism of form.

The correction involved the use of “I” and “me” in a sentence with a compound pronoun. I learned grammar in primary school, and have seldom formally thought about it since. It could be that I make a huge number of grammatical errors, particularly the one pointed out by the commentor, since I did not catch it while reading the article. Some of my grammatical errors could be typing errors, and some of them may be a result of relying on colloquial modes of speech. I can’t claim ignorance, and will have to admit to a certain lack of respect for strict conventions, and love of common modes of speech.

It is all well and good to be obsessed with perfection, but to imply, through criticism of others, that your preference is the one and only universally correct way, is sorta silly. By all means use your perfectionism to provide welcome feedback to others, when appropriate. Make your presence welcome, you have the power.

So here is what I found while reviewing the grammatical rules on the use of “I” and “me” in sentences with compound pronouns.

“A good way to test whether you want to use “I” or “me” is to take the other pronoun out of the sentence and see if it still makes sense.”
Source: The I and Me Usage Cheat Sheet

On another note, my Mom arrived safely in Florida, and is settled into her town house, food shopping and all. She wrote that the weather is lovely there. I really like it that my Mom gets to spend time where she is happy.

I am going to cut myself off at this point and post this entry, as I think we just might lose our power tonight!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

SNOW SQUALL WATCH IN EFFECT
SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT IN EFFECT [freezing drizzle]
-2°C
Date: 5:44 AM EST Wednesday 3 December 2014
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Visibility: 3 km
Temperature: -1.6°C
Dewpoint: -1.6°C
Humidity: 100%
Wind: S 11 km/h
Wind Chill: -6

Quote

“We don’t know a millionth of one percent about anything.”
Thomas A. Edison
1847 – 1931

22 Comments

  1. You rarely talk about your mom and I am certainly curious to know more about the woman who raised a woman like you!

    This guy who unnecessarily corrected someone’s grammar … is he an editor wanna-be and this was his job? If not, he’s a dickhead.

  2. Kate, my Mom grew up at the family home, which was also the General Store and Post Office, near our camp lot. She was born during the depression, and has some vivid memories of what it was like. She had two sisters, with whom she was very close, and misses very much now that they have passed. She married my Dad, who was a cottager, and then began her family; there were five us us roughly one year apart, and then my baby sister came along about six years after my youngest brother was born. When I was four we moved to our fruit farm, where my Mom did the lion’s share of the farm work, while Dad worked away at various jobs. She raised us, and managed the farm, each of which would have been full time jobs for anyone else.

    My Mom sacrificed a lot for her kids, and gave us a lot of wonderful memories. The family went through some very rough times, through which she was a rock of strength and decency, she never faltered. We owe her.

    She was one of the first people to take up computers, getting her certificates in the 70s. Bright as a penny, as my Grandpa would say.

    She has always been a “doer”, always just got on with things, and hasn’t really slowed down. She still calls me “kid”, which I love more than I can say. She has a busy active life, swimming, hiking, volunteering, playing bridge, socializing with her friends, and travelling. She loves hot days and sunshine.

    That guy who corrected the grammar may have been an editor wanna-be, I don’t know him, which is typical on Facebook. Based on his tone, I think it was the second option, he’s a dickhead.

  3. NORA

    Maggie, Your mother is something else! She puts me to shame. How wonderful for you to have a role model like her. I’m happy to hear she is back in Fl. safe and sound.

    Tank handles like a dream. Our Toyota did too. It drove itself. It was a wonderful vehicle.

    Sounds like Tank is also cost effective. Yay!

    Lunch with Attila and Mist. Very nice.

    Is it still snowing there? Did you lose your electric at all?

    Another Facebook assault by none other than a dick head. That has me smiling! Not the assault but the other. This all over a grammatical error that was not even yours. Some people just look for ways to be smug.

    Thanks for the cheat sheet.

    Keep warm and cozy. x0x0x0x

  4. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Glad to hear that you’re comfortable with Tank and that he handles well. Too bad that he takes so much fuel, though. We have that problem with DH’s SUV, too. It’s wonderful for some things but the gas mileage isn’t the best. Fortunately, DH doesn’t have to drive all that far, most of the time.

    The “grammar police” are always out there waiting to trip us up as we post on the internet. Like you, I really don’t worry about it. I’ve found that I prefer my writing to be peppered with colloquialisms as perfect grammar always seems to come across as dry or even standoffish.

    Your mom sounds like such fun! My grandmother was much the same way: going on trips, playing cards, socializing well into her 80s. When she was about 87 she actually won a word search prize in the local newspaper. She didn’t pick up the prize until I came visiting at Thanksgiving, when together we went and got the 300 scratch tickets she’d won and enjoyed a good hour or so together, talking and scratching all of them.

  5. Nora, the storm was still raging when I finally closed the dampers on the masonry heater and headed for bed. The power was on at that point. And the power was on when I got up this morning. Usually, when the power goes off, all the clocks need to be reset, they were all functioning this morning, so I assume the power held on all night. Snow squalls still blowing around out there this morning.

    Mom is a going concern, she is just like her Dad, my Grandpa! (That’s a compliment, right Nora!) 🙂

  6. Teri, like your hubby’s SUV, Tank won’t be going far most of the time. The commuting vehicle will be Four Doors. Tank will only occasionally make long trips. It will be wonderful to have the option to transport large objects! Already Terra has plans for Tank!

    Perfect English can be very dry and standoffish in print, I agree. I find that in person it matters little one way or the other, it is the person who animates the words, or not.

    Your grandmother sounds wonderful, you must have many cherished memories!

  7. Bex

    I confess, I am a grammar nut. Most times I say nothing, but inside when I see poorly used grammar, it sends me to the moon and back! But this is how I look at it. Everyone has something he/she is good at. Sometimes, it’s just one thing they are good at, and it may be grammar. I’ve always felt that way about myself…. not good at too much of anything except that. So when the opportunity presents itself with a glaring faux pas of some sort, it’s a chance to show everyone that you know something about something! The “me/I” debate has long been a source of inner-growling for me, and the way you said it above, that’s perfect! I did an entire blog a long time ago about just that subject… if it’s a compound pronoun thing, just remove one and see if the other alone sounds right! So simple, yet no one seems to EVER do it right anymore. The use of “me” as a subject in sentences also drives me mad, and it’s become ever-more popular to use it that way. I guess it’s just the rebel in most of us.

    When I read stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, I marvel at the use of language, and also in his personal diaries, it was the same. He was so stringent on himself in that regard.

    I figure if someone goes to the trouble of writing something for publication, it’s all OK… the reader can accept it or not, but Life is too short anymore to worry about it. I am slowly learning that!

  8. That is a great talent to have Bex, a feel for grammar! I always appreciate natural talent, whatever form it takes. Attila is good with numbers, almost a human calculator, I appreciate that very much. My friend Steve-Paul has a talent with music, I appreciate that. And for those who do not have a discernible talent, well, if they have managed to develop personal integrity and they are themselves, then that is the best a human being can achieve, and they have arrived at what I consider to be success. Talented or no, being yourself is the height of human achievement in my view. You can tell when people are themselves, they have an aura that shines.

    Mr. Hawthorne enjoyed a terrific beginning life, an environment where higher education was the norm, and he himself received an excellent education. His approach to language would have been heavily influenced by his starting point, his home environment, and subsequent acceptance of the standards of speech and expression that surrounded him. All this to say, acquisition and subsequent highly skilled use of language was nurtured in his life, and he ran with the opportunity and made the most of it!

    I loved grammar as a kid in primary school! Originally I devoured the grammar book, and even bought an ancient copy of the same text book that was used in our primary school classroom.

    I like grammar!

  9. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Had to smile when you said Attila was good with numbers, Maggie. DH is the same way. As an example, we’ll be in the grocery store and in moments he’ll figure out which size of an item is the best buy.

    Yes, I have a lot of good memories of my grandmother. I miss her, often. She passed in 1998, my last close relative. I have two distant cousins still, her brother’s child and grandchild, but that’s it. It’s a big change from having been surrounded by a large family when I was a child.

  10. It is pretty handy isn’t it Teri, having someone figure all of that out, on the spot. 🙂

    That is tough Teri, losing your last close relative in 1998. Like you I grew up surrounded by a large family, and now spend a lot of time alone, but spending time alone is not the same as not having close relatives. Your memories of your Grandmother must mean an awful lot to you.

  11. I enjoyed reading about your mom. What an impressive woman!

    I tend to break the grammar rules every so often when I write conversationally. My biggest pet peeve in grammar would have to be the misuse of it’s and its. As Nora would say, “I yi yi!”

    You and Attila are going to be road warriors this winter!

  12. Like you Reenie, my Mom is pretty, and was a beauty in her day, I forgot to mention that I think.

    Ah yes, the it’s and its decision, that one was sent to plague humans! That sneaky wannabe possessive!

    Yes, Attila and I are going to be out and about quite a bit! I wonder what the weather will be like this winter, if it is the same as last winter we will be dodging storms to get from A to B.

  13. NORA

    Oy…the grammar police! I am afraid of them. I am so guilty of defiling our language. If it wasn’t for spellcheck most of the time I would be lost with some things. The blow to the head did not help.

    I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer! I check things I write three sometimes four times….to be certain spellcheck (my dear friend) has not decided the word I have chosen does not meet its standards! Oh, yes, spellcheck is also guilty of changing words on me.

    I always have to look and double-double check certain words. You would think they would be ingrained by now. They are not. They are- loose/lose, chose/choose, and then there are the words that end in ‘es’ that become plurals…..and whether or not a ‘ goes in front or back of a word showing possession. The I/me thing…take me out and shoot me!

  14. Nora, you noticed the spellcheck changing things on you too! For the longest time I thought I was losing my mind, because I was “making errors” I had never before made. Then one day I caught it in the act! Replacing words ostensibly to correct spelling, but in actuality screwing up the meaning, and the grammar of the sentence at one blow. I have turned off “autocheck” in all of my programs, everywhere I could locate the function, and now check manually. My greatest problem is homophones, for some reason they get past my editing with some regularity. Part of it is that as I age it is more and more difficult to read the default font sizes, and I have yet to admit this, at least to the point where I take action and create my own CSS for web sites, and alter the default fonts on my software, so that the fonts are large enough to read easily. For instance, I have been trying to find an easy way to increase the font size of this very text field, the comment text field. So far no luck, but i will be back researching it again, perhaps even asking on a WordPress forum, because this entry text is too small to read comfortably.

  15. The winter affected the bear. The effect was that she hibernated.

    I use sentences like this one to remember the difference between affect and effect, because I can “hear” the difference without memorizing a formal rule. Formal rules are fun, but acquired internal extrapolations of rules are more productive for me.

  16. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Yippee! Maggie, you just slayed my major bugaboo! The biggest problem I’ve had is with the words affect and effect. Now I just hope I can memorize what you wrote!

  17. Glad it helped Teri! I remember which word goes where in the sentences, by putting affect and effect in alphabetical order. Affect is in the first sentence, effect is in the second sentence.

  18. Bex

    We JournalScape bloggers are going through blogging-withdrawal because JS is “down” – hopefully it will be back this weekend… at least that is what the owner told me. Fingers crossed!

  19. NORA

    Thank you Maggie! I will commit it to memory.

    I do similar things with words like gray/grey

    a=USA

    e=Europe

    Yes, some of us are going cold turkey with JS. Bex was kind enough to give me your URL. I have it saved now!

  20. Nora, thanks for the gray/grey thing, in Canada it is a toss up, writing with conventions from North America or England (Europe)! Sometimes, when I am tired, I vacillate between the two, in the same paragraph!

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