Sometimes we are like penguins

It has been an exhausting and exhilarating week since my last entry. On Tuesday, 26 October, Carroll, Meredith and I attended the IFMA (International Facility Management Association) Foundation Gala, where the Madison Wisconsin chapter of IFMA successfully bid on my presentation about walking the Camino during the live auction, so I will be presenting there sometime next year.

 The Gala was in the World of Coca Cola, a wonderful building celebrating Coca Cola and its many products around the world. Wednesday we spent the evening at the IFMA Welcome Reception at the Atlanta Aquarium. I did not know that whale sharks are neither whales nor sharks, but the world’s largest fish. When they passed overhead, they created a dark area beneath them.

 On Thursday we checked out of the Omni Hotel, then moved back to Sheevaun and Laura’s place. As you might imagine, I did not get much walking in during the two days at the hotel. En route to Sheevaun’s, we stopped off at the REI store at the Mall of Georgia, where I will be giving a presentation on Saturday.

Friday, we went back in to Atlanta to attend the IFMA Fellows’ luncheon, where we saw all kinds of old friends. It was also a tribute to Linda Beverly, the recently retired VP of Administration for IFMA. She is the lovely lady and good friend whose husband was killed in an act of workplace violence while I was walking in Spain three years ago. Friday evening was Fabulous Food Friday at Relma and John’s, Laura’s parents. And the food WAS fabulous.

 On Saturday Sheevaun and I went to the REI store at the Mall of Georgia in Buford, where I delivered my presentation about my walk in Spain to a small but attentive audience. One of the audience members is a radio show talk host, Doctor Evelyn Higgins, (Your Body Is A Wonderland, WBCX 89.1 Atlanta), who had walked the camino last year. She and I hit it off, and she wants to get me on her show. We will have to figure out how to do that. It’s very exciting! Also while there I bought a new rain jacket with the 15% discount coupon they gave me. Meredith and Carroll stayed at home to prepare for the party that evening.

Saturday evening was a Halloween party at Sheevaun and Laura’s, with many of their friends in costume. Copious amounts of food and refreshment and a lot of laughter. Laura carved a beautifully grotesque face in a huge pumpkin (114 pounds). The house was extensively decorated. Halloween is a big deal in the US.

Sunday was beautiful, so Carroll and I went off to play golf at Cedar Lakes. The weather was lovely and my last game of the year was good … for me: 111. Yes, I know, most folks think that’s awful, but it’s good for me.

Up early on Monday for the two-day drive back to Ottawa, where it is much colder than here. The drive was uneventful, except for one bit where I watched people, including me, act like penguins. You will have seen the TV documentaries where a large group of penguins are clustered on the edge of an ice cliff, wanting desperately to dive into the water, because that is where the food is, and they are starving. It is also where the seals are, waiting for a tasty penguin lunch. Eventually one penguin dives in, then there is a flurry of activity as they all dive in. Safety in numbers, I suppose.

 We were on the Interstate, I81, driving north in New York State. There was an unusually large police presence on the highway. At one point I ended up behind a car prominently marked Sheriff. Since we were driving just over 60 in a 55 speed limit zone, I judged it unwise to pass, so I just tucked in behind and gave him lots of clearance. As cars came roaring up behind me in the passing lane, they all braked hard and drove in formation with me. This lasted for about 15 minutes. Eventually one car eased up to and past the Sheriff’s car … no reaction, then another and another until they all passed. As I passed the Sheriff’s car, I noticed that the Sheriff’s jurisdiction was somewhere in New Jersey. I laughed as I realized how like penguins we are on occasion.

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