The people and random events that shape our lives (Part 11)

When Marilyn left for the US, it was just Kim and I. Life was pretty simple. I didn’t date because I didn’t want to complicate life for either of us. But then at some point in her teenage years I realized she was out with her friends on a Friday night and I was sitting home watching TV.

Someone had mentioned the single gourmet where you went and had dinner at a restaurant with other single people around your own age, so I joined, went a few times, had a couple of dates and then one night Julie Holt (now Julie Foster) was sitting down beside me. It was 1990 and it happened to be my birthday.

Julie and I had a few dates and three months later we had our first trip away together to Montreal. It was Ariane’s christening – the daughter of Michel Brule and Lucie Renaud.

About a year later we bought a house on Elm Street on condition that Julie sell her house on Primrose street which was just a block away. Interestingly, the woman that bought Julie’s house was living in the house we were buying and had the exact opposite condition.

Julie has two daughters – Louise and Leanne. Louise had already left home but Leanne and Kim moved in with us into 125 Elm Street. They had the two bedrooms on the second floor and Julie and I had the top floor.

All three daughters and I were going to the same university at the same time. Louise was taking her master’s degree.

I had taken up sailing and was thinking of buying a 22 foot sailboat. I bumped into a couple of ex-colleagues from Algonquin (Andy Pavlovic and Bob Southern) and they wanted to co-own. All of us were over 6’ high so we bought a bigger boat – a 26’ Tanzer.

Andy liked to race so every Thursday evening through the summers Andy, Louise, her friend Brinley and I competed in a races on Lac Deschênes in the Ottawa River.

Julie and I used to go up to Andy and Lita’s cottage in the winter and go cross country skiing. One February at the cottage Andy was complaining about a cold/cough that would not give up. A few months later we found out he had cancer. That fall, he could barely walk but we took him on a sail up the Ottawa river to enjoy the autumn colours.

A week before he died, Louise, Brinley and I showed up at his house with a movie about the America’s Cup. Andy had been a big man but now weighed about half his previous weight and Louise and I had to carry him over the sofa to watch the movie.

Andy had been a very good singer and one of his choir friends sang at his funeral. Andy had written his own eulogy which was given by his son. He mentioned the enjoyment he had had sailing the last few years. It was very touching.

After Andy died, I sold my portion of the boat to Bob and a friend of his. Soon after, Julie and I were on our way to California.

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