May 2019

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Propane News – May 2019

Propane prices stayed consistent throughout April, and then dropped slightly at month’s end. Now that the warmer weather is supposed to be here, the propane prices start to go down right when we are using less. Just figures, doesn’t it.

 

Spring, oh, spring, wherefore art thou, thy elusive season? I would have to say that April was not a very hospitable month. Mind you, it did create a bump in propane sales as you, my customers, kept your thermostats turned up through the cold, rain, snow and howling winds.

The swallows showed up around April 15th to start nesting in the barn. I kind of felt sorry for the little guys, with the low temperatures there wasn’t much insect activity so I have no idea what they might be feeding on. We like having the swallows around, so we keep part of the barn open for them to nest in, and at least they can get out of this weather and wind. However, until things warm up, I have to think the groceries will be a little thin.

My sweetheart and I attended Kirkwall Church one Sunday in April. Kirkwall’s minister was away this particular Sunday, and Keith Marcy was filling in. I have mentioned Keith in my newsletters before. He and his wife Nora have Marcy’s Strawberry Patch on Highway 97, East at Valens (just writing about this my mouth is starting to water for strawberries). After the service, like all good Presbyterians, we went into the church hall for tea, coffee, and of course some pastries. On our way into the church hall, Keith was intercepting the church folk with a hardy handshake and light conversation. My sweetheart approached Keith and introduced herself, and with me by her side Keith made the connection that we’re an item. Keith said to my sweetheart, “I feel like I know you after reading all these stories with you in them.” We had a few laughs, then moved on to the food and drink. Did I mention that Keith’s sermon was well received and, alleluia, you could actually hear him clearly at the back of the church. Oh, and Keith and Nora are propane customers. Bless them!

 

Speaking of propane customers, my sweetheart told me tonight that a propane customer of ours has invited us for dinner, along with another couple from the neighborhood, a little later in May. I see this customer occasionally, but I don’t think my sweetheart knows her. Maybe it’s another one of these situations where this customer feels like she already knows my honey via the newsletters. Should be fun, but oh my what to get for a hostess gift?

 

Scary watching the news with all this flooding going on in Parry Sound, Muskoka, Ottawa, and New Brunswick. Don’t know if you have ever been associated with any major flooding situations. There is water damage, silt gets everywhere, mud, debris, mold, and that damp smell after the water has receded. Cleanup is just a heck of a job. Hope you never have to go through it. No doubt when those residents are back in their homes there will be appeals for help. Don’t tune these appeals out, do what you can in any way you can. A lot of small things can have a major impact. Just imagine how grateful you would be if it was you making the appeal.

Attended an outdoor machinery auction on Saturday April 27th in the country West of Kitchener. Darn near froze. I thought I was dressed warm enough; long johns under my farmers overalls, t-shirt under my flannel shirt under my Waterloo County Propane double layered winter coat. Had insulated mitts on. Got there, and the wind was blowing so darn hard I went back to my truck and got a toque (I don’t often wear a toque). After a couple of hours I was shivering so bad I could hardly hold the cup of hot coffee I bought off the canteen truck (when I was young, we used to call these canteen trucks the ‘roach coach’).

 

Wasn’t successful with any major purchases, only a few small ones. Ran into Betty and Cliff Dettwiler, who are propane customers. Got a hug from Betty and a handshake from Cliff. Turns out Cliff and I were bidding against each other on a rolling tool box. We both stopped bidding when the item reached one thousand dollars. Not sure if we were both smart enough to stop there or too cheap to go any higher.

 

These two latest auctions I have gone to were put on by Gerber Auctions, headquarters in Millbank Ontario. Over the years I have attended many auctions put on by a wide variety of different auction companies. All these different auctioneers have their own selling style, and I must say the auctioneers at Gerber Auctions—and that would be Murray, his dad Greg (I think), and a fellow named Dave Litt—treat those in attendance with kindness and respect, the way all customers should be treated. In situations where there is confusion or duplication on an item up for bid, they take a fair approach to resolving the issue. I only mention this because many other auctioneers I have seen in action seem to treat their bidders with an antagonistic approach. For a participant in the auction process, you want to feel valued and appreciated for taking the time to show up at a particular auction with a pocket full of money to support the auctioneer, and possibly take home items you have been searching for. Oh, and Dave Litt, the auctioneer, is also a propane customer. Those Waterloo County Propane customers are everywhere!

 

At my house every Easter, my sweetheart organizes an Easter egg hunt. When our children were young, they really enjoyed this event, frantically searching around outside our house to collect up as many of these ‘eggs’ as they could find. This Easter tradition has extended now to our grandchildren, and as expected their anticipation level is extreme when the day comes. Well, this year ‘the day’ was pouring rain, so the ‘hunt’ was postponed. A couple of days later, on a Monday, the ‘hunt’ was back on, and the grandchildren had a wonderful time collecting the treasures, as I’m told. I didn’t witness the event due to being at work on this particular Monday. I asked my sweetheart, “How many ‘eggs’ did you hide?” Seventy, she says. Seventy, I question, with only two kids involved, seems a little excessive. I was assured by my sweetheart that each ‘egg’ contained a minor amount of candy or chocolate. I guess Grandma knows best.

 

I was going to do a piece on “Did I ever tell you about the time I got trapped under the ice in the Grand River” but because I have to limit the length of these newsletters I’ll have to save that one for the October 2019 Edition.

 

Enjoy your summer, be safe around the water, forgive others often and for everything, participate in life everyday, and be a good example for others.

Please know that you are a valuable customer to me.

Peter Rivers

PS – Looking out the bedroom window this morning I saw a male and female Mallard duck walking side by side up our lane through the rain pecking at the gravel as they went.

Nature can be awfully cute at times.  Reminds me of two kids walking to catch the school bus.

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