Less than four weeks to go before I retire from corporate life. And, a few weeks after that, we will be leaving our little town of Kingston, Ontario.
I don’t think we will be coming back. Our plans will likely see us settle elsewhere in Ontario, a bit closer to our grandkids.
I love this town particularly the old part of Kingston where we live. We are right by the water amidst homes that were built in the 1800s and early 1900s.
Being Canada, there is no rationale with the prices of houses. True even in Kingston where the population is only about 130,000 people.
This townhouse on the left-hand side, semi-detached, is listing for almost two million dollars. Not sure if it will come with the flowers.
Still, there is an undeniable charm to living in an area which has so much history, at least from a North American perspective.
We live in the top story of a massive, oversized mansion. Across the street are homes that belonged to people from a long time ago. Like Dr. Kilborn’s house.
Gold letters spell out his name above the doors at 244 King Street. Kilborn lived here from 1896 until he passed away in 1916. The Kilborn’s have long since vacated the property although the sign remains.
The street on which we live is like stepping back in time.
The architecture ranges from Victorian to, well, old world castles.
A few blocks from where we live is McIntosh Castle. The front entrance:
And a more complete shot of the castle:
Many people that live in Kingston are unaware of the McIntosh Castle. And there it is, right in the heart of the downtown.
The McIntosh Castle was designed and built for the McIntosh family, during 1849 and into the 1850’s.
The story behind this building is that McIntosh promised his family that moving to Canada from Great Britain would be an incredible experience and that the family would live in a castle overlooking Lake Ontario if they would agree to move to the new world.
Perhaps back then, the castle did have a view of the Lake. It doesn’t now.
There are so many beautiful heritage homes in our neighbourhood. When we take our golden retriever for walks, I will often take my camera along to capture these wonderful homes. I’m sure that each one has its own bit of history.
Tourist season is now upon us and most visitors fail to walk a few blocks from the main tourist area to see these heritage properties.
I’ll have fond memories of our years in Kingston. Wonderful place to live and work.
One of the big differences between the U.S. and Canada?
We don’t have RV parking for college football.
On the Die Hard Cougs Facebook page, Washington State University Cougar fans were enraged when the parking passes for RVs had sold out.
From the Daily Evergreen:
The CAF [Cougar Athletic Fund] switched to selling RV passes for a full season after having them available on a per game basis in previous years.
Ganders said the decision was about rewarding their largest donors for committing to WSU with the ease of purchasing a pass for a whole season.
“We know that RV parking is part of Washington State football culture,” Ganders said. “Unfortunately that’s the inventory we have and we just try to make it as fair and as objective as possible.”
Ganders said they have seen an increase in donations from people looking to increase their chances of getting RV passes. CAF scores for RV pass priority went into effect May 1, a date Ganders said was made clear well in advance.
The CAF separates their zoned RV parking into three donor levels. Zone 1 costs $875 and requires an additional annual donation of $1000. Zone 2 costs $700 and requires an additional annual donation of $750 and Zone 3 costs $700 and requires an additional annual donation of $700.
WSU has a capacity for 330 RVs and campers on home football weekends.
The Silverdome closed in 2006 and the city sold it for about a half million, less than one percent of the cost to build it. It reopened for a few years in 2010 and then it was closed again in 2013. Demolition occurred in 2017. ViralForest has some haunting photos of the Silverdome here.
That football game was the very first time that I had experienced a tailgate party. And yes, there were a lot of RVs and campers strewn about the parking lot. The place was packed.
Not sure that I would take our coach out to a football game.
I came across the ad at this website. Someone had purchased an old GMC Motorhome and had attempted to restore it. Unfortunately, the website that carried the story of their renovation is no longer active. The post which began the story, ends with this somewhat tragic observation:
The next few months would be challenging as we struggled with the reality of what lies ahead, and the costs of keeping a dormant RV around a dense city. The story will continue in my next post…
Sadly, the story never continued. Or at least I couldn’t find the ending to the story anywhere online. A failed renovation attempt?
The coach pictured above is a 1973 model produced by GM’s Truck and Coach Division. It was a 26-foot model powered by a 455 cubic inch, 7.5 Litre V8 engine with a three-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive, with a gross vehicle weight rating of 12,500 pounds for the 26-footer.
Not many were built. Just under 13,000 units were manufactured between 1973 and 1978. I have read that somewhere between 8,000 to 9,000 of these motorhomes are still running. There is even a group, GMCers, telling the world all about the GMC motorhome.
I’ve seen the GMC motorhome in a couple of movies: Twister and Stripes. I’ve never seen one in the field.
You could take a GMC motorhome and really bring it up to date by working with Creative Mobile Interiors. I have no idea how much it cost them to renovate this 1977 GMC motorhome. The coach looks amazing inside and out.
I suspect the purists would prefer to remain true to the original model and have it look like this one:
Retirement is coming up soon. A little over a month now and I will be retired, whatever being retired means.
To some of my friends, it is shocking that I would retire. To some of my friends, it is even more shocking that we would head out in a motorcoach for months on end in retirement.
As news of my retirement went out to my company, I received lots of congratulations and pretty much the same two questions: 1) What are your plans? and 2) What will you do next?
To me, once the financial planning is done, the tougher part of getting ready for retirement is dealing with the following questions:
- How much structure will I need in my day-to-day life to feel comfortable?
- How important is it that I be validated for what I do in retirement?
- How important is it that I be paid?
- Is there something that I am sufficiently passionate about that I would be willing to invest significant time and energy in it in retirement? If so, what steps do I need to take to make this a reality? What obstacles should I anticipate?
I’ve thought through these questions and I do not have answers for all of them. Frankly, I’ve had so much structure and so many demands on my time over the years that I really want to have a bit of a break from it all and not commit to anything too soon.
Although feeling mostly excited about our future, I do have days where I am frightened about the change.
A bit of a roller coaster ride for sure especially as the last few weeks at work are at hand.
I caught this on CNBC:
Thor Industries’ warning about rising tariff-related costs in its third-quarter earnings report sent shares plunging to 2018 lows, but CEO Bob Martin told CNBC on Thursday that the company is finding ways to blunt the impact.
“We thought it’d be minimal,” the CEO admitted in a “Mad Money” interview with Jim Cramer. “Today, they’re still kind of all over the board and we’re just finding ways to kind of counteract them whenever we can.”
For Thor, the United States’ largest recreational vehicle manufacturer, that means cutting raw costs and “de-contenting,” or taking certain ancillary products and features out of its higher end RVs.
Thor’s stock has been under pressure since the Trump administration enacted steel and aluminum tariffs in May, which hike Thor’s costs by stymieing cheap imports.
That is an interesting word, isn’t it?
De-contenting means that you pay the same price, or sometimes more, for less.
This might not be the best time to purchase a new higher end RV from Thor.
Of course, trade wars hurt on both sides.
The Canadian dollar has slid below 76 cents which will make our first winter south in retirement considerably more expensive.
Hopefully the politicians and the bureaucrats in Canada and the U.S. come to a reasonable compromise.
I’m part of the Newmar Motorhome and Fifth Wheel Owners Facebook group and I came across this post:
Purchased our 2010 Ventana DP new we love it HOWEVER, we have developed a little problem I could use some help on. Each time we touch counters, sink, appliances (anything) we get a shock which in some cases is visible to the naked eye. Problem started a couple of months ago and am quite uncomfortable with the issue. Suggestions to why and possible solutions would be appreciated.
From there, I came across the term “Hot Skin”. This problem occurs when you get a shock by touching surfaces on your RV. The condition can cause a very dangerous and life-threatening electrical shock:
The reason we don’t notice this Hot-Skin condition until it’s too late is that an RV is basically a big metal frame sitting on rubber tires. And those tires act as electrical insulators just like the rubber surrounding the metal wire of your extension cord. That means that the skin of your RV can be electrically charged with 30, 60 or even 120 Volts with no visual indication of the problem until you complete the connection to the earth with your hand. Then because your own body provides a low resistance path to earth […], current will flow through you to the ground. How much current is really the subject of another article, but if your hands and feet are wet your body becomes a 1,000-Ohm resistor connected from your hand on the doorknob to your feet on the ground. This will allow over 100 mA (milliamperes) of electrical current to flow through your heart. Tests have shown that as little as 10 mA to 20 mA of a 60-Hz current (what comes out of your electrical outlet) can cause your heart to go into fibrillation (essentially a heart attack). So you can easily get 10 times the current needed to kill yourself from a 120-volt outlet.
This story highlights the tragic death of a young boy, Landyn Keener, only 3 years old, killed when he left the family’s RV.
Hot Skin is fairly common. Children and pets are particularly vulnerable to hot skin electrocution.
How does Hot Skin occur?
A Hot Skin condition can be caused by plugging into power that is not properly grounded or where the power has the polarity reversed. It can also be caused by wiring problems within the RV itself.