Sunday, January 29, 2017

Birthdays and anniversaries

Steve and his birthday crème brulee
Hand painted pillow brightens up the den. I bought it for our orange and blue living room but it looks better here
orange and blue glass
Allie and Hannah
At 18 days Finally more alert. Looks more like baby Josh
Oliver, here at 2 months, turned 9 on Steve's birthday

Do I want to take this trip through he Alleghenies again? A friend asked but we would be self supported and go all the way to Washington DC from Pittsburgh, 335 miles almost all unpaved. The first half, the Great Allegheny Passage goes on coal train abandoned lines; the second half goes on the towpath of the C&O canal. Flat but rutted. If I could figure out the logistics..

one of the many bridges along the way. There are also several tunnels, one completely unlit

the basking knoll of female timber rattlers I came across on the trail not long after crossing the Mason-Dixon line. As it was too dangerous to put my foot as a scale, you have to trust that these are huge snakes. Although they aren't aggressive, they cause most of the death by snakes as they are located where fundamentalists use them in their services. Stupid is as stupid does. Western rattlers are losing their rattles as the noisy snakes get shot. Natural selection in progress. The quieter rattlers are just as poisonous.

Ten years ago, my colleagues and I all had to head to various auditoriums, some of them off site, to be told that our company at some point, unspecified, would pull out of Ann Arbor. A huge shock. Bonus, our company was the biggest tax payer in Ann Arbor so the town would feel our pain too. Lots of anxiety and tears. Steve, though, thought Yay! as the company who took over the company we worked for in a hostile takeover 7 years before made our working life quite unpleasant. Still I wasn't even 54 yet. Very young to retire. I thought I would hang around until I was at least 60. They were offering a few of us positions at their other sites, most of which have been shuttered too with much less generous severance packages. Naomi was still in high school. We didn't think it was wise to move even if we would have been hired elsewhere.

I continued to work for another 9 months, Steve a year. They did give a generous severance package so we are able to make ends meet. I don't know if I am yet used to waking up without having to go to work. I manage to keep busy.

It is also the 2 year anniversary of us having this house. How time flies! No it was not fun moving, packing, cleaning up and repairing our former house and then keeping it up while we tried to sell it. Glad that nightmare is over. I am also glad we moved. Ann Arbor was getting much too crowded. I still haven't organized all the stuff I should have. As there are no time limits, it is hard to get motivated. I seem to be fixated decorating the house with resale treasures.

Today would have been my father's 90th birthday. If he had taken care of himself, he might have made it. His father had lived that long. For most of  my adult life, we did not get along. He disowned me.

Thursday was Steve's and Oliver's birthdays. Oliver and his siblings came over the night before for dinner and a garishly decorated cupcake. They had fun playing in the basement, which has more kid stuff now and my various lights upstairs. Seems like yesterday I was driving across Canada and New York State trying not to miss his birth listening to my Italian language tapes to keep awake. We could see the Boston Pops shooting off fireworks in downtown Boston as Shanna mulled whether she was in labor enough to justify the hospital trip. Just as I was going to sleep, she said it was time. Nine years ago.

I have been going out to eat much too much in the last couple of days. My strategy is to eat half of what I ordered and then take the rest home. As of yesterday, I was down a bit over 36 pounds. Still I won't be done with this until early April.

Too snowy for a bike ride. Should I do the 335 trail ride which will involve much planning? The first 135 miles as largely uphill. At least I won't have so much body to haul up but now I might need to haul up supplies instead. Then there is a 15 mile steep downhill into Cumberland Maryland. It would be flat along the canal to DC but the path is in worst shape. Still there would be mountains around us for the first half in Eastern Maryland

Friends may come over tonight for the SAG awards. Fun to look at the dresses.


Elephant's Child said...

Belated happy wishes to the birthday boys.
And congratulations on your weight loss.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Walking that far is quite an undertaking. However, if you think you can do it, then do it. Too often we say no to things that are difficult, but later regret it.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

I would be riding a bike, not walking. The logistics are daunting. I could do the distance.


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