Archive for May, 2005

Road trip III – Buffalo to Athens

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

We left Buffalo in the at 9 AM on Sunday and travelled to Athens OH. Along the way we again listened to books on tape – finishing Envy by Sandra Brown (15 hrs), and starting Smoke Jumper by Nicholas Evans. We arrived about 3:30 PM in Athens and immediately stopped by and saw Katie. She had been phoning us during the trip to find out our progress. Upon arriving we met her friends, Kim and David, saw her dorm room and then went over to MaryLib’s, Kathy mom, where we’ll be staying these next few days. The day ended with dinner, talk, and Brian and Katie seeing the Madagascar movie.

Monday was a relatively quiet day, but then most are quiet and peaceful while we’re on vacation. Since we have the car and it’s almost the end of school for Katie, we’ve been helping her empty out her room and transport her things to a storage facility where she’s rented a 5×5 locked space. We’ve been to Walmart once so far for more storage tubs to help in this effort. It’s amazing how much stuff she has accumulated in such a short time. Because this is Katie’s “Parents Weekend”, she’s wanted us to meet all of her friends, so we went to Damon’s for dinner with Kim. Large portions and good talk were had by all. Kim had RA duty at 8 PM and Katie a paper to write, so we dropped Kim and Katie off so they could do their work. MaryLib, Kathy and Brian stayed up late (1 AM) talking animatedly about things including how Ohio University is doing a poor job in allowing Katie to get the courses she needs for her degree. It seems that although she is now a junior she still getting closed out of required classes. This seems to be a institutional problem here since her mother, Kathy, who also graduated from here, encountered the exact same problem when she attended many years ago. MaryLib is considering talking to the administration concerning this issue since she too is a graduate and has “connections”.

Road trip II – Buffalo

Saturday, May 28th, 2005

Yesterday, Friday, Brian visited his cousin Andy at his shop during the early afternoon. He is a machinist having taken over his father’s, Brian’s uncle’s, business years ago. Power saws, lathes, milling machines, etc. are located throughout his well-used industrial shop. He is his own boss and does both metalizing and machining. Metalizing is applying metal to pieces to build and/or harden specific areas. He was very generous to spend some time with Brian during his business hours. That evening Dad, Ruth, Kathy and Brian had dinner with Andy and his wife Doreen at Olive Garden. They are both delightful and it was fun visiting and sharing stories of our mutual family.

Today, Saturday, has been cool outside, and quiet inside. We’re just taking it easy. We feel that Dad and Ruth get very tired both physically and emotionally while they are here. Then the additional burden of other guests, and dinners out pushes them over their limit. We need to be sensitive to their needs so we’re just taking it easy today – that is, sitting and talking quietly.

A post from the road – Austin to Lexington to Buffalo

Friday, May 27th, 2005

We left last Satursday and have been traveling almost a week now. Briefly here is what we’ve done…

On last Saturday we travelled from Austin to just north of Nashville TN. We listened to books on tape (for example, Leading with my Chin by Jay Leno) and the hours whizzed by. We started at about 5:20 AM and stopped at 5:30 PM. We switch driver every 300 miles. So in 12 hours of driving we completed about 850 miles (avg 70 mph). We stayed over at an inexpensive Motel 6 and had a decent BBQ dinner at Jack’s.

Our goal the next day, Sunday, was to get to Lexington KY to see my bro and sister-in-law, David and Linda. We started driving mid-morning and arrived mid-afternoon. It was an easy drive and we continued to listen to “Envy” by Sandra Brown which we had started the day before. We were so engrossed in the book that we overshot one of our turns by 30 miles. Luckily it was easily fixed. We went through Louisville, and then onto Lexington. We had a fun time talking, reminiscing, and catching-up with David and Linda. We stayed over at their lovely new home, although they had been there 5 years, it was new to us.

The next day, Monday, we went to Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill while David and Linda were at work. It was about a 45 minute drive south and we toured the site from late morning to early afternoon. This included a demonstration of Shaker music, a horse-drawn carriage ride, lunch, and many demonstrations of life during those times. Arriving back home we dressed for dinner and went to Diane and Greg’s home, their daughter and son-in-law, for drinks before dinner. Diane showed us their luxurious home. Dinner at Dudley’s was nice with good conversation and good food. We also picked up an oil painting that my mother had done of a sleeping nude. Something that had been offered by Dave and I had been planning to acquire for years, but was unable to because we didn’t want to ship it so having the car has been useful for that.

We woke early the next morning, Tuesday, packed the car with the painting in the back seat, said our goodbyes and headed off at 7 AM for Buffalo. Continuing the unabridged version of Envy our 10 hour drive went by quickly and we arrived at 4:30 PM having had one 45 minute delay (dead stop for gosh knows what) on the interstate. It was good to see Dad and Ruth. The Buffalo weather was cold and blustery, and I was underdressed in shorts and a t-shirt. Dinner was at home, and although all we did that day was sit and drive we crashed early and slept late.

We’re trying to keep our stay at Dad and Ruth’s quiet and unstressful so we sit and talk and do minor chores around the house. We hope that they comfortable with us being here since they are getting on in years. They live simply day-to-day, and from meal-to-meal, but that’s fine and they seem happy even though they are getting older and less agile. We woke late on Wednesday, had breakfast, talked, had lunch and when they napped we went to East Aurora to a cross-stitch shop. The evening was quiet with us watching TV (60 Minutes and American Idol) and chatting.

Thursday was again quiet at their home. Brian worked on a blind for the upstairs loft AKA art studio. He had previously tried to make a fancy pull-string mechanism to open and close it, but it had gotten jambed. So this time he undid the strings and simplified it to allow Dad to manually open and close it. The weather was glorious – sunny, dry and 65 degrees. Brian went to see the Parrots of Telegraph Hill in the afternoon and Kathy stayed home to read and stitch while Dad and Ruth napped. That evening Bert (he is married to Judy who is Ruth’s daughter) stopped by from Rochester while on a business trip. He looked good and we had a nice conversation about his sons and family. Again at 9:30 PM we all were exhausted and we headed for bed, although Kathy and I stayed up sleepily to watch some TV in our room.

To post or not to post

Friday, May 20th, 2005

To post or not to post that is the question. I might or I might not, we’ll see… If I don’t then it’ll be a few weeks until I’m back here. Toodles!

Upcoming road trip

Wednesday, May 18th, 2005

It’s almost time to get on the road. Yet we haven’t prepared and we’re leaving this weekend. Gotta get our act together.

Where have I been

Saturday, May 14th, 2005

Somehow I had never heard about craigslist.org until about a month ago. Now in the past month I’ve heard about it twice. The first time was when my son was looking for apartments, and the second was on some internet article. A few days ago I looked on the Austin list to see if people advertise tickets for sale, and they do. So yesterday night I posted the sale of two tickets to a musical that we’ll be unable to see, and this morning I sold them for face value. Neat.

Stop and Start

Friday, May 13th, 2005

Well my current work project, call it projectB, was cancelled two days ago, but another project, call it projectC, was in queue so I switched over without a blink. The old project, projectB, has been my focus since last October and has been mentioned in several posts in the past. The new project, projectC, is a modification of an earlier project, call it projectA. So it’s not a “brand new” “from scratch” project.

Not much happening

Thursday, May 5th, 2005

Sorry for not posting for a while, but not much is happening in my life. I wake up, go to work, return home for a bit of TV, then sleep, and it begins again. However, we have been planning a road trip to Lexington KY, Buffalo, NY, Athens OH, and Liberty IN. So I’ve got something to look forward to…