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October 13, 2011

100th Post

I'm actually glad my 100th post will be on this topic.  I noticed a few weeks ago that I was on blog entry 99 and began hoping for something monumental to report on for our big one-double-zero.

In that regard, I am reminded, "Be careful what you wish for".

This week, my family said goodbye to an amazing man.  Last Wednesday, my Uncle Gary slipped away from us in his sleep.  While he had suffered with multiple ailments over the past few years, none of them were ever enough to keep him from enjoying the abundant, rich lifestyle he had become so accustomed to -- good wine, good food, travel, and spending time with his family. 

You can read his obituary here.

I posted the following on facebook a few days ago, and I've found it rather difficult to put into better words just exactly how I feel.

At the end of my days, I will count myself so very blessed to have had such an amazing man in my life. Uncle Gary, you will never know how much I loved you, how rich you made my life, and how proud I am to be your niece. You will forever live in our hearts, our laughter and, most of all, our toasts.
Rest well.

At his final resting place, we raised a glass of one of his favorite wines to a great man.  For now, this is how I will always remember him: enjoying life's truly finer things -- laughter, togetherness, and the art of finding the humor in all situations.

October 1, 2011


Hurricane Irene came and went, and, as she left, she took the majority of Richmond's power with her.  Hateful woman....

The week preceding the start of school was a harried one.  On Sunday the 28th, I readied myself -- packed my tote bag, measured food into individual containers for quick lunch packing, checked my to-do and to-take-with-me lists 67 times....only to receive a phone call from my mother at 6:30 that I should turn on the news -- all school systems are closed Monday.  In my new county, more than 75% of schools were still without power and would likely still be dark by the end of the week.  My old county made the executive decision very quickly to close schools for the entire teacher work week and begin school a week late on the 12th of September - no time would have to be made up.  Maybe I left at the wrong time??? 

Chesterfield teachers (my new county, or "home" as I like to call it!!) got 2 more days of summer vacation.  Most of my team members were still without power until the first day of school, but all schools had power restored by Wednesday of teacher work week.  Now, when I say "power", unfortunately, I don't mean air conditioning.  We had two and a half glorious days of 90+ degree weather and no circulation.  It was rather miserable, considering the majority of teacher work week is manual labor setting up your classroom.

On Friday, the administration kicked us out at 5:00, and Eric, Anna and I headed South.  We had a long-overdue trip planned.
It's been THREE years since we went down to Calabash -- embarrassing, in my opinion.  We owed Gam and Pop a visit in a BAD way....sadly, we were only able to stay a couple of days, but we got in some much needed snuggle time, beach fun, and lounging poolside. 

Night one:  Beach!

It took Anna a while to let Eric put her down, but, once she let him, she was OFF like a rocket and we couldn't get her OFF the beach. 

We had a great time getting sand in our toes and our toes in the sand....

....but, sadly, all good things must come to an end.  We hauled a screaming toddler to the car where it took three of us to change her diaper and clothes in the back of the car.  We had a yummy little pizza dinner at a local dive and then headed home for Bourbon Slush and puzzles. 

Joe and I had a great thing going with Eric and Betty as we crushed up an orange popsicle and had them both convinced for about 12 seconds that we'd given Anna some Bourbon slush ("Hey, she's had a busy afternoon.  She'll need some help going to sleep."). 

The next day, we headed out to one of the sister properties in the area to get a glimpse of Gam and Pop's new house that's being built.  It's GORGEOUS!!!!

Yeah, okay, this isn't going to be their house.  It's new construction in a relatively affluent subdivision for some mucky-muck CEO/big-wig so he can entertain big-name clients.  It boasts a 9-car garage and, supposedly, a roof-top outlook that overlooks the ocean.  While the neighborhood itself is quite nice, this monstrosity ends up being a rather overbearing eyesore.  It is TOTALLY out of place.

We ended our time in Calabash (see, I told you, ridiculously short visit) at the pool. 

After packing and cleaning up, it was time to head home.  We're so sorry we didn't get to stay longer, but it motivates us to schedule our next visit MUCH sooner than next summer!

(if you're happy and you know it, shout hooray!)

Thanks for everything!  We love you guys!