Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A much needed day off.

What a whirlwind life has been lately. There have been several times that I have been prompted to sit
down and jot down a few things here in the past week or so, but events and circumstances have always conspired to eat the time and un-shared those things became. Woke up early this morning, even though it is on my day off, so I decided to write as soon as the coffee began trickling into my system. While I did not have MLK day off at work, they did grant us an extra floating holiday, to be used at our leisure, during the month of February and I decided to take advantage of that today, in order to get many errands and appointments done in one fell swoop. So Happy Day Off to me!

I had stayed up late last night, thinking that I might sleep in a bit today, but my body had other plans. I guess several years of rising early is a hard habit to break, even when the need and willingness is present. Such is my Circadian rhythm, I suppose. I didn't bother setting my alarm, thinking I met glean a few hours of extra sleep, but it was not to be, but due to that, I have some time to write. So it's a lose, win in the books.

Got the car clean yesterday after work, to get all the road grime and salt off of it. I had just washed it on the weekend, but that didn't last long, as a sudden snow storm fell Sunday morning and blanketed our fair city in a fluffy blanket of white. To say it was unexpected would be an understatement. Of all things random, I decided to go to church on Sunday and revisit an old haunt after four years of absence. It was an unusual experience to say the least. The place had grown exponentially since I was there last and they had purchased their own building, right up the street from the movie theater on the Country Club Plaza where they used to meet. Another location had been opened at the University near by as well as a location North of the River. It was packed with fresh, new happy young faces that I had never seen before but at least those in service and speaking roles were still familiar and welcoming. It was too many people, too early in the morning, but I enjoyed myself to some extent, though it didn't feel like the home it once was. We stepped outside after the service to be greeted by a blanket of thick white snow and chaos on the streets as it continued to fall, obscuring visibility and turning normal drivers into madmen. All of this on Super Bowl Sunday, mind you. I ended up trekking my way safely and slowly to my parents house and spent the day in the company of my Dad, watching his beloved Patriots lose a maddening game. All in all, a full and good day.

Work has been a mad house, as more employees have been added to the Two Towers, ground has
been broken on the next building and people keep wanting to eat every single day. I think they may have an addiction, but that is good for business. Lots of new recipes as my menu changes each week and some new faces have been added to our team in the Kitchen. Performance reviews are due this month, so I have been busy with paperwork as well, trying to determine what exactly has happened with whom this past exciting year. Has it been a year already? The calendar says it has. The great news is we have more vacation and paid time off to distribute to those who have been here a bit as well as a sizable raise for most who have put the time and effort in. Everyone gets some extra money so everyone will go home with something new and we begin this new year afresh with a world of possibilities. These self and peer examinations are never easy, per se, but they are rewarding and fulfilling for those who have gone above and beyond and that list is a long one thankfully. I work with an amazing team of dedicated, creative professionals and those Chefs who lead us continue to inspire, motivate and value all of our contributions, great and small. It truly is a place I look forward to going each day.

Family life, let's see. Dad is doing pretty well, though the winter months weigh heavy on him as he doesn't have the warm weather to work on his cars and putter in the garden. I keep telling him Spring will be here soon, but I need to stop that, because each time I encourage him, another snow storm hits so he will just have to be patient and wait it out. I have got him out to the shop several times to work on simple things on the Mustang that I gave him, so that has helped his cabin fever a bit and not a week goes by that I don't stop by and find him out working in the yard, all bundled up like a kid, determined to something, anything outside, when the sun is shining. My sister is going to Peru again for her yearly international jaunt and this time will be taking her little daughter with her. She will be traveling with friends, so that is encouraging as a brother, and will be taking some time to visit all her friends there she has made over the years. The last several have been Peru, but I know that Africa will be back in the mix soon enough. That was her destination of choice for over ten years with assorted other Latin and European countries thrown in for good measure. Having a one year old to provide and care for hasn't slowed her roll down at all. (Note: as a single mother, she adopted a newborn little girl a little over eighteen months ago and I have never seen her shine brighter and smile larger than with this amazing bundle of joy that is the newest addition to our growing family.) Mom has been combating some health problems, as she took a tumble right before the holidays. Her scrapes, bumps and bruises have healed well, but she still struggles with soreness and pain and is attending physical therapy four times a week,which has certainly helped in her mobility, frame of mind and pain management. She has been down, off and on, so I have been pitching in more with the grocery shopping, meal preparation and house cleaning to take a load off her shoulders and ease her mind. Love her to death. Brother is just busy, busy, busy with his business. Just bought a massive concrete recycling/grinding machine and is now running ten semi dump trucks full time, as well as four normal dump trucks and over ten pieces of heavy equipment. He keeps socking his earnings back into equipment, staff and expansion and business is booming. New contracts with the City came through, so I rarely get to see or hear from him, barring major holidays and the odd phone/text check in. I am so proud of him and the man that he has become. His wife and daughter are well and caught up in the crazy life of private school and the myriad of activities that catch her interest. Ballet, French, violin, Mandarin, soccer and baking is the last count I had, and I think she wanted to add piano to that list, though I let her know that I currently have no time to teach and give her lessons. I recommended a great from the Conservatory for that and hope that she might check it out and at least give it a shot. The decades I spent studying music, composition, theory and performance add so much to my life that goes so far beyond simply making music. It trains the mind and gives one another language and voice to express, so we shall see where her heart takes her. She certainly doesn't have a natural gift for the violin, I will tell you that much!

As for my, my free time lately has been spent with the various car clubs. We have had several shows,
Cars and Coffee at the Automotive Museum, as well as meeting for rally's and drives when the weather permits. We got three of the clubs together two weeks ago and hit a new burger spot that was amazing. Spent that weekend with Michael, enjoying the dogs, our cars and the company of friends and the open road. Was interesting to wake up there on a Sunday morning and spend another weekend together. So familiar, but also so different than years past. The dogs have grown and two more have been added so the couch was full as we had coffee and got ready for our day. Many good conversations and a lot of catching up to do, but the years will do that as they slip by. He is healthy and happy and for that I am grateful. Still love that guy and glad he is a part of my life again. The time apart did our friendship and lives good. We still never run out of words, smiles and laughs and the wisdom and knowledge we have both grown in with events and time serve us well to share. Good stuff.

Wow! I didn't know I had that many words in me today and I never even got around to half the stuff on my mind and what is going on with me internally, but I will save that for a bit later. Today will be full with car maintenance, doctor appointment, getting some property surveys set up and hoping to squeeze some friend time in there and coffee shop and shopping before dinner tonight with the whole family to celebrate my birthday of last month that got postponed due to life and crazy winter weather. Hope today finds you all well and rested. Wish me luck!

daemon

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