Friday, July 20, 2012

Back to the Real World

It was back to the real world for me this week.  In the office every day, taking care of all the little things that nobody realizes need to be done to start a new school year.

It was back for Hank...but not really to the real world. Back to navigating his new life in retirement. I have to say...I love having him home. We have a list of a lot of little (and some big) things that need to be done around our house. By yesterday afternoon, he'd had a plumber and a contractor at the house and work starts on Monday. No grass growing under my husband, that is for sure.

In the middle of all of that, he spent a day with "the mothers" and Ned AND finished recovering dining room chairs and painting furniture for Lorelai. THEN he picked up and loaded a UHaul truck...actually is on his way to the farm now to gather he rest of the furniture and will continue on up the country to move her into her new house. I'll be heading out behind him in my car (which he loaded last night) shortly.

I'm not stupid...I am perfectly well aware that come August 15...opening day of deer season...he'll be spending more of his retirement in a deer stand but that's OK by me. Hank will tell you that he finds incredible peace and solitude when he's sitting out in the woods. It's a "thin place" for him...a place where he feels very close to God. He watches the deer more than he kills the deer. If we get one or two in the freezer each season, we're perfectly happy.

Anyhow...must take my coffee upstairs and gather up my things to hit the road for Clemson. Lor and her friend Candice have been fixing up this little 50's era house for about a month. I haven't seen the real thing yet...will have photos.

You, my friends...have a fabulous weekend. We're within a month of school starting around here. WHOOP WHOOP.  Oh...and our state legislators returned to session and overrode our governor's veto of cost of living raises for teacher.  That's a BIG thing...this would have made the third year in a row that teachers in South Carolina would not have received a raise. Pitiful, isn't it?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

First Cousins

While we were away, we got word late Monday night that my oldest (of five) first cousin Francis had passed away at age 63.  He was mother's oldest sister's son. Aunt Dot passed away in 1985. It was sudden...most likely a heart attack.

You may remember that Aunt Elizabeth, mother's youngest sister, moved just down the hall from mother at Green Grove back in March. My cousin Nancy called to say that my cousin Tom (Nancy's brother) was going to Green Grove on Tuesday morning to tell Elizabeth and mother. Francis was the first grandchild in the family and the apple of everybody's eye. He was born when mother was in college and Elizabeth was still in high school. There are fun stories about how they thought Francis would never talk...because he was so spoiled that all he had to do was POINT and somebody would run to get him what he wanted. Another about how he and a distant cousin Ray ran into grandmama's kitchen one Thanksgiving morning all excited about killing a couple of ducks out on the pond. When granddaddy went back out there with them, they'd actually killed grandmama's two pretty swans.

But I digress...we didn't know how much mother and Elizabeth would absorb. Tom's report was that neither of them got upset and he left them with sort of blank looks on their faces.  Here's the never knows when news, good or bad, might sink in with either of them so I called the home health center to let them know what had happened. It was not outside the realm of possibility that hysterics might occur in the middle of the night.

Late Tuesday, Elizabeth called Tom's wife who ran over to Green Grove to see what was up. Elizabeth and mother were comparing notes...somebody came and told us that some man died. Jan explained. Then mother got going with nope...nobody told me anything...I don't know anything.  Jan got them calmed down and neither mentioned nary a word about it until Friday, but when it clicked in then, mother knew it was Francis. Still and all, there were no hysterics...and I'm thankful for that. Mother and Elizabeth having spells at the same time would not be a good thing.

I'm told that Francis was a reader of my blog. I sent to following note to his youngest son...

Our hearts are sad. Your daddy was a wonderful man and some of my earliest memories are of Granddaddy Funchess taking the whole family to the Folly Beach for a week in the summers. Francis was the oldest and at that time I was the youngest. I am told that I kicked him once with my cowgirl boots when he teased me. Francis was a kind and generous soul...even when being kicked by a bad little girl in boots.
I spoke with John this morning and as you may already know, we are away for the week. Please know how sorry we are and know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all over the coming days.

Although all of the first cousins have grown up and the summers together as well as spending every single holiday together ended many moons ago, there is still a bond that transcends miles and years. Francis will be missed.

Home Again, Home Again

Hank and I decided to come home a day early. We enjoyed ourselves tremendously but honestly, we aren't good at vacationing for a whole week. Sure, it sounds wonderful...but we're more "three or four night away" people. We missed our Tempurpedic mattress in an awfully big way.

Holden Beach was nice. We saw some beautiful houses...on par with Kiawah here in our neck of the woods. We'd not ever been to a North Carolina beach before. I don't think we'll go back took about four hours to get there. We can get in our car in our driveway here at home and be sitting on a beach in about an hour. We can be at our own summerhouse in Beaufort on the deep water in about 90 minutes. Still and all, a pleasant week AND we got to spend some downtime with our children. Legare had to work some but alas, that is the life of a first year associate. Working remotely while sitting by the ocean isn't the worst situation in the world, now is it?

A few photos for your viewing pleasure...


Monday, July 9, 2012

Lazy Lazy...Celebrating

Vacations are wonderful. Hank is reading. Legare is reading. We had a lazy morning and a relaxing lunch. Lorelei is driving and will be here shortly. Today, Hank and I are celebrating our 29th anniversary by being lazy. The children are cooking dinner for us (and cleaning up after) and we will probably take a little sunset boat ride later on. This was the first Monday morning in ages that I did not wake up to the obnoxious sound of an alarm clock. SWEET! Here's to 29 more years of wedded bliss (at least) with my sweetheart and another four weekday mornings of not having to wake up until I am good and ready.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Retirement Week #1- Check

We've just completed Week #1 of Hank's retirement. Poor guy, he didn't get much rest as he had to completely empty his mother's house back in Hometown so that a renter could move in. I don't think I've ever seen him so tired. Being the swell guy that he is, he took Tuesday to recover as best he could then got up on Wednesday morning and went to check on Ned and both of our mothers. Yesterday, he ran errands a lot of the day and today...TODAY...he is already outside cleaning up the boat.

The boat is important my friends, while I'm a long way from retirement, as of yesterday at 5 PM, I AM ON VACATION.  WHOOP WHOOP!  For the next nine days, I am going to be the biggest lazy bones that the world every saw. I'm going to eat what I want, watch a lot of movies, read a bunch of books, sleep late and take a lot of naps, read a lot of blogs, and generally NOT do anything that I don't want to do. Hank has the same mindset. There will be nary a lick of work on my part (that would be n/a for Mr. Retirement here).

We are praying for a week of peace and quiet on the "mother" side of things. More later...hope you're getting some peace and quiet yourself!