Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nice Weather...Crud

Stix n Brix
Clayton, NC

It's been a while since I've posted.  I'm sorry, but it's winter.  Welcome to the recent followers, Ken & Mia or trailercamper.  They are in the Seattle area and are looking forward to a serious retirement trip in their future. (aren't we all?)  Also welcome to Erik & Ronda or Erik'sRVBlog.  Like us, they have a MH and want to fulltime some day.  Both of these guys have very nice blogs that I plan to check in on once in a while.  It's nice to see that there are so many people from different walks of life that have similar interests.

This has been a rough winter for the most part, but we finally have a beautiful weekend to do things!  Guess who's sick...that's  I never get sick so the few times that I do, well, I just act like a baby.  I've got that crud that has been going around all winter.  It's windy outside so it really messes up my sinuses even worse.  I'm on night shift this month so I'll take it easy this weekend.  I don't want to call in sick because I want every day to go towards my retirement.

One nice thing about working with a bunch of guys is that they have other talents.  Many of them do construction type things on the side.  One guy from work has a BiL that does all sorts of work at a reasonable price.  I called him last week to get an estimate for getting the outside of the house cleaned up to put on the market early this summer.  He'll power-wash the fence and house (it's brick), caulk and paint the window trim, and replace the screen on the back porch for a little under $1400.  That's worth it to us.  We have taken the screens off the windows but I need to clean up the bushes a little around the fence.  We'll put the porch furniture in the garage while he's doing his thing.  I guess now would be a good time to do some CraigsList stuff, but I can hardly breathe.  We'll get things ready in a few days.  He'll be here in a week.  Boy we've got a lot to do!

Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy each day of your life's journey by finding beauty in the ordinary.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fate and a Happy Ending…or Beginning

I’m a firm believer that things happen in life for a reason.  No, we may not understand why, but sometimes things just work out.  Some call it fate while others refer to it as irony.  This is a brief story about my nephew Philip and his fiancĂ©e Leslie.

Philip and Leslie went to the same NC high school that Gin and I did many years ago.  He graduated in 1998 and went to college at NC State for a few years.  He wasn’t quite sure where he was headed by his junior year and felt that the US Army could help him find that direction.  He enlisted for a few years in the Spring of 2001.  We all know what happened that Fall.  He was a Green Beret Medic with the Special Forces and did a long tour in Afghanistan.  He reenlisted for a few more years, but this is where Fate stepped in.  As a Medic, he was in a “safe zone” at a hospital in Baghdad, Iraq in April 2008.  He could hear the incoming heavy artillery but couldn’t run fast enough.  He was hit.  His left foot was badly injured and he had other shrapnel wounds.  He spent quite some time recovering at Walter Reed Army Hospital in DC.  They were able to put his foot back together pretty good, but he has permanent nerve damage in his leg and foot and received a medical discharge from the Army.  He has spent the past year and a half in Greensboro, NC getting his college degree in Political Science.

Leslie graduated from that same high school in 2000 with a full Morehead Scholarship to UNC.  She’s quite active and enjoys the outdoors.  She’s also very intelligent.  After getting her degree at UNC, she went to George Washington Medical School in DC and is now in her third year of her Pediatric residency at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, NC.  The neighboring city is Greensboro (Philip).  She is about to start a three year fellowship in Neonatology.  They had mutual friends in high school but didn’t date each other then.

Remember Philip’s injury?  This is where Fate steps in.  Leslie’s father owns a car dealership in Roanoke Rapids.  While Philip was at Walter Reed, her dad would often ask my brother how Philip was doing with his recovery.  On Philip’s first visit home, his mom Carla took him to the dealership to say hey and to have some work done on their SUV.  While she was busy at the service department, Leslie just happened to drop by to talk with her dad.  When she saw Philip, she sat down and they chatted for an hour and exchanged email addresses.  Philip went back to DC for more treatment.  Well apparently, he’s pretty good with words.  They stayed in touch via email and during his next visit home, he said that he felt up to driving to Winston Salem to visit with Leslie.  He was just barely able to walk on crutches and this was a three hour drive one way!  I guess she was pretty good with words also!  Well, one thing lead to another and they are busy now with their lives and are planning an elaborate wedding in May. 

Without that horrible injury in 2008, would their paths have crossed?  If so, would it have evoked the same results?  With Valentine’s Day upon us, remember what small acts of fate fell into place to bring together so many happy couples.  Things do happen for a reason…