Tag Archives: Georgia

Some people have all the luck…


Reid is in England for his short-term work stint.  Some people have all the luck.   Poor kid has a nice apartment smack in the middle of central London (hopefully with his own ‘loo’), Wimbledon is on not far from his temporary digs, England made it to the knock out round of the European soccer championship and, of course, the run-up for the Olympics is gaining steam.  Tough gig for a single guy.  I just wish he’d stay in touch with us on this side of the pond.

The living room is crammed with camping stuff in advance of the trek in the Bridger Wilderness.  I'm trying to pack light but lite-weight backpacking technology has passed me by.

My living room is clogged with camping stuff in preparation for the trek in the Bridger Wilderness (note: we still have room for late comers, July 21-27) but there was no mention of it for the first time in a while in last week’s letter and there was scant mention of it in the letter that was mailed just this morning.  The tinder-dry conditions are some cause for concern; unlike last year, there will be no fires on which to char-broil trout.  Instead, we’ll make do with a white gas stove to heat water for pasta and beans and flash-fry brookies.  Alas, my ancient but trusty40 year old MSR model A stove was lost during the move six years ago so a newer WhisperLite will have to suffice.  I’ll no doubt get into the Bridger goings-on a little more in the note to the kids next week.

Here is what was deposited in last week’s mail (although Reid got his via email late in the week):

—————-

June 18, 2012

Ellen/Reid: Monday has gotten off to a decent enough start but all that can crumble in the space of a few ‘do this…or ‘what do you think of this?…’ emails.  But none of those have come in so all things as of this moment are BAU (business as usual in bank parlance).

No sense mailing letters to your Chicago address until you return, Reid.  You’ll have to open your email to read them.  By the time this goes into the mail to Ellen, your plane will have already jetted east to London.  You get all the fun trips.  India.  England.  No doubt you will figure out a way to take the Chunnel beneath the channel to Paris or other mainland location.  Heck, I would too, if I were you.  Sad to say there is probably no chance for your old man to get over there for even a few days.  The schedule just won’t allow it.  I put on my blog this morning that if you were over there until, say, October or November then the odds of a visit would increase noticeably.  But not right now.  Too much going on.  The one thing you need to do is send us photos and whatnot of where you are and what you’re doing.  People ask and all I can say is “I dunno.”  So keep your mom and I posted on your comings and goings.

Ellen, your running cavalcade of photos of Emma has been just darling.  It’s just like being there.  Okay, not quite but it’s a great substitute for being hundreds of miles away.  She has just changed so much.  She’s putting on a nice amount of weight and her little smile is showing some personality.  Believe me, it’s hard to remember them (i.e. you and your brother) at this age once you guys reach the Terrible Teens.  I’ve got the framed ones here and there throughout the place.

We had a great 27 hours going down and back to Tybee Island, Georgia.  A ride that’s long but not too long.  The weather was incredible.  We didn’t do a whole hell of a lot.  A few drinks and some so-so seafood at a beach bistro, accompanied by a duo performing old standards on acoustic guitars.  That was a riot.  Some of the patrons really got into it.  We had breakfast at a classic old diner then did a couple of short walks on the beach, walked a little more once we rode back through Savannah (worth the visit) and then took a two lane road 40 miles into Hilton Head, where the traffic was just bonkers.  It was miles and miles of stop-and-go for most cars.  We really noticed the backup as we came out of HH Saturday afternoon on the return ride to Charlotte.  We stopped to check out the timeshare (no news there; I have squandered the resource but am trying to figure out how to use it) and had a nice meal and cool drinks over at the Westin.  That was fun.  I could have nodded off at the table but it was time to hit the road again.  We had a leisurely ride back to North Carolina.

We are looking forward to the trip to St. Paul in mid July.  Felicia has been through the airport but never really set foot on Minnesota ground.  We’ll be there just long enough to not seem overbearing.

Picked the first honest-to-goodness tomatoes we’ve ever had.  The secret must’ve been the patio variety because the Big and Better Boys really just never got going in the big pots.  There’s a bumper crop on the vine right now, believe you me.  They don’t get real big, not quite the size of a tennis ball, but that’s a far cry from the ping pong ball size the last few years.  Toss some of these tomatoes with a little basil and garlic, and you’ve got some nice pesto.  Glad to hear you had your first ripe raspberry.  Next year you should have oodles of the red rubies.  You might go online to see if you need to cut those canes back.  I’m guessing so but don’t quote me.

Well, over and out from North Carolina.  It’s getting warmer here, and warmth gives way sooner than later to boiler room heat.  We may have to start dunking ourselves into the pool.  The water level may rise, given my gain in weight.  Hope nobody harpoons me.

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The little matter of a junket to Tybee Island…


Later today, Reid hops a plane out of Chicago to his temporary work assignment in London.  His first day of work is Wednesday.  As any of us would, he’s looking forward to it, although I’m not sure if he’s looking more at the work or at London.  Probably both.

If the summer schedule plays out as it is currently scripted, the chance of me getting over there to visit this new expat are slim and none.  It’s just not in the cards.  Reid is over there for roughly two months and if his stint stretched into October or November, then it might be a different matter.  But it’s not.  I’m already committed to the Twin Cities to check up on Emma and her domain plus the Bridger Wilderness is set in stone, too.

The morning after we rode across the isthmus from Tybee Island to Savannah, we stopped along the Savannah River long enough to stretch our legs. Felicia deserved a few hours away from her workday grind. Moments after this shot was taken, we saddled up again. This time, up to Hilton Head on back roads.

Then there was the little matter of a junket for Felicia and me to Tybee Island, Georgia this past weekend.  She has worked long, tedious hours and she deserved a 27 hour getaway to this tiny little stretch of sand that is a great spot.  As she tells it, it has what Myrtle Beach and some of the over-commercialized ocean front tourist traps do not: a coziness that comes with a community scarcely a mile or two long (at the most), some beach bars that serve cold drinks, and two greasy spoon breakfast nooks worth the trip alone.  The price of admission to any of the spots we happened upon were flip flops and shorts.  We rode the Harley this time, and no Chamber of Commerce could have ordered any better weather.  We took the back road from Savannah to Hilton Head where a couple of cold beers washed away any road dust and made our lunch along the ocean taste a little better.

Ellen sent this photo with a one word caption: Chillin’. Already Emma is changing day by day. I see her next on July 13.

For those expecting one more photo of Emma, here is the little wonder with one of her first discernable smiles.  Her mom sent this at precisely the right time as her gramps slogged through a Friday work day worth forgetting.

Here is last week’s letter.  The letter to be written today will be mailed to Ellen and emailed to Reid in London (as his will be for the next 7 or 8 weeks).

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June 11, 2012

Ellen/Reid: Well, one would suppose this will be the last letter on paper you’ll receive for a while, Reid.  While you’re ‘over there’ I’ll send the notes by email attachment.  It will sort of be like when you went to Finland.  I’m looking into a short visit while you’re there, but there may be some things working against it.  Certainly the Olympics and all that revolves around it (higher prices, price gouging, etc., and that includes airline tickets) but it would sure be great fun to figure out how to make a four or five day visit work.  My passport is still valid for another year.  But never say never because this would be a once-in-a-lifetime situation to get over there to see you.  It’s all so exciting.  There will be so much ado about the Olympics, Wimbledon, the royal family, et al.  The ‘biometric appointment’ took me a little off guard but that’s just the way security is these days.  Just make sure you send us a lot of photos.  It might be fun to keep a short term journal of your adventure.

And Ellen, the picture of you and Emma at Home Depot is just hilarious.  A family shopping trip to a hardware store.  I laughed out loud at those little appendages dangling outside her kiddie harness or whatever it is you call it.  It’s too early for her to make decisions about the décor of her room but that time will come.  I have sprinkled her new photos around the townhome and will send a framed one to you that appears to be a duplicate.  We can’t wait to get up there on the 13th of July.  We plan to stay at a B&B down on Grand.  Felicia correctly advises that it would be good for us to stay out of your hair.  One less stressor for you guys to deal with.

We head down to Tybee Island, Georgia on Friday for one night at a cheap hotel plus a few nice walks on the beach.  We’ll take the bike and cruise on down because it’s not too bad a jaunt.  Tybee Island is a smallish place just outside of Savannah and it doesn’t have the size and noise and distractions of a Myrtle Beach or some of the other island hot spots.  The little burg features one of the all time great greasy spoon breakfast spots where, if you’re not wearing flip flops, you’re out of place and conspicuously out of style.  You can tell Tim that it appears to be a redfish paradise, what with all the little fingerling inlets and such that push way inland.  I’d love to cast a line but there just won’t be enough time for it.  Felicia has to be back on Sunday so she can go to Shelby for Father’s Day.  Tybee is kind of a fall-back position because I’m still trying to get the time share thing figured out.  I have totally squandered that resource.  Totally wasted it.

Betsy got a new job at the bank.  Her other position might have been drawing to a close but she has landed on her feet and in a better spot.  She’ll start to work from home which will be a new experience for her.  I’ve assured her she will love it.

The weather is beginning to warm up here and before you know it we’ll be up to our necks in heat and sweat.  But the spring has been great here and there are no real complaints.  The weather may warm up but my golf game remains cold.  I’ve completely lost touch with the sport.  It would be the one thing I’d discourage Emma from taking up.  But there is some signs of success around here.  Finally, after years of trying without success, there are some eating sized tomatoes forming on the vine just outside the front porch.  And I’ve cleaned out the garage of rickety old shelving and other what-not so that looks better at long last.  There is plenty more to do around here.

Reid, the parting words are: stay in touch.  Let us know how your world turns in London and it would be wonderful to see photos of where you live, where you work and where you visit.  This is a great opportunity for you.  Don’t be surprised if your old man knocks on the door looking for a place to sleep, even if it’s the floor.  Have fun over there, kid.

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