Saturday, June 24, 2017

Off to the Northwest and Southwest

A long-awaited vacation has finally come! I was off this past week (despite having to make up a day of work on Tuesday) and used it to catch up on a bunch of personal matters that needed attention. However, today begins some fun as it is travel time.

This afternoon, my wife and I will be flying to Seattle to visit my son, who recently moved there. My wife has never been to Seattle and I haven't been there for over 30 years, so we are looking forward to the next few days. On Wednesday, my wife is flying to Phoenix to visit her best friend. I originally planned to just fly back home, but instead decided to reward myself for all the work I had been doing on my mom's house. So, you guessed it: I am going to Las Vegas for a few days!

Several poker friends are there for the WSOP and might be gone before I arrive. However, I know that Rob and TBC will be in town, as well as most of my local friends. I will be in Las Vegas for four nights, to be followed by a five night trip the third week of July.

Having dropped off my administrative gig at work eight weeks ago, I can clearly see now that it was certainly the right decision for me. For the first time in over five years, I am on vacation with absolutely no work worries hanging over my head. It feels great!

If you are in Las Vegas June 28 to July 2, hit me up via text, twitter or email.


Sunday, June 04, 2017

Where Have You Been, lightning?

Is it really June already? I only authored two posts the whole month of May and have had much less of a presence on social media the past five weeks. There must be a reason, right? Well, there is.

I have not had a free day since sometime in April. My previous two posts referenced the work that was needed on my mother's house, getting it ready to be sold. On days I was not working at my regular job, I was working to empty out, clean, and starting today, paint the house. The month of May flew by as all I did was work and work some more.

Cleaning out the accumulated belongings of over 50 years is quite a task. It is just not a matter of going into a house and removing everything. First, things have to be sorted. Check out just one of the horror show of storage areas:
Additionally, the number of plastic bags that were recycled required a couple of trips to the local grocery store recycling bin. I went to a company that recycled styrofoam. I made nine trips with a full van to Goodwill and another trip to a different resale shop. Mind you, I donated box after box after box of things that had to be sorted first.

My brother Dan hauled away several truck loads of garbage that he was able to empty into his company dumpster and his wife put out several boxes of recyclables. The time finally came to rent one for most of the rest of the garbage. A week ago, we filled a 20-yard dumpster. It was pretty big: 14 feet long, seven feet wide and five feet tall.  It was packed solid. A metal scavenger came by a filled an old U Haul with metal including old appliances from the basement: a refrigerator, a stove, a water heater and a dryer. The local recyclable haulers probably have a new favorite as we loaded up more than the usual little recyclable bin. Check out the stack of boxes below. 
Unfortunately, the picture does not do just to the majesty of the pile. It was 6-8 feet deep and solid with paper, cardboard, plastic and glass.

What to do with all the furniture ... Some was destroyed, some given away, a few items still left in the house, potentially heading for a landfill.

Painting started today as two rooms were badly in need of it. We got one room finished today and at least got  a start on the other. Additional cleaning still needs to be done, some repairs are being done to a bathroom, and a basement and garage emptying are still not completed. 

It has all been more work than I could ever have imagined. However, like any seemingly overwhelming task, the key is to not focus on the total project, but to take steps and see continual progress.

I was able to sneak in a few poker sessions on some of the weekends, but essentially I have not had a day off now for over five weeks.I'll be forced to do so, if not before, when my wife and I visit our son in Seattle later in June.

Part of what has allowed me to keep my sanity through all this is my return to the rank and file at work, stepping down from my leadership position. After one month, the jury is in; things are great! The person who took over as acting director has had her hands full with some personnel issues. Meanwhile, I can go into work every day free from some of the hassles I dealt with for the past five years.

In summary, life has been extremely busy but good. I trust that the rest of this month will continue to be much the same. I am looking forward to a little freedom come July.

Thanks for reading!