Friday, September 15, 2006

Time oh time

Well, it's amazing how time flies (even when you aren't having fun). Things at work have been moving briskly along. My replacement has been hired, so we have a nice overlap to go over everything before I retire (my last day probably Dec. 15th). We plan on having a double celebration around then, me for retirement, and Hubby for paying off the mortgage. Next will be all the home upgrades (and barn upgrades) that we want to make, some DIY and some contracted. After a suitable goofing-off period, of course!

Two weeks ago we traveled to Hardy County Kentucky to visit my sister-in-law. She has been in Kentucky about three years, but this is the first time we've been there. She truly lives in the middle of nowhere, 12 miles to the nearest (only)gas station/convenience store, 18 miles to the grocery store/bank/florist. That's all that is there. Oh wait, a mexican restaurant, surprisingly good. They don't live anywhere near anywhere, including a city of any size. My memory of driving through Kentucky 25 years ago includes envy of all the rolling green pastures, tight even fencelines, opulent barns surrounded by statuary and loonnng gravel drives. But her part of Kentucky is all about poverty; even compared to some of the less choice locations in West Virginia, ramshackle barns, peeling paint on once-black fences, houses with old appliances in the yard, weeds, dead cars. Sad. I think Hardy County has the highest number of welfare families in the state, lowest per-capita income. All it is now is farms, there is literally no where to work, and farming a family farm as a sole income hasn't been possible for many years, anywhere. Even the cattle look tired. My sister-in-law does have two cute little calves, Jerseys, that she'll winter over for meat. Wisely she hasn't named them--never name a beast you're going to eat. One of those rules, like, never squat with spurs on.....

When we drove home, it was through torrential rainstorms courtesy of Ernesto. Usually deluges where you can't see the car in front of you only last for a brief time, then stop or at least slack off. But this went on and on, all 7 hours it took to get home. We had rented a nice Cadillac, which handled the road nicely, I must admit. When Hub went to pick it up, the young guy at the Enterprise desk asked him where we were going. He said, Kentucky, and the guy wanted to know which states we'd be driving through. He replied, uh, Kentucky? It touches West Virginia? Clearly renting cars does not require geography skills.

The pool is once again closed for the season, I wish we could keep it warm enough to use for longer. Once I looked into getting an inflatable dome to cover it, it would keep it warm and decrease the bug/leaf problems, but I'm afraid the wind ripping up the valley would carry it far far away. It would end up keeping company with the assorted grill covers, trash can lids, towels draped on the railings, and umbrellas that have deserted us for greener pastures, somewhere. Once the kids were "camped out" in the backyard and we nearly lost the tent, kids included! No, not really. Only the tent, during a food run into the house.

Last week, daughter and I went to see Nickle Creek in concert, I understand that while they aren't precisely breaking up, they won't be touring together, starting at the end of the year. It's too bad, they are one of those groups where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Incredible musicians, and above average vocalists, mostly. Funny, too.

No one much at work today here at the university, last night WVU beat Maryland in the stadium across from the med center, and I think a lot of folks partied a little too hardy afterwards. Scheduling week-night games is all about TV coverage, and not about the logistics involved in getting employees out of the med center and getting 60,000 vehicles parked in their spaces. Not being a football fan, it's just a big nuisance when we have home games, even on the weekends; one can only stay home, or do a quick errand after kick-off. When I worked in the blood bank several years ago, my shift would end usually just as the game was letting out. I wanted to shout, "I WORKED, LET ME OUT FIRST!" but I just sat and sat until some kind soul would let me into traffic. And it always surprised me, how many people would come to the hospital cafeteria to eat lunch before the game. I mean, how festive can a hospital lunch room be? Aren't they supposed to tailgate? Anyway, this weekend should be quiet, everyone nursing hangovers.

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