Our Latest Trip


The time just flew by during our trip to PA, NY and CT last week. We had to cut our trip short because Jerilyn came down with a cold, but still, we had a good time. Our visit with her brother Wayne and his wife Marion was quite enjoyable. We left their home in Armonk, NY and travelled to Rocky Hill, CT to visit her cousin Jackie, who is a delight to be around. She travels to a lot of foreign countries, keeping diaries and taking pictures during her tours. We had planned on leaving her home and head back to southwest VA to visit my folks, but that will have to happen later in the year. Jerilyn looks forward as much as I do to our visit with my mountaineer family. I have close family friends back there that I pray for every day so it is important to visit them to make sure their health is improving. I am so very guilty of assuming that people close to me know I love them. I need to demonstrate it in a more open way.

While we at Woodloch Pines in PA, we had the opportunity to make new friends. At our table for breakfast, lunch and dinner were 7 other people. Two were from Long Island, NY, two from Newbern, NC (originally from Long Island) and three from NY City. By the time we went on our way three days later, we each knew a lot about each other. Everyone has a story to tell and how you tell it says a lot about who you are. The youngest guy in our group (around 48) was a city cop and firefighter and he had a lot of stories to tell.   The oldest guy had two hips replaced and had equally compelling stories. As usual, I had my fun telling about my maternal relatives being McCoy’s (of Hatfield fame). And I always have fun letting people know about my indian heritage and the fact that my ancestors greeted their ancestors upon their arrival to the New World. Good conversation always trumps bad TV.   In the coal camp I grew up in, if you couldn’t hold your own in a conversation with your peers, you might as well take your glove and go home. Too bad our school didn’t have a debating team. The kids in my neighborhood would have reigned supreme.

Our yard is looking very good. The grass is a lush green from all the rain it has received and our bushes and trees are letting us know that spring is here. I was having trouble with my riding mower but I think I have resolved that issue. I am back to working on our weed whacker. I have stopped the leaky gas tank, but still have a few other problems to resolve. I seem never to have much of a problem filling my day with things to do. One thing I have noticed as I get older is that I tire easily. I am normally up by 7 am and by 5pm all my energy is gone. That’s when I head inside for a shower, have a few peanuts and a small glass of wine and then logon my PC and check my e-mail.

I think one of the things that make life fun is having interesting friends. Jerilyn and I travel many miles to visit with friends. An interesting life, in my humble opinion, is made up of interesting friends, interesting places to visit and interesting things to do. If you are still in the workforce then an interesting job is very important. Of course, all of this interesting stuff is predicated on having good health. Health problems make it almost impossible to enjoy much. I have some very close friends struggling with their health and I know that their finding enjoyment in this life is a hard.

I always keep track of the gas mileage on my vehicles. I have done this for many, many years. I have always felt that if something was wrong with the engine it would be reflected in its gas mileage. During our recent trip to PA, CT & NY the Riviera averaged 26 mpg. Around town it gets 20 mpg. Now, the truck is a different animal. It gets 16 hiway and 13 city.   The truck is our primary means of transportation when we are home. I feel so guilty riding that thing. I want to sell it and get a very small car to ride around town, but, Jerilyn will have no part of that. She makes her biweekly trip to the dump and without the truck she would be relegated to having to hook our trailer to the car and that is not so cool. Someone once said that “guilt is a tireless horseâ€.   Every time I get in the truck that “tireless horse†jumps on my back and stays there until I park it.   As soon as someone comes out with a car that get 50 mph, at a reasonable price, that puppy will be setting in our driveway.

If you have ever smoked 100 cigarettes in your life and are between 65-75 years old you should be checked for an aortic abdominal aneurysm-AAA (per National Institute of Health- www.nih.com) . The reason I know this is a very close relative has one (recently diagnosed). I doubt, however, that she has ever smoked in her life, so it is possible to have AAA without ever having smoked. I must remember at my next physical to ask my doctor about being checked.

I recently listened to a discussion of how a husband would feel if his wife made more money than he. I have never had that happen to me, but it gave me pause for thought. I was raised to believe that husbands were the breadwinners and wives took care of the children and kept things in order at home. Anyway, that is the way it was in our home as a kid. As an adult I worked with many women, with very few making as much as I made.   Fortunately, that is changing and women are assuming their rightful place in higher paying jobs at work. Women make up 58% of college students and make far better grades while there (NY Times-July 2006). So it stands to reason that women will eventually make more money since they will be better educated. A woman is currently standing on the on the precipice of the presidency and they are regular occupants of cabinet level jobs.   So, that brings me back to my original question: would I feel inferior if my wife made more money than me?   Common sense would dictate that I should be a happy camper, but I dunno if that would hold true for me. I guess I still carry a lot of baggage.   Sometimes, the way you feel about things make absolutely no sense.

You can find my blog at:   http://tommyhale.blogspot.com/ or my pictures at: http://bipolar66.smugmug.com

I hope you’re enjoying whatever season it is in your part of the world. Thanks for reading my weekly missive.


“Paradise is here or nowhere: You must take your joy with you, or you will never find it.” ….O.S. Marden