May Updates

The folks who submitted an offer have had an inspector come and look at the house, the process lasted 3 or 4 hours. Ultimately, they are requesting some work on the patio and chimney, we will see where this negotiation leads, but I’m optimistic that the deal will still move forward.


On the other end of things, we’ve been evaluating various neighborhoods for the past 5 months and narrowed our search down to Peters Township. We love the area, reminds us of Central Bucks, the schools are great, and there is a comic book store, trails, & swimming pool nearby, so the kids love it. On Friday, we looked at 10 homes that fell in our price range, we found one that we loved and put in an offer yesterday. Still waiting to hear back.


We attended a wedding in Blacksburg, VA last weekend, home of Virginia Tech. From Pittsburgh, you drive straight down, south through West Virginia and then into Virginia, it was one of the most beautiful drives I have ever been on. This was my first trip into West Virginia and my prior perception of the place was Hatfields & McCoys, Rednecks, meth, and Deliverance. After driving through, I am ready to vacation there! We passed the most beautiful lake I have ever seen, it was called Summersville Lake, it had cliffs all along its banks and the water was crystal clear. As we drove over it via bridge, I could see through the water and see the rocky bottom. The lake is over 300 feet deep in some places. We also crossed the New River Gorge, which is a huge bridge, it is 850 feet over the river below. On the third Saturday in October, every year, they close the bridge and people jump off it with parachutes, I think they call it Bridge Day.  The New River Gorge Bridge is featured on the back of the West Virginia quarter. Any ways, the state is breathtaking, really look forward to exploring it more.


Dalia has an amazing eye for things. I am pretty good at scanning water and seeing fish underneath or spotting creatures hiding in the brush, but Dalia is one hundred times better than me. She is amazing at finding frogs and capturing them, they blend in so well in the grass & aquatic vegetation, but it is like they are glowing orange, she spots them so easily. She sometimes gets frustrated with me when I can’t see what she sees. Then once she spots the frog, she assumes a hunter’s stance, prowls around and snatches the frog with her bare hands, she is a very natural athlete, I cannot wait to see her play sports. She is also amazing at finding four leaf clovers, at the age of 5, she has already found at least 4 four leaf clovers, I have never found a 4 leaf clover in my life.


I miss my dog, haven’t seen Toby for a couple of weeks. Hopefully we’ll all be living together in July, can’t come soon enough.   

Moving Along

There have been a couple times where I have involved the family in something in something that was more challenging than I anticipated. Last year I convinced Jaclyn and the kids to take a jaunt along the Appalachian Trail to the top of Mount Minsi. About one hour into the hike, everyone was complaining of exhaustion and I kept reassuring them that we were almost to the top. Eventually, a couple hikers returning from the top came walking down and I casually asked, “Are we close to the top?” and the two of them laughed hard, until they noticed the devastating glance being cast by my wife in my direction, and then they pulled it together and said, “Yeah, sort of, not too much further.” We pressed on and eventually made it to the top, it was quite impressive. See everyone, it is awesome…right? Come on, lighten up, wasn’t the climb worth it?  


On Friday, Jaclyn’s thirty-second birthday, we struck a deal with a potential buyer and signed an agreement of sale. We are slated to close on our home at the end of June. Keep your fingers, toes, legs, and armed crossed that the buyer’s mortgage paperwork all comes together and we can stop climbing up this mountain for a bit.


When we first started the long distance situation, I would head to Pittsburgh with my head filled with big ideas of how I was going to make a great impression at work. After 5 months of leaving the family 5 days at a time, my mind is now completely preoccupied with counting down the days until I see my family again. As I left the house on Sunday night to head back to Pittsburgh, Dalia jumped up onto the bay window at the front of the house and was waving, blowing me kisses, and saying “I love you!” as I backed out the driveway. She gives me the best sendoff ever, I can’t wait to no longer require those sendoffs, I look forward to be taken for granted again.


The 5 months away have allowed me to give an unprecented amount of energy & focus to work though (not saying it was worth it, but I made the best of the situation), and things are off to a great start at the new company. Tomorrow, I present to sales leadership and in June I present to the entire company, I will be introducing all my marketing efforts and know it will be well received. 


We also have a vacation planned for mid July, we will be spending half the time at Niagara Falls and the other half enjoying our new city. We’re not quite at the top of this hill yet, but I don’t think we have too much further.  


Last Wednesday afternoon, I received a call from Jaclyn, she was pretty hurt. There was a rain storm outside and she just picked up Winston from the bus stop, when she got back inside, she slipped on the wooden stairs, her feet flew up into the air (like in the cartoons when a character slips on a banana peel), and she slammed her head on the wooden steps. I asked if she needed me to get home immediately, I asked if she needed to go to the hospital, I asked if the kids were watching out for her. What I did not know was that I was talking to someone with a concussion & people suffering from concussions are not supposed to be making important decisions.


Essentially, Jaclyn just said she was going to walk it off and that she’ll be okay. The answer seemed fishy, she was obviously in a great deal of pain and she has a pretty high pain tolerance, so I was a little worried. I called her hourly throughout the afternoon to see if she was improving, she was sore, but felt like she was going to be okay. I asked if the kids did anything for her when she fell, she said that Dalia gave her a wet wash cloth and Winston gave her some Band Aids as she laid on the ground in horrible pain, then they went downstairs and continued to watch TV. They need to work on their bedside manner!


I talked to Jaclyn the next morning and she did not seem right, her logic and speech was capable, but not sharp. A stranger would not notice, but she just wasn’t operating at 100% and the lingering symptoms she explained weren’t consistent with just a bruise, she was nauseous & light stimuli really bothered her. She called a doctor and they stressed that she should immediately head to the Emergency Room. Fortunately, her father was available and took her to the emergency room where it was confirmed that she suffered a pretty severe concussion. I rushed home from Pittsburgh to help administer the doctor’s recommendation for her to stay away from sunlight, noise, TV, books, and children!


The week was bonkers, my work continued to require a lot of my attention, the kids required a lot of attention, and the realtors required a lot of attention. Jaclyn would try to pitch in, but any time she started to clean or help out, she would get nauseous or a terrible headache. It was impossible to manage it all, I would make a horrible single father. I would just give the kids a bowl of food (typically Doritos) like a dog, turn on a movie, and lock myself into my office and continue on my calls with supervisors & customers. Then I’d look out the window and see Dalia venture outside, she’d grab a net, capture a frog, and start yelling up to me through my office window “Dad, you gotta see this frog!”. I would put my phone on mute and head outside, praise her frog, remind Dalia to stay away from the road, and return to my office. A couple minutes later, the dog somehow has gotten out, he’s now chasing a jogger and it looks like a bad scene is developing. I put the phone on mute and run after the dog. Then a realtor calls and wants to show the house in 3 hours to a potential buyer. This goes on about 10 hours every day.


The paragraph above is not to make me out as a martyr, the intent is totally opposite, I just want to recognize how poor Jaclyn did not get total rest & relaxation at a time where her head & body was in immense pain. Thank you for the friends & family who chipped in and brought actual food that humans should eat (unlike the diet of processed food that I was providing my family on a routine basis).


On Friday, 9 days after the initial injury, Jaclyn started to improve significantly. Dalia had a ballet recital that night and she did a lovely performance to the Frozen song “Let It Go”. Afterwards, the performers and family had a nice reception with cookies and juice. I gave Dalia a nice bouquet, she earned it, she takes pride in her activities, but I am anxious to see her on a soccor field, she is a natural athlete.


On Sunday, we had a lovely Mother’s Day. The kids & I made breakfast for Jaclyn (the house still smells like bacon). Winston & Dalia both made a nice card for Jaclyn. Winston did something at school where he took the word “MOTHER” and wrote something special about her using each letter, for the letter T, he wrote Tacos.


Sunday afternoon was spent driving along the Delaware River with the top off the Jeep. Then we found a great trail that took us to a neat knee deep pool of water along the river where the kids & dog played for hours.


Everything is back to normal. Our realtor thinks we may sell the house by the end of the month…fingers crossed.