I am going to regret saying this, but I feel like things are finally starting to settle down! The craziness all began last August when my job/company began to receive lots of undesirable attention. Responding to that required a lot of time and energy. In addition to that, the company went through layoffs and voluntary packages that were attractive to many people. Through workplace attrition and perhaps hard work, I continue to assume more responsibilities. Now, I am managing 3 brands with a small team and it has been chaotic to get the foundation in place and set them on a positive course. The start of this year has also featured too much travel. I have already secured gold status for next year on American Airlines and whatever perks you get with airline status, the burdens of time spent at airports/airplanes far outweigh them.
Since work has been taking a lot of time and energy, I have been trying to make sure my family time exceeds expectations. This year, we’ve snuck out on a couple trips to Cleveland and the Kinzua Bridge, plus a couple high quality cheerleading competitions. Winston and I are now quite fond of the BBC program called Cosmos with Neal deGrasse Tyson.
Last Saturday, I needed to take a hike. It was freezing, literally, it was about 11 degrees in the Allegheny Mountains where we went. I went to a new spot (for me) called Quebec Run in the Forbes Forest. I tried to just take Benny as he can hike without a leash and he easily tolerates cold weather, in fact, it is not uncommon for him to take a swim on days when snow is all around. As Benny and I went towards the door, Rosie (our tiny dachshund) rushed by us and bolted out the door. I think Rosie thought we were heading to Dunkin Donuts where they always give her a munchkin donut and the three of us split a bacon, egg, and cheese wake up wrap. Rosie was in for a big surprise when we arrived at Quebec Run and the snow was deeper than her little legs could stand in. She had to trail us Benny and I, walking in our footsteps. We ended up getting very lost as the trails were hard to find in the deep untouched snow, plus the tree markings were very dull and a couple miles in, we all knew we were way off any sort of trail. At this time, Rosie decided that she could no longer hike, I picked her up and she had marble sized ice cubes around each of her toes. I picked her up and stuck her inside my jacket and tried to find my way back to the car. I remembered that we parked our car right across from a giant wind turbine. The wind turbine looks very peaceful from far away, but if you get very close to one, it sounds like an airplane taking off over and over again. We started walking uphill until we could get to a spot to see or hear a wind turbine. Eventually, I saw one on the horizon and headed towards it.
At this point, we were all cold and my arms were quite tired from lugging Rosie around in my jacket. We all enthusiastically marched towards the wind turbine, each step giving us greater optimism. Eventually, we got to there, looked all around and saw no car. As I searched for my car, it now became apparent that there were dozens of wind turbines across the horizon and they were all about a half mile apart.
I walked up to another wind turbine and still didn’t see my car. I decided to cheat and pull out my phone. It had about 2% battery, but that was enough for Waze to let me know where my car was parked. It was a long hike, longer than I expected, but it felt really wonderful to get in the car and feel that heat fire up.
We are getting there, I have left at a reasonable time the past couple days and am now posting a blog again. Let’s hope is keeps manageable for a bit!