Tag Archives: Geri Trost

Making plans for a Thanksgiving visit

Greetings, readers. The bus tickets have been purchased and I am going to be on my way. Dave and family invited me to New Jersey for Thanksgiving weekend and I gleefully accepted. After checking out Zipcar and Hertz I figured out that Megabus was the way to go. For a modest price, I will be able to enjoy a five-day mini-vacation.

I am able to go because of generous friends who offered to take my work shifts on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. Two people offered and I hope my manager doesn’t schedule them both because one will be angry at me. If either one of you is a regular reader, you have just saved my weekend and I owe you a favor.

I’m going to have to look at the Megabus website again to see if I can bring a suitcase and a carry-on. If it is one or the other, the computer will be staying home. In the late evenings at David’s, after our brotherly chats are over, I like to go upstairs to my guest room, crawl under the blankets, and check my email or listen to music. The one thing I am worried about is that my body is programmed to wake up at 4:00am; that will not be happening at David’s house. I will be sleeping in.

I can’t wait to get there and enjoy the family’s hospitality. The Thanksgiving meal itself will be in the dining hall at Geri’s church and it is big enough for the entire family. I will probably ask David if I can say Grace or make a speech, as I always tend to do. I’m looking forward not only to the feast but also to be with family once again. I shall treasure every moment.

What are the things I am thankful for this year? With my life looking up at the moment, here is my brief list: I am thankful for my kitty-cat Keekee, who is in good health, besides perhaps a slight eye issue; she’s doing great for being almost 13 years old. I am thankful for my family and friends and the possibility to travel and see them. I’m also grateful and thankful that my job has worked out and that most managers think I am doing an excellent job … and making a little extra scratch doesn’t hurt either. Lol. Last but not least, I am thankful for Rebecca and Darren for their years of not only friendship but of hard work to help me put these various writing projects together. As I told my friend this morning, I don’t care if Darren’s book doesn’t put me on the map, I’m hoping it will put him on the map. Kimberly was a cute play. Was it polished? Not by any means. Darren took a good solid skeleton with some meat on the bones and turned it into a literary breathing human being.

I wish to say Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and readers. Your support over the last year has meant so much to me and has kept us going. The recent upswing in view numbers is continuing and we like it.

I said yesterday that this entry would be a top ten list, but other work earlier this morning took time away from our working hours here at the office, so the promised top ten list will come as soon as I come back from vacation. My mistake.

Next week Rebecca will post two blog entries, most likely re-posts of her choosing, as I will be on the bus and in New Jersey, cramming myself with turkey and trimmings.

So until next time, have a wonderful holiday, take care, and happy reading.

Sorry folks, we’re from Virginia

Greetings, readers. My girlfriend and I are home from New Jersey after having a wonderful time at my Goddaughter’s wedding and reception. A funny thing happened on the way there though. I didn’t get lost, but I took a couple of roads I wasn’t really supposed to take. Luckily they all headed toward Philadelphia and New Jersey.

The Zipcar rental we had was a delightful Ford Focus. When one Zipcar is damaged, it is usually swapped out with another one in their fleet, and the car could be from any state in the Union. This particular vehicle had Virginia plates. Every time I made a wrong turn, put on the brakes too hard, or almost caused a wreck, I would say out loud to Traci, “Sorry, folks, we’re from Virginia.” She got a chuckle out of that. I’d driven the route once before and now having driven it again, I will feel much more confident driving it in the future if we are indeed invited to another family function at Dave’s house.

Now, let me tell you a little bit about the wedding. It was an outdoor wedding at a lovely venue. Everyone looked elegant, and when Ashley walked down the aisle, with David, my best buddy and brother, I will admit I did shed a tear. My Goddaughter was getting married. Just as the ceremony was going to begin, an ominous storm cloud formed behind the main building. The wind picked up and so did the pace of the ceremony. Fearing soaked clothes and ruined hairdos, the ceremony was pushed into second gear, yet it was beautifully done, and as the wedding concluded just in time, a few pictures were taken as it began to rain. Everybody headed for the doors to get back inside for the reception.

We made our way into the bar area and I told Dave, “I’m going to have a drink. I’m not driving this evening, this is my Goddaughter’s wedding and I’m going to celebrate.” Traci and I both ordered a delicious drink called a Malibu Bay Breeze, which had pineapple juice, cranberry juice, and coconut rum. It didn’t even taste alcoholic. I could have had ten of them. Though with my medications, that would have been a huge mistake.

Throughout the evening I threw caution to the wind and tried to dance on the dance floor. I looked more like a puppet having his strings pulled every which way but give me an “A” for Effort. I really didn’t care, I was having fun.

Two special moments occurred about half-way through the evening. First was my dance with Traci. She is shy and reserved and really doesn’t like to put herself forward in public, but she was having such a blast that she readily accepted my request to dance on the dance floor. The other sweet moment was when I approached the D.J. and requested Percy Faith’s “A Theme from A Summer Place”, my mother’s favorite song, and danced with my Goddaughter to it. I told her that I was giving her and her new husband this song, from me and Grandma Doc. She almost cried. Holding Ashley, dancing with her at her wedding, was one of the proudest moments of my life.

The next day, after a minor vehicle issue, we were at David’s house for brunch and an afternoon of relaxing. Traci and I were so bushed, that we both ended up taking naps. It might have been a little bit rude, but we were tired and couldn’t help it, and everybody understood.

I want to publicly thank here in this forum Dave and Geri Trost and family, for having us at the house, booking our hotel reservation for the first night, and making sure that our stay was stress-free and wonderful.

I shan’t bore you with the details on the ride home because nothing note-worthy happened. As I’ve said before, going away is fun and wonderful but when it is over, I’m glad to get home. Keekee was especially happy to see me. She looked at me as if to say, “Put your bags in the bedroom and feed me now.”

Finally, my prayers, my love. my support go to Ashley Nicole Trost-Levandowski and her new husband Derek. If there is anything I can ever do for either of you, please do not hesitate to ask.

Until Friday, take care, watch yourselves in this heat wave, enjoy life, and happy reading.

Traci was a big hit with the family

Greetings, readers. Here is a follow-up to the blog that posted on Thanksgiving day; successfully, I might add. I will admit I was a little bit worried having Traci meet all 50-plus members of Dave and Geri’s extended family at once. But she fit right in. She decided that she wasn’t going to be nervous, and everyone loved her. It made me so happy to see her talking to people and getting to know them.

A week ago today, Wednesday, Traci and I left for New Jersey and enjoyed a gorgeous drive down to our destination, 30 minutes past Philadelphia. I couldn’t believe that for the full three days of the visit it was sunny and warmer. We actually had cool air on in the car.

I’m not going to say it is scary, but I found out that my night vision isn’t quite what it used to be. Driving on the roads at night in an area I’m not familiar with, was a wee bit stressful even with the GPS. Once we found Dave and Geri’s house, all was right with the world.

Thanksgiving morning was wonderful. I slept in a little bit but came down for morning coffee and quiche before the parade started. We watched most of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but had to leave for the church hall before Santa Claus rolled around. First time I’ve missed him in I can’t tell you how long.

The holiday dinner itself was exquisite. I’m not going to call it a delay, but most of the folks wanted to see the Philadelphia Eagles football game before they ate dinner, so serving was put off for three hours. I had asked Geri if I could say Grace, because I also wanted to make a little speech as I do at gatherings from time to time. She happily agreed. Once everyone was seated, and my Grace and speech had been said, we partook of a wonderful soup made by Shannon Merkhofer, followed by turkey, ham and every trimming you could think of. What an amazing meal. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the delectable desserts were placed in the serving area. I had the pumpkin pie because I am a traditionalist. The sun had already gone down when the party began to wind down, and it did take a while to put all the folding chairs away and clean up all the pots and pans. When we arrived back at Dave and Geri’s house, Traci immediately went to bed. Geri decided to take the dogs for a walk, and Dave and I collapsed on the couch with the Green Bay Packers game on in the background.

On Friday morning, I was up early to have coffee with my brother and buddy before he left for work. Later on, Traci came downstairs, followed by Geri. We had breakfast and then we packed up, because Traci wanted to go to a hobby store nearby to get a stuffed animal as a souvenir. We had seen The Happy Hippo Toys store while we were parking the car the day before.

As we got on the highway to head home, I was happy and proud that everything had gone so well. I was driving in the big city, or at least on the interstate nearby, and Traci was enjoying all the sights. She loved the skyline of Philadelphia, just coming off of the Ben Franklin bridge.

We got home about 3:30 Friday afternoon, and I will admit to you I was exhausted. It’s always strange but true, no matter how much you look forward to going somewhere and how much fun you’ve had, it is a nice feeling to come home to familiar surroundings. I was happy to see my kitty cat Keekee and she was happy to see me.

If I had to rate this trip, I would give it A+, 10 out of 10.

Until Friday, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, do take care, and as always, happy reading.