A lot has happened since my last post.
Wife and I drove to Northern VA over Memorial Day weekend (1500 miles round trip) for a very nice visit with some of my family and friends. Going up we took I-40 east to I-81 north up the Shenandoah Valley, then I-66 east to my son’s house. We left Nashville at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday and arrived at my son’s place about 11:00 p.m. Long drive!
Thursday morning we visited Harper’s Ferry with wife’s cousin. A big group of school kids had just left when we arrived, and the rain had just stopped, so there were no crowds, and it was dry. We enjoyed a leisurely late lunch at Hilltop House, an old hotel that overlooks the town and river from a high bluff.
Friday morning we met with my financial advisor to plan for retirement (6 years away), spent the afternoon in Tyson’s Mall and later enjoyed a delightful dinner with my sister Mary. She was born mentally retarded, is now 56, lives in a beautiful group home and works in a sheltered workshop. Mary is fortunate to have been born in Fairfax County, which provides great social programs for folks like her. We took her to Outback for her favorite dinner, prime rib. My dear wife has forged a loving relationship with her, and as a result I am close to my sister for the first time in my life. Later that night we accompanied my son and a friend to see a band at a local club. Three of the five band members were friends of mine with whom I had played for many years prior to leaving the area for Nashville in 1998. Of course they asked me to sit in and play keyboards on a couple of numbers (“Dixie Chicken” and “Mustang Sally”). The drummer’s wife was celebrating her birthday; so many other old friends whom I hadn’t seen in 8 years were there too.
Saturday we drove with my son and his gf up to Fairfield, PA to visit my ex and her husband. This may sound weird, and I suppose it is. We were married 26 years and divorced 12 years ago. My wife is very supportive and has established a good relationship with my ex, which makes my life much easier.
We made it a 2-day trip on the way back. First we took Rt. 7 to I-81, then to I-68 and I-79 across the stunning mountains of northern West Virginia, spent a delightful night in Barboursville, then continued west to the Bluegrass Parkway across Kentucky, then to I-65 south and home again. The weather was perfect, the scenery was breathtaking and the car ran fine.
When we returned we discovered that lightning had struck a tree in our neighbor’s yard just at the edge of our driveway, spraying bark at a velocity so high it broke a window in our garage door and punched 3 holes in the siding. We also lost our CATV box, our cable modem and wireless router. Less than a week later, the following Saturday we got struck again; this time we lost our VCR plus our modem and router again. The next day when I started to plug the blender into an outlet in the kitchen, FIRE shot out of the outlet, and I could see that it continued burning behind the plate. I ran downstairs and flipped the breakers; luckily the fire didn’t catch inside the wall and burn our house down! The electrician said he’d never seen anything like it; apparently the electrical surge from the lightning strike fried the GFI electronics in the plug, disabling it from performing its protective duty.
That Saturday we also bought a new car, a 2006 Scion xB. Wife’s brother wants to buy her 1995 T-bird, so we needed to replace it. It’s very fuel efficient, inexpensive (as new cars go) and fun to drive! I would post a picture of it, but Blogger has been unable to post any pictures for the last couple of weeks.
So you can see that in my life, when it rains, it really pours. And sometimes lightning strikes.