What's been going on since May 2019?
Kathy and I volunteered at the Ohio Veterans Home to assist in transport of disabled veterans to and from the annual Memorial Day Parade. It was a special day for us as we met with several residents, enjoyed a military parade and witnessed first hand the pride and toughness of America's finest soldiers.
June 2019 started with a bang as I experience a pelvic hernia trimming a tree in the yard. Surgery was scheduled for the 26th of June. I had just restarted my volunteer job at Mastick Woods Golf Course and had to take it easy for several weeks now. All went well with the out patient procedure. No golf for 8 weeks.
On the 2nd of June, Kathy and I participated in our first National Kidney Foundation "Kidney Walk" in downtown Cleveland. It was a 5k from the Science Center into town going around the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and coming back next to Cleveland Browns Stadium. We raised $250 for the foundation.
Things changed in a hurry when two days after the surgery I awoke with a swollen cheek that felt numb. At the emergency ward, I was given allergy medicine and breathing assistance. Had to stay overnight for a suspected allergy reaction to stay under control and it did. After some testing, it was identified I am allergic to shell fish and I had to eliminate them from my diet. After many years of over indulging in seafood, my system finally decided that was enough. I take a daily allergy treatment and all has been well since then.
On the 5th of July, Kathy and I celebrated our 28th year of marriage together and prepared for a week long trip to the Pacific Northwest. We stayed with our son and daughter near Tacoma. In the middle of the trip, Kathy and I drove up north to spend a few days with our good friends Rosemary and Greg from Australia. We visited a Boeing airplane plant and did sightseeing and ferry hops around the San Juan Islands. Fun times! After taking Tony out on a boat ride under the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and dinner at "Anthony's" for his 37th birthday, we hiked some local trails and then made our way back home to Ohio.
Continuing on the now major league stadium "revisit" tour, my friend Mike Fry and I took a quick 5 day trip to New York City to see the Cleveland Indians play against the Yankees on Aug 18, and then the Mets on the 20th. In between we rode the subways, ferry boats and walked neighborhoods sightseeing. High points included the John Lennon Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park, Julliard School, Lincoln Center, 911 Memorial, birthday lunch at Cuban restaurant Esperanto, Times Square, Madison Square Garden, Columbus Circle, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Battery Park, Brooklyn Promenade and Wall Street. Mike's daughter Marie joined us all day Monday for his birthday, and became our tour director. On Tuesday, we met our friend Dale's daughter Jamie for lunch near Grand Central Station and she joined us for the Mets game.
September came along and we had a couple road trips to visit college's where Michelle was considering applying for a Performance Psychology graduate program. Labor Day we headed to Knoxville, TN for a tour and meetings at the University of Tennessee. My brother-in-law Rob and his girlfriend Deana met us there and the following day we drove to Boone, NC to check out Appalachian State's graduate school and some of the town's local sights. Then we spent the night up in Mountain City, TN where Rob and Deana live. After leaving Michelle at the Tri-City airport, Kathy and I did the 8 hour drive back to our home in Ohio.
Just a couple weeks later, Kathy and I drove 20 hours to Denver, CO to meet Michelle and visit Denver University and the University of Colorado at Denver. On Saturday, we drove a couple hours up to Rocky Mountain National park and hiked a few trails about 9,750 feet above sea level. Amazing!! We had dinner near the UC Boulder campus before heading back to our condo. Sunday, Michelle and I drove down near Colorado Springs to visit the Garden of the Gods. Massive red sandstone peaks and hiking trails. That night we watched the Cleveland Browns on Sunday Night Football then headed back to our homes Monday.
Golf volunteering was done for the season at the end of October. I increased my visits to the Ohio Veterans Home to twice weekly for the winter months. The Christmas party at the home we very special. It seemed like the holidays just flew by. Michelle was home and we had a family fondue party on Christmas Day.
Heading into 2020, I planned a baseball spring training trip to Arizona to see the Cleveland Indians with Mike Fry. Michelle was able to schedule some time to come down and join us for 5 days. Unfortunately, the Corona Virus outbreak caused shutdowns just two days before our flight out and all major sports activities were stopped. We got all our money refunded, but have been house bound since March 13.
Kathy works from our home and was able to continue her job with no issues. My last day of volunteering was March 11, and I have not been able to return to the OVH since then.
Kathy was able to fly out to visit Michelle in Washington for Easter, but Michelle was unable to return to Ohio with her as planned. The Army was not allowing travel until May 11.
To keep active during the pandemic, Kathy and I have walked many miles around our neighborhood and the surrounding area. So far we have not had any health issues during this time.
On the 5th of May, I began a new volunteer assignment at Meadowood Golf Course in Westlake, OH. The Cleveland Metro Parks have not resumed golf yet and I wanted to find some place closer to home. A couple of 4 hours shifts per week and free golf for me and my guests. I am a Starter/Ranger where we have three 9 holes courses and I have been playing here for over 20 years.
Michelle was finally granted travel privilege and is back in Ohio now as of May 16. She will be staying with us for a month and return to Washington to complete her time in the military and plan her next move. On her return date of June 14, the three of us will take part in the National Kidney Foundation virtual walk, from the Detroit (DTW) airport. Until then lots of hiking, day trips and family visits as the virus restrictions ease.
Wow!! Suddenly it's June 14th and Michelle has already landed back in WA. Only a few weeks and she will be officially out of the US Army. Setting up interviews now as she delayed graduate school entry a year. We hope to go out to visit her when she is moving in late August.
The last four weeks just flew by. Several golf outings, hikes at multiple Metro Parks, walks to the local ice cream stop and around Avon High School. Many family gatherings, a few Netflix films, swimming and tons of laughs and good times. All this achieved while Kathy worked full time, Michelle worked mornings and I volunteered at Meadowood Golf and CLE MetroParks.
Today (6/14) we participated in the National Kidney Foundation #kidneywalkvirtual and raised funds for the NKF. Team members were Michelle, Kathy, Gloria, Ted and myself. Ted walked at Seneca Golf where he volunteers, Gloria walked in the greater CLE area, while the three of us drove to Detroit airport to send Michelle back home. We did our walking in the airport concourses. Michelle ... we miss you already!!