Saturday, May 22, 2010

Catching Up

We continue to meet and dine with friends to catch up with what has been going on in every ones lives since we where last here. We do miss our friends more than we miss anything else. Our bill for groceries this month has been way down but the bill for dining out has been way up. We do love eating at all our favorite local restaurants where we know the food is going to be great. We ate out so often when working that I used to tell people I hid Nanc's Christmas gifts in the oven. We are glad to see the loss of our business did not cause any layoffs. One thing we realized is that at every place we eat (Union Grill, Sam's, Angelo's, Burgh's, Mr Gyro's, Al an Ruben's, Cherry Hill Grill, Solomon's) all have one thing in common, the owner is always there making sure things are running smoothly. When you have a question or concern you are not talking to the manager you are talking to the owner. This explains why these places have been so successful for so long. Anytime you are passing through Washington, PA just Google any of these names to find a place where you can have a great meal served by great people.
One evening we had dinner with our friends Pete and Rosemary (Nanc's old work buddy) at Mr. Gyros, a local Greek restaurant. We had a great evening of food and conversation which ended with a traditional Greek salute, a shot ouzo. Pictured are Kosta, Pete, Chris, Rosemary, Nanc & Jim. Kosta and Chris are the owners of this wonderful little cafe where you can bring a bottle of your favorite beverage and enjoy real home made Greek fare.
When I worked we had a code for getting together for a Friday after work happy hour, we called it bowling. This was in the days before email when someone would have a student go around and ask who was going bowling? We decided to join my old colleagues who are still working to "bowl" a few frames at Solomon's. A grand time was had by all.
Mike has been working to restore this 1950 Ford for a long time and it is now beautifully painted and in fine running order. I got to go for a ride for the first time and Mike and Sherri drove it when we met for breakfast at the Cherry Hill Grill on Sunday morning.
Mike & Sherri's daughter Tracy and grandson Coleman, who was born since we left 18 months ago. Coleman is an avid camper who has many camping items personalized with his name.
We had a wonderful meal at Mike and Judy Campsey's. They are birders who have travelled to many birding sites around the country and are going to Alaska this summer. Mike is the person who first got me interested in birding. While there we enjoyed seeing many local birds coming to their feeder including a beautiful grosbeak that we didn't realize was common to the area.
We spent an afternoon with our old neighbor Dorothy. We lived next door to her for over 25 years and watched her granddaughters grow up. She is more like a second mom than just a great friend. Eight years ago she moved into an apartment and is still going strong at age ##.
On Mothers Day we visited the cemetery where both our parents are buried. It is both sad and interesting to visit this place. There are many other relatives and friends here who were from Burgettstown, where we grew up, so it is a real walk down memory lane every time we visit.

We did get to vote at the polls instead of using absentee ballot for the first time since being on the road. I was very glad to see the 12th Congressional District, which voted for McCain in 08, elect a Democrat to fill the term of John Murtha and to say good-bye to Arlen Specter who was not sure if he was a Democrat or a Republican.

We continue to have medical tests and doctor and dental appointments. Between the two of us we have had over twenty visits for various tests and procedures. We are really glad we are basically healthy and, other than Nanc's knee surgery, everything has been pretty routine and normal. One medical adventure was getting the shingles vaccine. The first three pharmacies I went to did not offer it but the last one, Walgreen's, told me they had it but my insurance would not cover it as a prescription. But, if I went to a Walgreen's with a Take Care Clinic it would be covered as a medical procedure not as a prescription. The difference was a $10 copay rather than $240 for the prescription. Make sure if you are getting this vaccine that you use the clinic.

We have decided to stay here until May 31 so we can get the results of all the medical tests. This will also give us a chance to spend some time with Jack and Marylou who are returning from their winter home in Florida. We celebrated our first Christmas on the road with them in 07 and have not had a chance to see much of them since then.

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