Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Sunday, November 23, 2014

October 1, 2014 to November 13, 2014



After almost three months in Rodanthe, we headed back to Pittsburgh to take care of the chores that had accumulated, visit with family, and deal with doctors appointments, enjoy the changing of the leaves, and freeze our a$$es off for the most part. The thing that stands out about our time at home, is that I was almost as busy as I was before I retired. I really didn't have a down day, or a day where I wondered what there was to do. I prioritized what I wanted to do, mentally triaged the entire list of things I've wanted to do for twenty years but never had time, then started, determining each task by the weather.....what days were best for outdoor work, what days we would be in Claysville, which days in Houston, etc. I got in a few bike rides in days that were just too good to pass up, mostly between Claysville and Houston, but not nearly as many as I wanted. My longest ride was to Morgantown, for a football game, and that is when I first realized how out of shape I was getting. The Outer Banks flat terrain just didn't come close to preparing me for the undulation of the land in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Here is the list of the type of things you can do when you retire, just in case you think there will be nothing to do. It closely coincides with my accomplishments for the six weeks we were 'home.'

1. I finished painting the red metal roof on the building in Claysville.  Yes....the same one I fell off of in June, and proceeded to pay a contractor $800 to finish while we were in Rodanthe. It never got finished, and the venom that spewed forth from my mouth as I finished the job was the only stress release that I had for the type of stress that comes from climbing back in the 'horse ' that threw me off in our last meeting.

2. Since I was now comfortable back on the roof, I decided to scrub and paint the metal roof on the front of the house in Houston.

3. Since that went so well, I patched and shingled the roof on the front porch of the apartments in Claysville.

4. The whole ladder thing was back in my wheelhouse, so I climbed up in the rafters and reinstalled three fluorescent lights that were removed from the ceiling of the garage in Claysville, so we could get the new RV in it. I had to move them off to the left of the garage door, so there is enough ceiling clearance.

5. With an assist from an old buddy from Wheeling, Kenny Siburt, we ran a line about 60 feet from the breaker box, and installed a fifty amp service, so we can now plug the RV in when its in storage.

Motor home resting!!!

6. I wasn't done climbing ladders yet! The wooden paneling on the outside of the building in Claysville needed restaining with brown stain.

7. Arrangements had to be made with the insurance company and two different contractors to replace a cast iron pipe that cracked last winter in our house. It ran inside the wall from the second floor bathroom to the basement, so the bathroom floor, kitchen cabinets and wall had to be removed and replaced. That entire process was an exercise in patience and frustration, but it got done. The thing that didn't get done was the roof repair where the chimney is leaking into the attic and master bedroom. We contracted with a roofer, but we'll see if that gets done, considering that it was almost winter when we left.

My kitchen being torn apart!!!

8. I cleared about 800 square feet of land, on the 'other' side of the tracks, near the drop off at the back of the property in Claysville. I learned that the old Claysville train station sat right where our building sits, so there was lots of railroad debris, cables, etc back there, making it hard to maintain. It had grown out about 8 feet into the yard, but not any more!

9. We had a weekend garage sale in Claysville that made enough money to pay for the materials that I used in all the above projects. It also included selling the tractor trailer that sat in the back yard, that may have saved my life when I fell off the roof. ( I may have bounced off of it to break my fall on the way down).

Indoor garage sale!!!



10. We had several doctors appointments that we needed to get done, and took a few days to go to Franklin to visit Andi and the grand kids,  while Ben was on a fishing trip. We attended one of Andi's cross country meets, and also one of Buddy 's ( they both coach high school teams)

Our grandson, Carter showing off his Spider Man gloves!

Cranberry Berries before the start of their race


Coach Barrett (Andi) and Carter

11. I did landscaping and leaf raking around our house in Houston that hadn't been done in three years.

12. We did have time to have some fun. We attended three WVU football games, against Kansas, Baylor, and Texas Christian. Two wins and a loss, including a major couch burning incident after the Baylor win. Buddy and his girlfriend attended that one with us. We always watch the band (percussion) warm up on law school hill before each game. We attended a 'Dancing with the Pros' performance in Morgantown, and had second row, mid stage, seats. Pam really enjoyed that one!

Tailgating at WVU!
Showing our colors!

Bike posing with Jerry West


Mike and his friend

The row in front of us celebrating a touchdown!

The Pride of West Virginia

Smiling before the TCU game.  After the game, not so much!

College Game Day was broadcasting in Morgantown!

Tent City - students waiting for the Game Day broadcast

The Mountaineer

video
A WVU tradition for all home football games - the band, aka, The Pride of West Virginia, always plays Simple Gifts during their pregame show.

Another WVU tradition is the playing of Country Roads after every victory.  This one was especially sweet since it was against Baylor!!


13. We attended a Veterans Day breakfast ceremony at Duquesne University with Pam's father, who is a WWII, veteran. He represented the WWII Marine vets in the leading of the Pledge of Allegiance, and spoke for about ten minutes, sharing some amazing war stories with the audience. Many other WWII vets also spoke, and their stories were equally important and interesting. 

If you are interested in WWII stories, you want to listen to this video!

Proud of my Dad at the Veterans Day breakfast - 680 people attended!!

14. Pam, with an assist from Jennie, (Grandpa's lady friend) planned a surprise party for Grandpa Williams, her dad, for his 90th birthday. Three of his siblings drove in from eastern Pennsylvania to be part of the surprise. We were all treated to a dinner at the Meadows Casino, complete with cake and pictures. It was a great thing for everyone involved. You only turn 90 once, you know, and most people don't even do it once.

Happy 90th Birthday Bob Williams!!!

He's still windy enough to blow out his candles!

Daddy with his brother Don and sisters Ruth Ann and Eleanor



When we finally got out of town, we were just ahead of the really nasty weather that traveled with us and haunted us with below average temperatures all the way until November 24, when we finally had an above average day. 

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