Archive for May 30, 2010

Hitting the Road

May 30, 2010 5 comments

Well, today is the day.  Despite spending a lot of Friday and all day Saturday getting prepared, I’m still not quite 100% ready to take off, but I will be soon.  I was slow to get going back in 2005 when I traveled cross-country, and was specifically trying to avoid that, but it happened again.  Oh well, maybe it’s a good thing…the last trip went really well, despite the slow start.

So the car is almost fully packed, just a few odds and ends and then I’m off.  First stop – Madison, AL to visit my aunt and uncle.

At the beginning

So as you can see, I have just over 58,000 miles on my car right now.  Not sure what the odometer will look like by the end of the trip.  Any guesses out there?  I’m prepared to go about 30k miles…we’ll see what happens.

Just need to go fill up the tank now, and then hit up the grocery store.  Donna makes a great trail mix that would never last long with me around, so she kindly stocked me up with roughly a month’s supply of trail mix:

Pounds of deliciousness

Chances are it’ll take me maybe a week or two, tops, to polish all of that off.

All right, no more stalling.  I’m a little nervous, having given up a reliable job I’ve had for four years, but I know this upcoming trip and my near-term plans are the right thing for me.

See you all out there in this beautiful country.


A Note on Family

May 30, 2010 4 comments

I’ve had a great stay in Georgia these past five months.  In that time, I got to learn the local restaurants, help take care of some dogs, and also enjoy home-cooked meals, among other activities.  This is because I stayed with my friends the Frankovskys.

John and Donna, along with their children Mike and Mary, lived in my home of Endwell, NY back in the early 90’s.  In 7th grade, John was my CYO basketball coach at St. Joe’s.  I only played for him that one season, but that was all it took to become long-time friends.  And over the years we stayed in contact, even as his job took him to Atlanta.  So when the time came that I took a job in Marietta, GA, John didn’t hesitate to tell me to stay in his guest room.  It was an unbelievably generous offer and I took him up on it.  And it’s been a wonderful experience to stay with a family, as well as share a house with two incredibly sweet dogs, Marba and Sally.  I never had any pets before, so helping keep an eye on the dogs and getting to take them on walks was an enjoyable experience (not to mention the daily greetings as I returned from work).

So since January I had been living with the family and been treated like on of their own.   We’ve shared many laughs over the good old days in New York, including:

  • Housesitting for the family, and my failure to pick zucchinis from the garden that would eventually grew to the size of baseball bats
  • While housesitting, their dog Snowy never failed to poop on the carpet, but never when the family was there
  • Good CYO basketball memories
    • Losing our first few games by 50+ point margins, barely having enough players to field a team
    • My inability to hit free throws…except when instructed to miss them (in hopes of getting an offensive rebound).  John eventually took to telling me to “miss it” whenever I got to the line, thinking the reverse-psychology would help me sink the shot
    • A player on the team mistaking a heart-shaped eraser (gift from a cheerleader) for a heart-shaped candy
    • Another player taking errant shots, claiming “It goes in in my driveway, Coach!”
    • A big lead slowly being chipped away at, while John and his assistant are joking with each other on the bench.  It took a brave young player (Yours Truly) to say “Umm Coach, we’re only down by three.”  John: “Quick! Starters back in!”

These and so many other stories we’ve been able to share the past five months has made the stay quite memorable.  The latest that I’m sure will live on is John constantly wondering how I never fully subscribed to his wise tutelage over the years.  He is constantly asking me, “Where did I go wrong with you?” when I:

  • mention I like tofu (and wear my “powered by tofu” t-shirt)
  • wear shoes that might be more of a European design
  • enjoy dancing at the local country bar
  • show off my sports trivia knowledge (or lack thereof)

…and so many other things.  Of course, it’s all in good fun, as John has realized that I can occasionally make good sense.

I’m so very grateful to the Frankovsky family (aka my Georgian foster family) for all they have done for me.  It’s people like the Frankovskys who make you realize the term “Family” does not limit one to shared genes.


Me with the dogs. On left: Marba, Burmese Mountain Dog. On right: Sally, Chocolate Lab

Mary, John, Me, Mike - Circa 2000 during a visit to Atlanta

Jenna, Mike, Mary, Me, Donna, John - May 2010

Categories: Uncategorized