Monday, December 30, 2019

Happy New Year to You!

Happy New Year!  

Before the year comes to a close, I want to send out some greetings.  I love this time of the year and look forward to getting some things done during the holiday lull before we get back into the regular swing of things.

I hope you had a really good holiday and are revitalized for the new year.  Someone posted that thought that the Roaring 20’s are upon us!

One thing I like about the holiday season is that I always manage to find some time for reflection and planning for the new year.  I love that.

By all measures this has been a momentous year.  We thought it would be big and it has turned out to be more epic than we imagined.
At the beginning of the year, we were into our “one last hurrah” with the Roadrunner in Key West. It was there we found out the possibility of selling the Roadrunner was actually turning into a strong possibility.  In a few short weeks we managed to systematically give the Roadrunner a deep cleaning while traveling through the Keys and up to the Tampa area.  It was wonderful seeing friends in Naples, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Tampa and St Pete.
After that, we traveled over to the Jacksonville area where we agreed to meet the buyer.  We left the Roadrunner there and  rented a small U-Haul and drove it to Kelly and Jon’s place in Virginia Beach.

It was a little strange as we got the price we wanted and then delivered the Roadrunner to a climate controlled storage facility outside of Atlanta.  After that, we drove to Virginia in only our Honda and on to new life.  We were able to stay with Jon and Kelly as we did some house hunting.

It took us a few weeks, but in March, we found a place 12 minutes from the grandkids. We signed a contract and had three weeks until closing, so we took a road trip in our F-150 out to Tucson.  Along the way we saw friends and family in Maynardville TN, Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, Fort Worth TX and Denver NC.

When we got back to Virginia Beach the first week of April, we started on major renovations to the house.  After three months of renovations (new bathrooms, kitchen, roof, windows, inside doors) and complete interior paint job, we moved into our new home in Norfolk the last part of June.

But even before then, Pam and I put in a 12’ x 25 garden that has been a real joy.  The boys helped with the spring and fall planting. It was fun watching them run to Grandma’s Garden every time they came to visit.  They wanted to see how the peas or corn or pumpkins were doing.

In August we took a road trip in the truck to Canada, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. While in Canada we were given a couple of bird feeders that were tucked away in a cabin.  We brought them back to life and have enjoyed watching cardinals, blue jays, finches, and hummingbirds off the back deck. The simple pleasures of life.

We love our house.  Our small house. It is perfect for us.  And we have some great neighbors. We also found a great church which we absolutely love. We’ve become fast friends with many folks and it has been a source of inspiration, a place to volunteer and has a very strong sense of community.

All of that was made even more evident when Pam went in for a routine mammogram the middle of October.  Two weeks later we learned she had stage one breast cancer. Thankfully it was caught early and slow-growing. The church surrounded us with help and support which was touching.  After surgery and 10 rounds of radiation, Pam was declared cancer free.  Hallelujah! Praise be to God!

We had a terrific time over Christmas watching Brooks (almost 5) and Harry (almost 3) enjoy the big day.  It was great.  Their sense of wonder is precious.

In the new year we hope to continue on getting more healthy and exercise more.  We are off to a good start with some effort in that direction that last few days.  Pam has plans on a little bigger garden with a different assortment of produce that is a little different than last year’s bounty.

We also intend to play a little more golf, dive into some tent camping, and will no doubt be taking some trips during the New Year.

“That’s a wrap!” as they say ` hope you all are healthy, happy and looking forward to 2020!

In the coming week(s) I should have a book coming for the details.

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

A Hike in the Park

In September when friends Gabe and Bruce were here in October, we visited with them at their campground at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach.  It was at that time we decided to buy a yearly pass.  In addition to camping, there are also some great hiking trails.

Yesterday, Jon went to work and Pam and I went over to see Kelly and the boys and to go with them on a hike at the park.
The weather has been really great the last few days and it was a perfect day for a walk in the woods.  The trails are easy, well maintained and marked well.  We picked the yellow trail and the boys had fun spotting the 6” x 2” markers on trees along the trail.

The area has its own special beauty with cypress trees and Spanish moss all around.
Pam and I want to do more of this and we are off to a great start with the holiday season and new year beginning.  We hiked (walked) for about half a mile before it was time to take a rest, eat some snacks and take a couple of pictures.
Harry decided early on it was better to grab a ride so he alternated between Kelly
and Grandpa.
The boys are at such a fun age.  Their sense of wonder and excitement is pure joy.  We are loving it.
 We did a leisurely out-and-back along the yellow trail which was a great little excursion for all of us.
 We made it back over to Kelly’s in time for their lunch, then Pam and I went to run some errands.  We stopped for our own lunch at Chick-Fil-A and shared our standard 4 count chicken fingers meal with waffle fries and a drink (half sweet tea, 1/2 regular tea).  It was fun to see Sarah and her kids along with visiting brother and girlfriend.  

After some after-Christmas shopping we headed home where I resumed mowing the back yard and bagging the leaves.  Just before dark, I tried out my 14” chain saw that did a good job on the regular sized firewood we got a few weeks ago.  Our small fireplace works better with smaller chunks of wood.

Then was another amazing dinner from Pam’s kitchen (shrimp) and we had a nice evening watching a good bowl game.  I also did a little reading.
I love this time of year to reflect, slow down and take a deep breath.  With a few more holiday days left, I hope you all enjoy some time off and have a great New Year’s celebration.

Wishing you all the best as this year comes to a close ~
Randy and Pam

Thanks for visiting on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Quick Update on Pam

We got some great news a few minutes ago I wanted to pass along.  Pam completed radiation on Friday and we just got a call from the doctor’s office that she doesn’t need to do chemo!
So that means we are done!

That is about the best Christmas present we could have!  Thanks be to God!  He is sovereign and we give Him thanks!  And thank you all for your prayers and concern.

I have trouble remembering what happened when so I jotted down a summary of the last 8 weeks: 

  • 18  - Mammogram
  • 23 - Ultra Sound
  • 28 - Biopsy
  • 1 - Met with Biopsy Doctor and Nurse Navigator discuss results and plan
  • 6 - Met with breast surgeon (Dr Reed) - identified as Stage 1
  • 7 - Genetic Testing to determine if close relatives at risk (they are not)
  • 13 - Breast Cancer Support Group Meeting (discuss surgery and aftercare
  • 14 - MRI
  • 18 - Surgery (lumpectomy)
  • 25 - Follow-up with Dr. Reed
  • 29 - Radiation appointment with Dr. Williams
  • 4 - Met with Dr. Reed to insert internal radiation device (catheter into her breast) 
  • 5 - Met with Dr. Williams/ MRI
  • 9 to 13 (Mon-Fri) - 8:30 am and 2:30 pm; radiation treatments 2 x a day
  • 13 - Remove catheter after last treatment
  • 19 - Follow-up with Dr. Reed/remove stitches from where the catheter was.
BTW - the catheter was quite an interesting device.  Friday after we were done, we talked with the nurse (Janette) who was in on every radiation treatment.  She answered all of Pam’s questions each day and showed us what the device looked like that had been in Pam’s right breast for the last 10 days.
Janette said the one she showed us was a little bigger than what was inside Pam, but not much bigger.

As I said -- this whole encounter has been very smooth and Pam has had very little side effects.  It just all went exceptionally well.  

It gives me an extra sense of gratefulness.  I know our experience is far different than those who have life-threatening (or worse) situations.  Thank you once again for your prayers.

Thanks for checking in today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

It That Time of the Year!

Seems as if the time has flown by and here we are almost in the middle of December.  Hope you and yours are warm and enjoying life.

Thanksgiving seemed like a blur.  It came and went very quickly.  We celebrated with Kelly and Jon and the boys. Jon cooked 3 turkeys (not all for the same meal) and they turned out great.
Jon’s parents were able to drive up from Georgia the day after Thanksgiving so we had another turkey then.

The next week we had appointments and did some decorating.

Friday night we got into the spirit and drove downtown Norfolk to the Roper Performing Arts Center.  We were treated with a great concert entitled “Across the Ages - A Celtic Christmas”.  It featured two Scottish performers and a local group of singers called “The King’s Choir”.
Shona Donaldson and Paul Anderson
 Donna Thomas leading the King’s Choir
We’ve also been able to tackle a couple of projects we’ve been meaning to get to.  The first one was in my office.  It only has dual prong electrical outlets so Pam and I installed a GFCI outlet and put a three prong in another outlet in the office.  It was not a big deal except I had never done it.
This is right up Pam’s alley, so she showed me how do it and life is better and I have lamps and printers and such much better organized.

The other one was a storm door in front of the house. We wanted to do it earlier, but ran into some complications after the renovations were done on the house.  Apparently the opening for our front door measured out to where it is not the standard 36" x 80”.  That means a custom door is necessary which is almost double the price of a regular door.  Hmmm.  That didn’t sound too good.

We already knew we were going to get the door from Home Depot so we talked with them about installation.  We figured that if something doesn’t work out, they would make it right.  Another plus was that it would be done by professionals and not by a guy who knows enough just to be dangerous...🙂.

The Home Depot guy said the door opening may be different because it was “wrapped’ with aluminum siding.  I removed the wrap and we had it  re-measured.  Sure enough, a standard sized door fit fine.

Today was the install day and we are happy with it.
Finished product.

The kids and grandkids are on the beach headed south for some beach time.
The boys having fun in a pile of leaves at home.
The boys enjoying warmer weather in Florida for a few days.

I’m very happy to report Pam’s internal radiation treatments are going well and she should be done by the end of the week!

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!