Thursday, January 8, 2009

Reunion Time!!!

Hello everyone. We hope you all had a nice holiday and a happy new year! We both went back to work this week after having about two weeks off. We had quite a bit going on over the break, especially Anna. Our break started with a visit to my hometown in western Maryland. We had a nice stay with my mother, Frani, and stepfather, Ed. On Christmas Eve, we headed to my sister Sherry’s home and spent some quality time with various family members. We visited my grandmother’s home the following day on Christmas, then headed home to SC the next. Two days later was a very important one in Anna’s life. After being apart for 23 years, Anna became re-united with her birth mother, Julie, and birth grandmother, Judy. Julie had been trying to contact Anna for all these years. However, there were a few obstacles that always kept the two from being re-united. The last time they had seen each other was when Anna was five years old.

Their first contact occurred when Anna was able to obtain Julie’s email address and emailed her Thanksgiving evening. They continued emailing one another numerous times over the next few weeks and decided to meet in person shortly after Christmas. The reunion was a very good one. It is unfortunate it has taken this long to finally happen. Both Julie and Judy are great ladies and we’re glad to have them as part of our lives now (as well as this whole other side of the family Anna never knew of). During their time here (they drove about 12 hours from Ohio), we enjoyed ourselves by going out to dinner a few times, having a couple “game nights” playing Rummikub and Scrabble, and Anna and Julie went on a little shopping spree at the local outlets one day. During our time spent together, and through about 150 emails, Anna learned so much about her past she never knew. All in all, it was a great experience and we look forward to having all these great people added to our lives. We are both thankful to all our family and friends who have been so supportive with this.

Here's a video of their reunion...

Some reunion pics...

While Anna’s been keeping busy with back-and-forth contact with Julie and loads of school work, I’ve been doing my usual. After breaking my ribs a couple months ago surfing, I was able to recently get back in the water for a few fun sessions. Here's the surf forecast I check everyday... and here's my favorite ocean webcam not too far from our house. I check this so I don't have to go to the beach to see what the surf looks like... . Anna bought me a set of wetsuit gloves and a hood for Christmas to go along with the wetsuit and boots I already had. Now I'm set to get in the water no matter what the temperature. For my motorcycling friends out there, I just "gutted" my exhaust system and removed the baffles and catalytic converters, then replaced all that with a 2.5" piece of perforated pipe wrapped with exhaust re-pack. It took me about 8-hours total time, but was well worth it... a few more horsepower and a nice, deeper v-twin tone. Here's a video of the end result... .

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