OK, so clearly I am not the world’s most consistent blogger. But a lot happened in the last three months. A death in our family made writing happily about life impossible.
My god-son and nephew, Marc Tunno, was killed in a car accident. He was funny, irreverent, and lived life on his own terms. He was only 48-years-old. His untimely death left us feeling gut-punched and incredibly sad for what could have been. It also left me with three pieces of advice for you.
#1. Always wear your seatbelt, even if you’re going around the block. You just never know.
#2. Please don’t text while you’re driving, even a voice text can be distracting. Nothing is so important it can’t wait. (I need that reminder myself!)
#3. If you love someone and haven’t been in touch as much as you’d like, don’t wait for them, you make the call. Be the one who reaches out. I wish I had done that more with Marc.
If there is good that can come of anyone’s passing, it’s that unsubtle message from the universe that life can be very short, so you damn well better do what you want before your world is pulled out from under you. I’ve had three very dear friends, plus Marc who’ve all left me in the past year. It was life’s ugliest reminder that it’s time to get moving.
So, I retired. I decided that my temp job at Carnegie Mellon University was not fulfilling and I wasn’t getting hired there or anywhere else, so I quit trying. I do miss my co-workers, but I wanted to spend my time doing what I enjoy, not just working because I’m afraid to retire.
So, as of February 17th, I’ve been a free agent! Know what? About a month after I retired, I got a nice voiceover gig, which felt like the universe telling me I made the right choice.
I also have great news about my friend and blog-reader, Chas Madonio. He published his book, Bars, Bands and Rock ‘n Roll! It was his labor of love, about the music scene at Kent State University in the ’60s and ’70s. (I had no idea there even WAS a music scene there, but Joe Walsh and several other top musicians sprang from there, so clearly there was!) Heres a link if you’re interested in buying a copy, Bars, Bands and Rock ‘n Roll, The Golden Era in Kent Ohio.
Anyway, he’s already sold a thousand copies, is making the newspapers, and continually inspires me to get moving on my book, which I swear I will do THIS YEAR!
And, in keeping with spring and new beginnings, I moved into a condo and have been hard at work doing another thing I love; fixing this place up. I’ve been sanding, pulling up carpet, painting, etc. Aside from the fact that my hands look like they went through a chipper, it’s such fun to see the change that can come from a few coats of paint and new flooring. As I type this there are two guys downstairs pounding and tearing up tile, pulling up carpet, and putting in new flooring and baseboards. Man, they’re fast! Upstairs carpets will be installed next week.
It’s funny how you can live life and never even notice flooring or baseboards, then suddenly they become the center of your universe. The sheer number of choices is mind-numbing and leaves me in awe of interior designers.
I’ve not been cooking much, but did discover a seasoning I love, thanks to my daughter. It’s called Trader Joe’s Mushroom and Company MultiPurpose Umami seasoning. I roasted some mushrooms with olive oil, salt and a bit of this seasoning and they were really good. You can get it at Trader Joe’s (obviously) or on Amazon. Here’s a link: Trader Joe’s Umami Seasoning.
And I found a walking trail in the woods near my new home, which thrills me because a good walk in the woods can solve almost any problem I have. I do miss tiny Harmony, where there was a perfect walking trail along the creek. Not being able to walk it with my former neighbor, Leona left me a little sad, so I set out to find a new place to walk and I found a path in the woods! It’s not very pretty now, but once the leaves grow in, it will look a little more welcoming.
And just like in Harmony, it’s right alongside one of Pennsylvania’s 2,728 cemeteries. California, in contrast, only has 2,670, according to Find A Grave. Considering California is 3.5 times bigger than Pennsylvania, that’s pretty amazing.
Maybe people come back to their roots when it’s time to go…or Pennsylvania, and specifically Pittsburgh calls you. This Calvin and Hobbes cartoon Carolyn bought me for a housewarming gift does make me wonder. Let’s hope it’s not the latter.
Everyone tells me I’ll be bored soon, but I haven’t been this happily busy in years. I promise to write more once I am moved in. I hope you’re embracing life and all it offers. Life is just too short to live any other way. As my ex-husband used to say, “Dance while you can.”