To quote Bananarama, it’s been a “Cruel Cruel Summer”. I’ve been on an an emotional roller coaster since May. It all started back in May, which may have only been 3 months ago, but feels like it was 3 years ago. I was invited to my Aunt’s 85th birthday party. It was also the weekend of Mother’s Day, when my car’s tire decided to blow up miles from home in Blakeslee. I went to my Aunt’s birthday party Saturday and then worked on my Mother’s computer and took it back up her house on Sunday. With the tire blowing up, I ended up having issues getting to work on Monday because I had to get it patched. It was not a fun time at all. A few weeks later, the tire got a huge bubble:
This was also the weekend I found out that my car doesn’t have a spare, the emergency road kit provided by Fiat does jackshit for a tire bubble, and the road side assistance package only covers tows to the dealership…which by the way doesn’t deal with tires. Like at all. I ended up taking the car to Firestone in Wilkes-Barre and having 4 new tires put on, along with them getting mounted, balanced and whatever other services they managed to con me into at the time. How did I get a bubble in my tire you ask? Well, it’s pretty much because Old Rte 115 and Hillside Road were in such disrepair that there’s no way to avoid potholes. I attempted to call Lehman Township to complain about this, but they told me that these are county roads. Great. Basically, good luck talking to anyone at the Courthouse. I don’t have that type time of to waste. So I took to a letter writing campaign with my state representative Karen Boback and received this response back:
And within the last two weeks, all of the problem areas were patched/paved in Lehman Twp. Bitches get stuff done.
In June, exactly 1 month to the day after my aunt’s birthday party, she was in hospice and died. It was very upsetting for me because she was the last living member of that side of the family. She called me every Christmas to catch up. I’ve been missing those call in recent years because of work, plus she’d call my home phone which I never monitor. She was there trying to comfort us when my Grandmother passed away. The thing that kills me, is that she was found in almost the same way that my Grandmother was. A relative came over to the house and she was found unresponsive. It’s no secret that heart/stroke issues happen on that side of the family, but it doesn’t make it any easier to swallow either. My aunt, who would give you the shirt off of her back, donated her body to science. Hopefully, new medical students and the science community can use her to help find a cure for heart disease or something like that. We didn’t have a memorial service for her at first because my cousin was in Afghanistan. When he returned in July, we had the memorial service.
Here are some photos from the birthday party that I will cherish forever:
Also, on the same day that my aunt died in June, my neighbors had one of their horses put down.
The other horse was taken to a nearby farm. So…no more horses next door. It definitely smells better, but it’s upsetting not seeing them every morning. The neighbors are working on taking down their electric fence and cleaning up the yard.
Last week, I visited Allentown to tape an episode of “Save the Kales” a vegan cooking show that airs in the Lehigh Valley on RCN cable. The host, Jaime Karpovich, was one of the presenters at last year’s NEPA BlogCon, and she will be presenting again this year with Christina Hitchcock of “It’s a Keeper“. Speaking of NEPA BlogCon, TICKET SALES OPEN IN 3 DAYS. OMG. I am going to be infinitely busy for the next 8 weeks doing the conference planning thing. Please forgive me in advance if you find me in a corner rocking back and forth whispering the names of blogging platforms to myself.
Here’s a picture behind the scenes at Save the Kales:
Also last week, I went to the Raising the Roof Rooftop Party in downtown Wilkes-Barre with Karla and Stewie. We made the Electric City.
Also, we had to put my dog down. He was 13 years old and was having trouble with arthritis and controlling his bladder. It was upsetting. I still have a hard time thinking about it without tearing up. Many people have asked me if there will be a new dog. I just can’t even think of that right now. It doesn’t seem right.
Last week, I was given a new responsibility at work of tweeting from the @WNEP twitter account. It’s been an interesting experience so far. We had an Amber Alert go out for a girl taken from Schuylkill county. As information was coming out about the kidnapper, I was tweeting about it and also live tweeting the update when she was found. I even got to use “BREAKING” in a tweet and have it be about a real thing. My tweets were retweeted by many and I have no doubt that getting the information to go viral assisted in getting the girl returned safely home. It’s amazing to see the power of social media in action.
Wednesday evening, after working two 10 hour days, I was contacted by a long lost relative. “The missing link” if you will. My grandfather’s family has always been hard to trace because of the last name being spelled six different ways – so I turned to Facebook – and I found someone that’s spells it Hryvniak and sent them a message for the hell of it. Guess. What. His great-grandfather and my great-grandfather were brothers. Alex and Dmytro have been reunited at long last from beyond the grave! I cannot believe it. I called John on Thursday night, and we decided that we are cousins based on what his Dad has told him so far. He’s digging through his house to find more information about the family tree. I am planning on writing an extended blog post about all of this very soon. Stay tuned!
I’m ready for the summer to be over and for the roller coaster ride to end. It’s just all been too much to cope with. Here’s to more peaceful times.