This is a blog intended to bring our family and friends closer by giving them an opportunity to participate in a web discussion. I am new to blogging, so I don't know where this is going to take us, but hey, it's the 21st Century. Peace

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sorry, it's been a while...

Hey All,
The school year ended without much fanfare. With Mary's health progressing as well as it has our summer plans are back to being rather full with travel.
Our first outing was a trip to Pennsylvania to see Bette on our way to meet up with Carole and Daniel in Montreal with a final destination of Quebec City. Our plans included snatching Bette up and bringing her to Orland Park for the Fourth of July week on our return. When we got to PA, Bette was glad to see us but her attitude was a little negative. She has become quite forgetful and at times a bit ornery but for the most part she is fun to be with. We really didn't stay very long because Quebec was our goal and we had a few long driving days ahead of us. The trip to upstate New York was beautiful. We stayed in Watertown, NY at a Hampton. Ate at a wonderful local restaurant and hit the road the next day. We crossed the border into Canada and shortly thereafter got pulled over for having a radar detector in the car. The fine was outrageous. The officer said that we should have seen the signs, we didn't.
We got to the Montreal airport with the help of our little friend, the GPS. Though annoying most of the time, she really did a great job of getting us to our destinations. Personally, I'm still on the fence about the GPS. I like knowing where I am going, but there are times when I just don't know and "she" helps.
We had a lot of time to kill in the Montreal airport and it took an hour for Carole and Daniel to emerge from customs and baggage. Once on our way, we were all excited to see each other and to work our way to our destination. We stopped along the way for something to eat. Little did we know that it would be our least expensive dining experience for the whole trip. It took us about three hours to get to Quebec City and we arrived in a rain storm around 10:30 p.m.
Our hotel was quaint but the room we shared was a little disappointing especially after we toured the Hotel Montenoc. The bathroom was small and the sleeping arrangements were tighter than any of us were used to, but we survived and saved a lot of money...on lodging.
While in Quebec City we saw all the sights and eventually felt we "owned" the town. One highlight was our dinner at L'utope . It was exquisite despite the skater convention that was happening on the street just outside the restaurant. Another highlight was the celebration of The FĂȘte nationale where Mary and I encountered 200,000 drunken revelers waving blue and white flags and singing and dancing in the streets. It was amazing. We were sad to see the week end but we took Carole and Daniel back to the airport and we returned to our Hampton in Watertown. We did in deed snatch up Grandma, but not without a trip to the doctor to see if she was really sick...she was. We took her anyway and and we enjoyed her visit (probably more than she did).
We took Grandma to see Nora's house and school in Rock Island and to pick up Daisy who was staying with her sister while we were traveling. After about ten days or so we took her back to PA and on our return stopped in New Philadelphia, OH to see Jody and Dave and Cindy and Eric. Jody and Cindy were Mary's best friends in Jr. High. It's amazing that she still keeps in touch. Mary was quite the story teller as few have the memory for detail that she has. Jody and Dave were fine hosts and we really enjoyed our visit.
With arrangements for Daisy to stay with Penny and Sadie Sioux, our next trip was to California to visit Aunt Debbie and the boys, Ellen and Emily AKA Callie.
We spent a week at Aunt Debbie's home with visits from Mary's old friend Paula and her friend Rick, Ellen, Emily and Debbie's friends Linda and Eileen. Addison and Austin were home with Addison home for the summer from the University of Arizona and Austin getting ready for his transfer to Berkley to study architecture. Hubbell finally arrived at nine in the morning after an all-night drive from Irvine. Nora flew in on Thursday from Moline after a twelve hour travel day. On Friday we left for wine country with an ultimate destination of Calistoga and the warm and wonderful Olympic sized mineral pool. Great food and wine and weather pretty much says it all. On Sunday we were off to Mendocino on the coast. We stayed in our usual place at the MacCallum House The whole stay was wonderful. The kids and I kayaked in the ocean and learned to "rock garden" by playing around the rock outcroppings as the waves carried us over them. Mary and Debbie hiked, shopped and viewed the wonderful Botanical gardens. Nora and I hung out at the beach for several hours one day and vowed to surf the next time we were there or at our earliest opportunity. The whole California experience was great.
School started for me the following Friday (Basterds) but it was to be my last first day of school.
So now Nora and I have completed our first week of school. Nora had to spend the first week of school with her Coop teacher at Davenport West High School even though she doesn't actually start teaching until November. Nora is very happy with the placement and is very well prepared for this culminating activity.
I love it at I will be leaving the profession as Nora enters it. I will be leaving it in good hands.
Other points of interest:
  • Nora stayed in Rock Island and worked as a server and a nanny this summer and made some pretty good money.
  • Nora also got a dog. Charlie is a Yorkie ShitZoo mix. We haven't met him yet. We only hope the house training is going well. Ultimately her dog could be our dog...hmmm.
  • Mary's health continues to be great. Her hair is starting to relax a bit. She's going to the SportsPlex about four times a week.
  • I continue to practice my guitar. I have joined the church music ministry and will have my mass debut on Saturday night September 12 at 5:15. I am kind of excited about bringing my guitar playing out of the basement and playing with other people...much less for other people.

So that's about it. I have been on Facebook lately and that has taken some focus from this blog, but I really think I prefer the blog to Facebook. I am going to work on melding the two somehow. But hopefully I will be a little more diligent in keeping up with writing.

I am really enjoying this, my last year as a librarian/school teacher. I hope the year flies by so Mary and I can get down to the real business of retirement...traveling and visiting all the great friends we may not have been able to see for a while and making new friends in our travels.

OK, well peace to you and to those you love.



  • At 5:11 PM , Blogger Nancy Loeffler said...

    Great to hear from you, and good to hear that your travels were enjoyable. So you had your last first day, as well as your first last day. Those milestones will continue my friend. I hope your last year will hold all you need to complete this phase of your life. I have not ventured to Facebook yet, some have said it would be a good networking tool for Samyama, but I haven't gotten there yet. Work is crazy busy, building turn overs are starting. From now until the end of the year there are about 12 buildings, or structures, or parking lots, or roads, turning over and 4 of them are mine. We are enjoying the beach, it always changes. Take care of yoursleves and we hope to see you soon, or at least talk if that does not happen.
    much love,

  • At 6:59 PM , Blogger Dave D said...

    Mr. Nerius (odd that at almost 25 years since high school, I still would call you 'Mr. Nerius'):

    Just stumbled onto your blog - led here from your FB page. I greatly appreciate the time, energy and insight into you and your family that you provide here.

    I got the chance to scan through some of your past blogs and I'm glad to hear that Mary is doing better and her situation certainly reminds me to appreciate every moment of every day. I hope she remembers me as well (she had me in summer school for Humanities one year...).

    It's also surprising to find information about Augustana and the Quad Cities in your blog. Although I do encounter more people who know about the school today, I don't think I know anyone who actually has children there now. Maybe I'll share some stories about the Quad Cities and my years at Augie in my own blog....or maybe not. ;)

    Actually, I would look forward to meeting your daughter this fall as I hope to make it back this year in October for a visit. I hope she's enjoying her time in the Greek system there as's quite different from when I was involved. In the event she reads this or if you get the chance to relay it to her - I am a DON (Delta Omega Nu), and I'm still active with the DON Alumni Association. At the time I was there, we were definitely not as 'cool' as they are now - more like Lambda Lambda Lambda from Revenge of the Nerds. Times certainly change things (and perspective). I was at Augie from 1986 - 1990 and lived in Carlsson for three years, and then off-campus (29 1/2 street, well off-campus toward Hy-Vee and Whiteys).

    I'm glad to read that you are back doing theatre as well. I talk about my own theater experiences at Thornridge all the time, and believe we had one of the best theater programs and best theatre teaching available anywhere. Being in theatre with you, Mr. Sweeney and great fellow students was, without question, one of the highlights of my life and certainly the high points of my teenage years. I actually use those skills every day and I encourage everyone that I speak with to get their kids involved in theater as early as possible. Thank you for being such a great part of my education and a great influence in my life.

    I look forward to reading more of your blogs as they come to fruition. All the best to you and your family!

    -Dave Ducat

  • At 2:09 PM , Blogger Mary Ruth said...

    Of course, I remember you, Dave Ducat. You were one of those wonderful students who one can't forget. I feel that Rob and I watched you "grow up" while you were in high school. It was great to hear from you. I didn't realize that you had gone to Augustana. I can tell you that Nora is good friends with many of the DONS. We are supposed to go to Augustana to see Nora on Homecoming weekend around Oct. 16, I believe. If you are there, we'd love to see you and introduce you to our daughter. Perhaps, you could share some of those Augie stories with us that weekend. (Confession is good for the soul. HA,HA) Take care, and stay in touch.

    Mary McNaughton (Mr. Nerius' wife)


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