Thursday, January 31, 2008

Remembering Grandpa

It is really hard to put into words just how incredible a man my Grandpa was, but I know I speak for the entire McHenry extended family when I say that we're grateful that so many people managed to do that hard task and tell us about how much he meant to them.

We heard stories about how he would keep his yard perfectly groomed (and it is an ENORMOUS amount of yard to manage!) and how when the apples would start to fall, he would pick them up and take them to the horses down the road. And how he would save his grass clippings to take to the pasture at the same farm to help the mulching.

We heard about how he befriended a sweet little kiddo named Noah at church and how they became fast and fierce friends. How Noah would call "Mac!!!" when Grandpa would come in on Sundays. And how Noah loved trains as much as Grandpa did and how they could go on and on about them.

We heard about how long and how hard Grandpa would work as an Engineer for the B&O Railroad. We heard about how Grandma used to look for the steam of the train so she knew when to go pick him up at the station. We learned how he got a letter from her every single day when he was in Germany and Luxembourg during the war.

We learned that he was the source of many recent involving driving around town at 2:00 am to make sure that others who were in need were able to be comfortable and taken care of in their final hours (and how he even managed to make such a difficult time like that one such a memorable and special one).

We learned how he was often one of the first to arrive and one of the last to leave when he went to area church and VFW dinners. Everyone knew him and everyone loved to talk to him.

Then there were a lot of things we already knew. That he was funny. VERY funny. And that he was kind. And that he knew how to sacrifice and save. That he is in Heaven with the God he loved and served.

We will miss him more than we can even predict. His passing was quick and unexpected but we are able to celebrate that he will never be lonely again. He can enjoy all the $0.25 pies Heaven has to offer (he was REALLY frugal here on earth!). He can enjoy perfect sight with no cataracts. He can enjoy meals far better than even the amazing feasts in Rockland. He can golf on courses far more incredible than even his cherished Myrtle Beach. He can see sights even more majestic than what he would marvel at in Colorado each year. He can reunite with all those who went before and were waiting expectantly for him. And the rest of us will look forward to joining him some day. And we know the first thing he'll say is "don't you want something more to eat? Come on, just finish up this corn. How about some more turkey? Ham? Eat!"

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Visit to Boston

I had a wonderful visit with my good friend Robyn and her charming boyfriend Matt this past Monday. Every now and then my job takes me to some fun places...this time Boston. When I asked Robyn if she and Matt were available to hang out, she graciously agreed to host me for the evening and said that it would be best for me to take the T (and who wouldn't trust this face).
Well. I've heard "The Man Who Never Returned" by the Kingston Trio enough times to know that it is probably best for me to stay off the T (lest I become "lost forever, 'neath the streets of Boston"), but she directed me to this website and we agreed that I could manage to sit still, count 9 stops, and then exit the train. So I did it and it was invigorating. For you Kingston Trio fans, the T toll card is even called the Charlie Card...can you stand it?! I think it's fabulous.
Anyway, it was a wonderful evening with Matt and Robyn...we enjoyed a great dinner at the neighborhood Cambridge tavern and then enjoyed pictures from Robyn's sister's recent wedding in Tahoe (congratulations, Adam and Diana!!!! GORGEOUS pictures, gorgeous couple). Then I made a ridiculously hasty exit as I was silently panicking about whether I could find my car at the T station when I arrived back in Quincy. Good news is...plenty of Celtics fans rode along with me and there is always safety (and confidence) in numbers. Below is a picture of Matt doing his "man at rest in the evening" pose which I thought was just oh-so-Cambridge. Delightful.Note the incredible art behind Matt and Robyn in the picture below...Dr. Seuss originals! Incredible.
Thank you for a generous, relaxing evening, Matt and Robyn...can't wait to host you for that Orioles game this summer! I'm holding you to it.

Luther's Day Out

We took Luther to meet with the Annapolis area pugs last Sunday. Most red-blooded Americans were at home watching football, but we were chasing pugs around a fenced-in area, cleaning up poo.

Honestly, it was a really fun time and Luther enjoyed sniffing virtually every pug there. That is not to say that he didn't have a favorite pug or two...but he did a nice job getting to know everyone.

Can you find Luther in the picture below?
He's the one in the blue collar near the "ramp."

And he was definitely conservatively dressed compared to "sports bra pug" and "bikini pug" according to Kevin.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pie on a Stick

Thanks to my patient and generous husband, I have been granted a vacation in February! Our friends the Raths and the O'Learys once stopped by Key West when they were on a cruise, and when they returned to Pittsburgh, they said four words that I will never forget...

Pie on a stick.

I love Key Lime Pie with everything that I am. Our good friend Christy can make the most amazing, tangy, flavorful pie in the world. She even makes this incredible raspberry sauce to go with it. It is the best there is.

But I've been told of a magical place that takes a generous slice of key lime pie, dips it in chocolate, and then puts it on a stick so you can cruise around town and eat your pie. I must have this experience. Now that you see the prices for shipping them home, perhaps you'll want in on this vacation, too. It's almost cheaper to travel to Key West and buy your pie on a stick there than have it shipped to your home. Check out the pie on a stick place here.

If you have been to Key West, I would love your comments. We have no idea what to expect other than the must-see "Little White House" that belonged to Harry S. Truman. We also learned that Key West is only 90 miles from Cuba and it happens to be where Hwy 1 ends. We don't live far from Hwy 1 here in Maryland, and Kevin's parents live even closer to it up in Langhorne, PA. So because we're relatively geeky about stuff like that, we're excited to see the terminus. Oh, and of course this is the place Hemingway did much of his best work. I cannot wait.
If you do choose to comment about your trip to Key West, please only leave positive comments. Kevin's not totally thrilled with this whole thing yet, so any encouragement is welcome. Discouragement is not. I know that some might call this manipulation, but I call it going on vacation.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

License to Kill

I'm really starting to believe that obtaining a "license to kill" like in the Bourne movies or something would be easier than getting a driver's license in the state of Maryland.

Allow me to share the experience that Kevin and I had at the DMV the other day. Maryland they call it the MVA rather than the DMV which already put me in a sour mood.

SECOND...they had the audacity to tell me that once Kevin got his driver's license, he could sign for me to get mine. SIGN for me???? Is this not the 21st century? I happen to have my very own Pennsylvania license which I would think would be good enough for these people.

THIRD...they told us our marriage license is invalid. INVALID. Kevin literally had to grab my waist and pull me back as I pointed to my passport and yelled "that marriage license was good enough for the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT when they issued me a passport with my new name as well as Social Security card! How can the state of Maryland suddenly have a problem with it?"
The bottom line is that Kevin waltzed through the line and came out the other side with a shiny new Maryland driver's license. What did I do while this transaction took place? I argued with the supervisor (who was actually pretty fantastic and kept her cool with me). Are you ready for the REAL reason that I can't get a driver's license?
The letter K.

That is it.
My Pennsylvania license says Amy K. Maiden Name. Well Maryland happens to be what's known as a "full name state." They need me to "prove the K." So I need to show them my birth certificate which will prove that my middle name is Katherine. Please keep in mind I have a new passport, a new Social Security card, a voter's registration card, proof of address with my new name and what I thought to be a valid marriage license. Now my mother needs to mail my BIRTH CERTIFICATE out here so I can "prove the K." My middle name isn't even Katherine anymore. My middle initial is now M. So the K is completely irrelevant. Unbelievable. Don't get me started on the fact that evidently my name is still not LEGALLY changed. Even though all my federal documentation as well as health insurance and payroll indicates that I'm now a genuine Vile.
Honestly, I'm out of my mind. So who knows. I might never be legal in this state. They should change the name to Redtapeland rather than Maryland.
(Oh, and seriously, every document pictured in this post is REQUIRED for me to get a new license. Of course they're all fakes, so don't think I'm giving away anyone's identity secrets or anything).

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

October 25 Can't Come Soon Enough....

Yes - October 25 is the date of the 2008 Penn State - Ohio State game!

Check out the funny gifts we got for Christmas. Kevin's friend Chris gave him the football, Dog sent Amy the t-shirt.

( posts below as well...)

MAJOR Vileation Nation

Congratulations, Major Vile!!!!

You may have known him once as Captain Vile (or according to this picture...a Gladiator), but you will now be thanked to address him as Major Vile.

Nice job, Casey...we hope you'll celebrate with another trip to the Cowboy Museum. We also hope you'll celebrate by having your wife come home in the next couple weeks.

(For the readers...Casey's wife hasn't left him or anything like that...she's currently serving our country in a foreign nation. Hope to hear you're home soon, Chris!!!)

Christmas Update

We had a fabulous Christmas with our families and we have no excuse for not updating the blog sooner. We also have no excuse for forgetting our camera EVERYWHERE. Thank you, Dad, for taking pictures so we have some memory of Christmas 2007. Luther dressed in "business casual" attire for a good portion of our visit to Cleveland as pictured. We had a wonderful time eating non-stop and watching Christmas Story for 24 hours straight.
Kevin's big gift from his wife this year was Guitar Hero III for the Wii. No one can rock "Talk Dirty to Me" like he can. Amy's big gift from her husband this year was an incredible scavenger hunt around our house where she found MANY fun gifts like a magazine subscription, an iPod and her favorite...20 Godiva roasted almond truffles. Each clue was even a poem. Casanova.

We visited Philadelphia a couple times, too, and enjoyed a large and festive holiday party hosted by Kevin's mom. Two of his cousins were in from year we plan on asking them to host Christmas. Mahalo, Ali and Brenda! We also got to see Kevin's sister Sharon and her family. Thankfully we actually remembered the camera for that occasion. Highlights included watching National Treasure Part II on the big screen and learning about webkinz. It was wonderful to see everyone and now we'll count the days until summer when we get to see everyone again! One thing we have to look forward to is seeing our future sister-in-law next weekend with her family. The celebration continues!
Amy will be visiting Pittsburgh this weekend, too, to attend the annual Bible Study Girl Christmas party. Hooray for frequent flyer miles and hooray for the BSGs (picture circa 2004)!!!