New Year, New Car, New Me??

Just like this odd little flower picture (taken at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in late December) where you look at it and say to yourself “That’s really beautiful but how the heck did that ever happen”, so went the past year. Goodbye 2016, glad to see you go away. Don’t get me wrong, there were a TON of super good things that happened in 2016, things that have forever changed my life for the better. But there were some really crummy things, too, that have also forever changed my life ….

Since it’s the start of a new year I’m going to try to maintain a positive outlook as I move forward, ‘ya know, be a little less “Jersey”. In that light, anyone who has been following my blather here knows that 2016 started really, really crappy and hit bottom when Bunny passed away in the spring. But then, by miracles and blessings and luck that I can’t explain, several months later Sheila came into my life after having her own really, really crappy start to 2016 (just substitute “Sheila” for “Ed” in my stories and you’ll know the full story). And now we are in a new year …

Just bought a new Lexus RX350, really a beautiful car (and I’m not a car guy at all) from THE Lexus dealer here in Atlanta. Fancy place with all of trappings of pampering and high end service … except not. Same lousy 6+ hours (3 hrs Wed and 3+ hours Thursday) with the same lousy excuses you would get from the scummiest of car dealers. Just goes to show ‘ya, car dealers are basically universally lousy … but I REALLY like the car!

Plenty of room for basses, and dogs when necessary on those groomer and pet sitting trips, and it has heated seats (a big deal for Sheila who is perpetually cold in the winter months) (apparently sometimes in the summer, too, if the A/C is too high) (okay, maybe even the spring or fall at times) and a heated steering wheel as long as you have your hands in the 10-2 position. Most importantly, it’s pretty darn comfortable for somewhat longer trips … Sheila does a fair amount of 1&2 day traveling for her job and it’ll be good for her to use when driving as well as nice when I can join her … so we’re looking forward to a lot of good times with this car.

The music has stumbled a bit over the past month. There were a couple of good (on the surface, that is) opportunities that didn’t pan out … one started out as a jazz trio gig and ended up playing Cisco Kid in night clubs … but it’s far from a losing venture. I need to get myself entrenched with the right people, then things will fall into place. In the meantime I have been getting my chops back into shape, and Lord knows my upright playing needs to get into some serious shape, so I’ll be set when that right opportunity comes along.

Things between Sheila and me have been very, very good right from the beginning and continue to be wonderful. We had the family over for Christmas Eve dinner and spent Christmas morning with the grandkids … great stuff and a really nice Christmas season for me, the first one in quite some time. Here’s a family pic at the table with very little of me showing ….

 

And … SNOW!!! What are we doing with snow in Georgia? Granted, it’s not too much, maybe only an inch or 2 at the most, but Georgians have no idea what to do about snow. They had a State of Emergency called for all traffic to be off the roadway at 4:00 pm and it didn’t start snowing until nearly 10:00 pm. I guess better safe than sorry?

To be fair, they really aren’t prepared for winter weather here; no snow plows, no salt trucks, no sanding, so everything instantly turns to ice. And because there are …oh, I don’t know … maybe a billion tall pine trees here the sun can never get to the roadways to melt down the 1″-2″ of slushy goop that accumulates and re-freezes every night. And there are hills here, lots of hills and gradual slopes, unlike the generally flat terrain in NJ. As a result, that inch or so completely shuts down all travel … I know, it sounds dumb to anyone from the North but it’s a fact of life here … 

But the kids did get a good chance to go sledding on the icy snow slush-goop … a few pics from our backyard and a look at how little snow actually fell with a wide shot of the house …

Yes, oh Northerly people, THAT snowfall shut down the area for at least three full days … chortle if you will but all I can say is I’m thankful for semi-retirement and working from home with no commute. People in Georgia are not prepared to handle snow …
So, Happy 2017 to all of you and don’t worry, I’ll be back to my usual snarky self for the next blog post. I mean, hey, I can say it’s a new year and I’m starting with a new attitude but let’s face it … I’m a Jersey guy …

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