Monday, November 24, 2008

Autumn Leaves

Here are a few pictures of what we were doing some days ago.  Samantha could not help it but jump right in!  All the leaves are now gone and everything is set for winter and the upcoming Holiday Season. 


Sunday, November 16, 2008

A walk in your favorite place!

This was several days ago.  The colors were breathtaking and the crisp air was just right.  We walked the course that you (Catherine) are familiar with and every step you were in our thoughts.
The lone tree (actually four in one) was breathtaking!  Unfortunately "Sam" was not with us at the time since we did not think of her until later!  

We had a great time walking in your footsteps in a place so dear to you. 

The swing is something new - you would have loved it - right on the Sound looking out on the water.

Can you find Mom!  She does blend in so well.

So people know, this is Caumsett State Park located in Lloyd Neck overlooking the Long Island Sound.  This park is majestic and beautiful with the mansion and other buildings.  A walk from the parking lot to the main house is about one and a half miles with each step seeing beautiful surroundings.  It has many different trails and a stable on the grounds.  Many people chose to ride their bikes, some jog and other (like us) love to walk the grounds.  A place well worth visiting!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Several days ago was my wife’s birthday.  To be more specific it was on October 28 and she just turned thirty-nine!  As with all of our birthdays, my dear mother takes us out to fancy restaurants.  This year for her birthday we all went to the Garden City Hotel and had a wonderful dinner.  Unfortunately, Rob was unable to join us!  Catherine, well that’s another story!


Here are some pictures commemorating the evening of November 7:

You may be wondering why Samantha (Catherine’s doll) is in the pictures.  Since Catherine is unable to be with us she will be through her proxy.  So Catherine whenever you see your doll you will be with us at the event.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Catherine's best Friends (Catherine on the Right) - a little party!

Catherine and Therese the day before she left.Special Glasses for Catherine (Note theme)

Therese and Coby in MaineCoby and I - in Maine!

Why it Took So Long to Post - The Beginning

On July 1, 2008, Therese (my wife), Catherine, Coby (Catherine’s dog) and I left Long Island, heading south for PhiladelphiaPA on a warm day with beautiful puffy white clouds overhead.  We were on the way to Catherine’s Peace Corps orientation, the inauguration as a volunteer.  The trip was none eventful as the anticipation of what was going to happen kept entering my mind.  We paused our ride only once, at our favorite rest stop on the Jersey Turnpike, to stretch and allow our pooch to, well you know, do his thing.  We continued and within an hour arrived at the “City of Brotherly Love” which I had not seen in many years.  As in all large cities in the USA, this one had changed its profile with many new buildings and structures. 

With the help of our GPS, we arrived at the hotel where Catherine spent a few days before embarking on her assignment in Benin.  Upon entering the lobby, several other trainees were already mingling and we could feel the excitement in the air.  After registration, we settled Catherine in her room and decided to grab some lunch.  Around the corner from the hotel we noticed a small pub-like restaurant and decided that the menu seemed enticing.  Although the food was good, my palate was not registering any of the tastes.  (I don’t believe I need to explain why, as any parent will understand).

As we left the restaurant, an uncharacteristic feeling was beginning to form in my stomach.  I knew that within minutes, we will be forced to say our goodbyes.  Having spent the past month watching Catherine say farewell to friends and neighbors, I knew this was not going to be easy. We went to the garage and Catherine spent a few minutes saying bye to her beloved Coby. Several times I had to turn and look out so she would not witness the sadness in my eyes. Hearing the car door close, our time was at hand.  Walking to the elevator, Therese and Catherine started to enter. I stopped them saying it would be best to part and say goodbye in the virtual seclusion of the garage (knowing how emotional we all were).  As expected, this took several minutes and in truth when we hugged I wanted to take her in the car to bring her home.  She entered the elevator and we watched as the doors closed on our beloved daughter. The ride home was somber and even Coby seemed sad.

It’s hard to believe that was only four months ago.  It seems an eternity has gone by.  Although we speak to Catherine constantly it is still hard for us, conscious she is so far away.  We are very proud of her and what she is doing in Benin.  Her ability to adapt to a new country, language, customs and people is remarkable.  Being able to manage a new home is equally impressive: painting, furnishing, cooking etc, all tasks she had to learn herself.

Why this Blog?  The idea came to mind a few days ago.  Since it takes long for Catherine to receive letters and packages, we thought it may be fun to post some of the events which transpire here at home.  This will enable her to read them whenever she has a chance to go to a cyber cafĂ© and access the internet. 

SO!  Finally posting for the first time.  Today is November 6th and thank God the election is over and we no longer have to hear the banter.  We are excited for the country as God knows we need a new direction.  We hope and pray that the new President will be able to deliver his promises.