Saturday, August 03, 2013

Becoming an adult...

Really really proud of my son Brandon. He turned 16 at the end of May. He did a good job working on getting his grades up in school this year. He did a great job at his Architecture Camp at Virginia Tech in June. He was a big help throughout most of the summer...but still appropriately lazy at times. The yellow Ford Escape I bought in January 2001 when he was 3 1/2 years old became his this summer. We had to work on the braking system and a few other things over the past couple of weeks and we both learned a lot along the way. He won't get his license until January, but he drove the truck 4 hours down route 17 back to NC today under the supervision of his mom. The truck held up and he didn't crash it. He still has a good share of bad ideas, but he is learning to take responsibility for his actions. I am very proud of the man he is becoming.

It has been a long and difficult road.  Last summer he left my full time care and went to live with his mom and stepdad in NC.  This was a decision that all of us made, though it was particularly difficult for me.  It is hard to let go.  However, I knew it was going to happen anyway and someday, and it is what I had been preparing him for.  Or maybe preparing myself for.   If you saw him last year and saw him now, you would know it was the right decision.

Brandon went to be in a much smaller school and a much bigger social circle.  That sounds a little strange, almost paradoxical, but it is true.  He has really flourished there, and if he'll just apply himself to his homework he is going to do magnificent.  

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

College for a week...

...or as my son says "CFAW".

After my son didn't call me the first night like he was supposed to and I tried to call and text him...he sent me this text the second night..."Hey sorry I got kinda caught up, I'm doing fine, lots of interesting people here."  :-)  

So Brandon had a great week at Virginia Tech, sleeping in the dorm, talking with all the other people there, eating in the dining hall, exploring the campus and exploring life in general.  The program was supposed to give the students an idea of what first year life was like in the Architecture and Design program at Virginia Tech and show them how to develop and harness their creativity with regards to architecture and design.  I come from a much more rigid background and was absolutely fascinated by the way they worked with the students.  Exploring thoughts and ideas with no right or wrong.  The professor made me want to come back next year. He said I was welcome to.  Brandon loved interacting with the Master's and PHD candidates that were there to help.  Brandon was up after midnight every night, and I think he only ate pizza.  Not at all unlike my first quarter at Virginia Tech back in 1987.

Brandon and I spent the rest of the weekend in Amherst County playing disc golf around Lynchburg, driving lessons, and exploring.  

The fireflies in Amherst were so plentiful that the forest looked like it was strung up with green Christmas lights.  I was just in awe staring at the trees at night.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Virginia Tech Architecture Camp

On Sunday afternoon this week I dropped off my son for a week of Architecture fun at Virginia Tech.  We parked and walked all over the campus before his check in.  I had gone to VT for a year and I shared SOME stories with him.  It was a beautiful day for walking around too.

We got him checked into his dorm.  I made him make his bed and put up his clothes and stuff.  He knew how to get in and out of the dorm, use the dining facilities and stuff already.  I'm very proud of him.  He is definitely maturing and definitely getting better at taking care of himself.

He was supposed to call me Sunday after his orientation and then again around 8pm so that I would know he was ok and had everything he needed for the week.  He said "Dad, even if I don't, you are 5 hours away."  I told him that I have amazing powers of Internet.  He didn't call that night until midnight and since the phones purposefully all sit where we can't hear them, I didn't get the call.  He did text me though and said "Dad, sorry I didn't call.  I just got caught up.  There are so many interesting people here."

Here are some pictures from the campus....

Friday, June 21, 2013

Updates on various things....

So, the longest day of the year has come and now gone.  Another school year has come and gone too, so here is an update on kids and other things....

Brandon, the eldest, did very well this year living with his mom and step-dad in NC. His grades were good and he was involved in sports and other extracurricular activities.  It was the result we were hoping for when he went down there last summer and it paid off extremely well.  He also turned 16 this year and has his learner's permit.  He'll get his license in January most likely.  He'll be inheriting the 2001 Ford Escape I have. This summer I'm teaching him how to drive and how to maintain the vehicle.  This week we replaced the brake booster and one of the front calipers.  I think we need to replace the other caliper too.  He did very well getting all that done.  He starts an Architecture Camp at Virginia Tech this week.  Hopefully he does well!  He is very excited about it.

Michael has been living in Long Island, and he just finished school today.  He says he did well.  He has been playing football and basketball up there and continuing in orchestra.  He seems to really like it there and by all appearances is doing well too.

John, the youngest, made straight A's in all of his classes and played baseball in the fall and spring.  He stopped taking piano lessons this year, but still plays here at the house and is first chair with the cello in orchestra.

I've been traveling some for work and just recently spent 2 weeks in Japan.  That will probably need its own post, but I'll briefly say that I loved every minute I spent in Japan.  I also spent 2.5 weeks in Hawaii for work, and got to experience an earthquake and amazing food in San Diego in December.

SGG started working again, and the projects she is working on will take her to the pacific northwest later this summer.  I hope to be able to fly out and meet her there!

So things have been going well.  We get out to do hiking in the mountains quite a bit, but we have so many chores that we don't get to do a lot of other things we want.

One big item coming up is that I have to fly to NYC in a couple of weeks to pick up my Google Glass.  This is one thing I am very excited about.  I put up a post in February on Google+ for the ifIhadglass Google Explorers project and found out I was selected in March.  One aspect of this that I am excited about is the hands free photography and videography.  When I am taking pictures of something, I never feel in the moment.  I feel like I am focused on getting a good picture or video and not what it going on.  I hope that glass can help me to be more in the moment and less focused on the pictures/video.  I know that documenting things like changing out the brakes, working with software, and many other things will be much easier knowing I don't have to be holding or controlling something.  I will definitely post a bit about my experience with it here.

I keep talking with SGG about blogging more.  I'm just not sure what to write.  I'll keep working on it though!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Ahhh....the world didn't end and other mumbo jumbo

So, life remains extremely busy for us at Casa Loco, or Fetzig Haus.  My job has me traveling from time to time.  Things are never easy it seems, not for anyone.  We've had to make some hard decisions during the past year.  I foresee more in the future.  I am always very thankful for the quite moments SGG and I have to reflect on our lessons learned and always looking and dreaming forward.

Dreams, as it turns out, don't happen effortlessly.  They require quite a bit of energy to materialize and to keep going.  Sometimes they don't turn out quite like you wanted, and often you realize how very thankful you are that they didn't.  We had two children this past year that went to live with their respective other biological parents.  We had not planned on that, but given the circumstances in both cases it seemed like the best decision for them to grow and move forward.  In both cases it appears so far that we made the best decision as both boys are doing very well.

Brandon will be 16 in May and has been living with his mom and step-dad since June.  He is working on getting his driver's license.  He completed his classroom work in the fall and yesterday, New Years Eve, he started his actual behind the wheel training.  His grades could always be better, but he is really maturing and doing so very well in everything else.  He has been playing soccer for his school and is looking forward to playing golf and baseball in the spring.

Michael just turned 14 in October.  He is now 6'4" and still growing.  He is living with his dad in Long Island.  He rides the train into Manhattan to see his dad on Wall Street and seems very savvy about moving around New York City.  He is going to the same middle school his dad went to, and may even go to the same high school.  He played football for the school this year and is playing basketball right now, go figure.  :-)

John will be 13 in just a few days.  He lives with SGG and I.  He plays cello for his middle school, and piano when he feels like it.  He is trying to teach himself guitar too.  He played baseball in the fall and will likely play in the spring too.

For SGG and I, our big news is that we acted on our dream and purchased a small house up in the mountains in western Virginia.  The beach area is nice, but we love the hills and mountains.  The house will probably be where we retire to as well.  I was trying to think about how to describe that adventure and whether to detail those stories here or in another blog.  I decided that we would start another blog dedicated to the adventures or misadventures we have in the mountains, and keep this one here about parenting, marriage, etc...though I don't really write a lot here anymore.  :-(

Monroe Mountain House Blog