Saturday, February 1, 2014


28 Feb:  Overnight low in Atlanta was 28 degrees, so Ron was in no hurry to commence the ride to Texas.  Instead he called for financial information and prepared precious recycling.  Finally he was ready to ride and was out the door at 11:30 when it was a balmy 55 degrees.  By 1:00 PM he was in Montgomery, Alabama and the temperature had risen to 64 degrees warm.  Asleep in Missouri @ 10:01 PM  (Notice that Cynthia experiences difficulties understanding telephone conversations.  Ron stopped at the Diamondhead Inn in Diamondhead, Mississippi because raindrops had wetted him, it was getting dark, and the temperature had dropped to 59.)  So the mileage for today was 415 miles in 7 hours.  Dinner was from the grocery, turkey and pretzels.

27 Feb:  Another early 5 AM start to this day.  First order of business was to pack one box to return the items shipped in four big and bigger boxes from Texas.  Next was to pack the things for the motorcycle trip (including recycling).  Then Ron had to find the WiFi security key and locate a shipping company.  Both FedEx stores and one nearby UPS store had only bad reviews, so Ron strapped a big, heavy box on the back of the motorcycle and the wind blew him everywhere on that 10 mile trip, routed by the GPS poorly to the UPS store in Decatur.  They declared themselves happy to accept styrofoam peanuts, so Ron returned to Don's and strapped the monstrously HUGE box of peanuts to the back and was again blown everywhere, this time with much less weight and much more anxiety.  In the evening, Don allowed Ron to use his neglected desktop computer and scanner to scan his complete copy of the Vacher manuscript.  The HP multi-purpose machine was so automated that it scanned a stack of papers without intervention and without "eating" any.

26 Feb:  Ron's day dawned at midnight.  Lots of things needed re-arranging before his possessions left at Greg and Donna's were sufficiently well "stored" out of the way.  The forecast rain arrived exactly on time before dawn, so Dick drove Ron to breakfast at Lizard's Thicket (waitressed by a very busy Susan).  Dick had to suffer through another Smooch conversation before returning Ron to Greg and Donna's to pack the motorcycle for the trip to Lithonia, GA.  Although the rain arrived on time, it departed late and ended at 2 PM; Ron finalized packing by 3:30 and stopped briefly at Dick's to borrow some compressed air for inflating tires to optimum.  The ride started nicely enough at 70 degrees in Columbia but rapidly turned chilly and was soon only 58 - then 53 in Augusta, GA.  By 7 PM when Ron stopped at Walmart, the temperature was only 44 degrees, and upon arrival in Don C's driveway at 8:30 PM, Ron reported a temperature of 41 degrees in a phone call to Smooch Smooch.  The boxes of  "stuff" we left at Don's will be shipped to Texas.

25 Feb: Happy Birthday John B in Santa Fe!!!!  After packing bags and walking with Dick, Ron motorcycled Cynthia to the airport on time.  The red bud trees were glorious on the airport drive.  After boogying over to the Archives to look at a 1798 Bankston land grant and hustling back to Greg and Donna's, there was just enough time to box Cynthia's gear and FedEx it to her in Texas.  Her flight was fine.  After several early mornings, Ron slept early but not long enough.

24 Feb:  The day dawned earlier for Ron than for Cynthia.  It is expected that a pleasant 9:15 AM walk with Dick will be punctuated by mutually enjoyable verbal sparring.  We hope that Cynthia will arise in time to eat the free breakfast omelet at the Hilton Garden Inn where we are staying.  (She did!)  We arrived 20 minutes late for the walk with Dick and Jim but caught up on the bike.   (Cynthia is always ready on time, but as we walked towards the bike, Ron suddenly remembered that he needed the garage door code, and as he was certain where that was written, he dashed back to frantically search EVERYWHERE without success.  Hence the delayed departure.)  In the evening we walked to the Bonefish Grill for a lovely dinner with Dick, Clark and Elizabeth.  The evening reminded one of us of our "anniversary" Ron proposed on his knee three years ago.  Refusing offers of a ride, we walked the 1.5 mile return to the hotel.

(CFB: Pondering en route to TX:  I always told Jim, my son-in-law, he was my favorite.  Julie started dating Jim when she was 16; they married right after graduation from Iowa State University.  Such devotion...  he ironed her blue jeans while she was working on her PhD.   Jim was a kind, loving outstanding father and husband.  What a blessing to have had him in our lives for so many years.   The power of the resurrection carries us through the pain of grief and loss to thanksgiving.)

 23 Feb, Sun:  The six hour ride from Richmond, VA to Columbia, SC went by pleasantly enough for Interstate travel; temperatures were pleasantly warm in the 70s; traffic on I-85 was light most of the way; and very few cops were working the Interstate during daylight, so fastest traffic was indeed very fast.  This was the most distance (380 miles) that Cynthia has ridden in a single day, and we were overjoyed that her back tolerated it well.  Cynthia flies to Texas tomorrow; Ron will follow by motorcycle, looking for an enjoyable route.  We will stay in TX until the end of April.  This death in the family reminds us that our lives are short and precious, not to be wasted, and reiterates the necessity of healthy habits.  Ron's turn to deliver a sermon: "Cynthia needs to return to Texas to support her family & vice versa following this death; Ron has no desire to spend time in Texas but feels that it is very important to support Cynthia while she deals with this huge loss; so he will happily ride cross country in winter and stay in Texas knowing that it is the 'right' thing to do for his beloved WeeFee."  Following good advice to always compress any statement into a single sentence, that sermon condenses to: "Sometimes supporting people you hold dear is far more important than mere personal preferences."

22 Feb:  The Virginia Historical Society has a marvelous repository of Rambo items plus the very information Cynthia needs for her book.  The staff was pleasant and most helpful.  Dinner at the Can-Can French restaurant on Cary Street was delicious, but it was a challenge to find food on a busy Saturday night in a trendy French restaurant that is not previously prepped with butter.  YES!? - French, duh.  Cary Street is like 6th Street in Austin, TX, crowded with people, cars and musicians.  It was an experience, but the congestion and noise gave us both a headache.  Riding back to the hotel, on complained of a lack of good interchange planning.  We received the following sad news which changes our lives from enjoyable unscheduled travel back to a scheduled life.  Cynthia booked a direct flight Tuesday from Columbia, SC to TX because:

Jim, her son-in-law, husband of Julie, father of Corrie (Alan Thetford) and Eric, new grandfather of Abigayle Elizabeth, died late yesterday afternoon, apparently from a heart attack, while hunting with Eric near College Station.  Jim complained of not feeling well and passed out.  EMS attempted CPR but to no avail.  Jim has had cardiac issues for several years, including a heart attack and by-pass surgery.  Corrie and family arrived in SE China a few days ago; now they are making arrangements to return stateside ASAP.

21 Feb,  Friday, Departure for Richmond is imminent; severe rain is forecast for 11:00 AM.  The plan is to stop at  the first sign of sprinkles for lunch at a restaurant during the storm that is forecast to last for two hours.  And the rains came!  When the first two drops hit, Ron immediately started looking for a restaurant; two minutes later we were drenched !!  Two traffic light stops and three minutes later we pulled into a shopping center and inquired of the GPS for a nearby restaurant, but a Ferrari driver gave us a better suggestion, the Weathervane and further said that we had to browse the adjoining Southern Specialities shops as being truly unique (and they were).  The wait staff had to wipe up our puddles while we waited two hours for the storm to pass.  Two hours later, after our uneventful arrival in Richmond, VA we heard about the tornados Richmond experienced this morning.  The Hilton Garden Inn accommodated us nicely.

20 Feb, Pittsboro, NC: A beautiful, balmy day with a high of 74 degrees, we had a pleasant ride to the Wilson Library at UNC Chapel Hill.  Interesting to see piles of dirty snow alongside the road left over from last week.  Our eyes became exhausted from reading the fine print of Wilhelmina Lea's Diaries from 1872-1935; it was also disappointing to discover pages cut from a critical portion of her last diary.  Yellow Fin tuna for dinner at Squid's was tasty.  The couple dining next to us was decked out in the UNC school colors, insignias and buttons that read, "Beat Duke." They doubted they would win the big game.  Everyone must have attended since Wally World was almost empty.  Our bags are packed, breakfast will be at 8:00 AM tomorrow for an early departure to Richmond, VA unless it is raining.

19 Feb, Pittsboro, NC:  We awakened early at the 58 West B&B, only 36 miles from the NC State Library in Raleigh.  Host Houston had coffee ready to brew.  Many thanks.  A thunderstorm rolled through at 5:30 AM while the coffee brewed.  Breakfast was good, and we enjoyed chatting with another couple until nearly 10.  As we walked towards the motorcycle at 10 AM, we felt the first hints of a spritz of water in the air ... with more thunderstorms anticipated by the forecasters.  Ron hates to start riding when rain is falling, so we hurried to start while it was only mist ... and got lucky enough to arrive at the State Archives in Raleigh absolutely dry !!  It is always fascinating to see steamy fog rising from the ground, from Lake Jackson, and from the snow and ice alongside the highway.  All told, the 45-minute ride this morning was more interesting than anything we saw during our 5 hour ride yesterday.  Our primary objective for this entire trip was to see the back cover of the Alexander Rose Bible, and all the pages of that Bible with annotations are there, but that cover is NOT; apparently it is still attached to the Bible in the possession of the heirs of Ben Rose.  Ron was happy to see a transcription of Lorenzo Lea's family genealogy; Cynthia was happy to find the Montgomery County 1782 tax list for Pat; and we were both happy to find out that Mrs. Grear was granted a judgement nisi over the villainous Henry Fuller.  Dinner at Perkins was a bit better than the Golden Corral.  At this point we are a day ahead in our "unscheduled" Lea research agenda.  The trick will be to get to Richmond on Friday when there is an 80% chance of rain. HA.

scheduled - 17 Mar:  Smooch & SmoochSmooch will again separate; Cynthia flies from Atlanta to Texasunscheduled solo motorcycle trip to South Carolina to collect things for storage, to Illinois to see sistah and dump things in storage, and onwards to Texas by April 5; any guesses about spontaneous diversions?
scheduled - 5 Apr 2014: Rachel and Ryan's wedding.
scheduled - 23-24 Apr: Cynthia honored as the distinguished alumna of 2014  by her seminary in Austin, Texas

18 Feb: The Ball and Cue in Georgetown fed us a fine breakfast earlier than our normal rising and shining habits.  Packed and ready to roll after egg white veggies, our next food stop was (yuk!) a Golden Corral in Johnson, SC.  Everything is soaked in fat except the salad bar.  Even there, danger lurks. The good part of a view-less day along old U.S. Hwy 17 and U.S. 501 & 15 northbound was the balmy, beautiful day.  We are ensconced in a B and B south of Chapel Hill, NC until Friday morning when rain is forecast.  We expect to check out and get our first soaking of the week.   Dinner this evening was at the highly recommended Oak Leaf Restaurant.  Cynthia does not complain about food, but disliked the rockfish and thought the water tasted funny.  Awesome ambience.

17 Feb: The ride to Georgetown, SC was pleasant until after lunch at the Boone Plantation Cafe in Mt. Pleasant.  The sun disappeared and the wind whipped enough to make us chilly.  Interesting to see broken tree limbs scattered alongside the road as reminders if the ferocious storm that left thousands without electricity last Wednesday. The hotel was filled to capacity upon our arrival about 5 PM because of many homes without power.  We hiked through the historic district admiring the charming old homes some with side entries that seemed quite peculiar.  Once we arrived at the historic old waterfront, we strolled the length of the dock and, upon bellying up to the rail, saw a great blue heron standing almost directly below, only 15 to 20 feet from us.  The restaurant was located on the dock: Dinner at the River Room was sumptuous for the same price as two salad bars at Ruby Tuesday's.  Tomorrow the plan continues:  Archives in Raleigh, NC and on to the Wilson Library in Chapel Hill for the remainder of this week with the next target the Virginia Historical Society (Richmond, VA).

16 Feb, Sunday:  lovely, effervescent cousin Sharon and her new beau chauffeured us to the Hilton Head Country Club for a brunch 'till you burst good time.  The food was fabulous. Don is a delightful guy.  Feeling fat we returned to the Nature Reserve to  hike about five miles.

15 Feb, and what a Happy Valentine's Day we had right down to the hand designed card.  We hiked about four miles in the Nature Reserve spotting a Great Blue Heron on the wing who later perched picture perfect for our camera.  Ron saw a large turtle.  Our dinner with Gene W. was immensely enjoyable.  Thank you once again for the treat, Gene.

14 Feb, Happy VALENTINEs Day:   I LOVE YOU.  Smooch, smooch, smooch  (Awwww!  I love you, too!)  My goodness, Valentine's Day on the road without a confirmed reservation for lodging; perhaps we will discover an unexpected gift (says the eternal optimist).  At least the day "dawned" at 4 AM with temperatures above freezing.  Forecast departure - after it warms to 40 degrees at noon.  The plan is to ride towards warmer temperatures in Hilton Head, SC.  *** The plan worked. We rode towards HH for five hours arriving at the Hilton Garden Inn at the crack of dark.  The sunset near Savannah was magnificent.  Tired, but hungry, we dined at Neo's (described as a fresh farm to table restaurant) a five minute walk away.  The salmon was delicious.   

13 Feb:  Here in Atlanta, the "sunny south," we awakened to a winter wonderland of white & tan fields, mostly white roadways, and white falling from the sky.  However, the temperatures rose rapidly, so the black of roadways (or black ice) contrasted nicely by the time we finished breakfast (think of finishing breakfast as 10 o'clock).  The ice on the rental car was over an inch thick in places.  Traffic was exceptionally light as we drove on I-285 and I-20 to deposit stuffs at Don's and later on I-20 and I-75 to return files to Pegram and even during the 4 PM rush hour - Amazing.  Pleasant times and scintillating conversation was enjoyed by all.  Ruby Tuesday fed us with salads and baked sweet potato fries again.

12 Feb:  The forecast of 70% chance of rain & freezing rain was accurate.  It is already turning the landscape frosty and the roadways into ice rinks, so we are not going anywhere today.  Several members of the hotel staff inquired about our motorcycle (which will remain parked all day and which will slowly become an ice sculpture).  Ruby Tuesday was apparently closed, and we decided against slipping and sliding outdoors, instead exercising at the hotel fitness center on treadmill and elliptical machine.

11 Feb: Scheduled measuring of Smooch for tuxedo?  Good God, what is the world coming to?  But the rainy weather prompted the tailor to cancel, so we spent the day at the hotel reviewing James Lea, the Bankstons, DNA, and Rev. Cynthia's biography.  Our only outing and exercise was the usual half-mile hike to Ruby Tuesday where the staff is considering us "family."  Martin was pleased that we did indeed mention him on this blog earlier.  Not bad, this blog shows up on the first page when Googling  Atlanta Ruby Krystal Martin

10 Feb:  Monday we drove to Lithonia to visit with cousin Don C. and to collect the remaining goodies that Cynthia had shipped from Texas.  For half of the things, my little SmoochSmooch said, "What was I thinking when I shipped that?"  After discussing the Bankstons (and discovering that we've all forgotten whatever we once knew about them), we all piled into the rental car seeking lunch and decided that Panera Bread was closest best choice for our dietary limitations.  From thence to Staples for copies of Lea stuffs, to WallyWorld for bread & Healthy Choice cusine (for Don), to GNC for protein powder, to Kohl's to check Don's work schedule, and finally to Radio Shack for antenna cabling advice.  We returned Don home and scurried to the hotel ahead of the rain with enough time to walk to Ruby Tuesday for too much food.  Krystal remembered us and was excited to see the blog.  If I were a little more motivated, I'd Google Atlanta Ruby Krystal Martin
several times to see if I can get the blog to show up first for that search.

9 Feb, Sunday in Atlanta:  Ron is again updating the blog while Cynthia sleeps.  We will be at the hotel until Sun late AM; pick up the rental car, drive to visit cousin Pegram, tell tall tales, gossip, chase a wild goose, not necessarily in that order, nor limited to those pursuits.  Our day with Pegram and his lovely wife, Ann, was most productive. Pegram had a file of correspondence with Ben Rose that details the location  of the records we want to see; the best part of the day was enjoying their hospitality and conversation.  We bid them adieu and discovered the Oceanaire Restaurant on Peachtree Street, a real treat, the fine dining that my beloved SmoochSmooch enjoys; quite a surprise to learn that they are also owned by Landry of Texas.

8 Feb:  A day of Rest!  Cynthia is sleeping in whilst Ron updates the blog.  We are in Atlanta at the Hilton Garden Inn Airport, in a nice room with coffee in hand.  E-mail has been checked (imagine).  Now back to transcribing notes & scraps of paper into the computer so that they can be found when wanted and the paper recycled.  We enjoyed a nice, lazy day.  Cynthia has been enervated due to pain and lack of sleep ever since the misbegotten suggestion that she see a personal trainer at the health club.  Who could have known that such an innocent suggestion could have such dramatically nasty results?  We walked about a half mile to Ruby Tuesday for lunch and dinner today and had marvelous service from Martin.  The first TWO vegetable sides were obviously buttery/oily, so he asked his manager, and Krystal steamed broccoli from the salad bar for us.  Now we have to tell Martin to Google Where is Ron?  Before dinner, Ron borrowed scissors from the front desk and proceeded to cut his hair in preparation for tomorrow's first impressions.  While doing so, he reflected upon the notion that you never get a second chance to make a first impression and realized that, as one ages and becomes forgetful, second and third chances abound.

7 Feb, Smooches Reunion Day, Atlanta:  This should become a new national holiday, the day Smooch and SmoochSmooch resume their life of travel and fun together.  Cynthia's flight to Atlanta arrived mid-afternoon without incident; cagey Ron brought flowers on the shuttle to surprise her, but the shuttle driver dropped him off at "Arrivals," and by the time Ron had walked to the pick up area, the driver had spilled the beans.  We asked to be dropped off at the Ruby Tuesdays near the hotel and were pleased that he accommodated us.  Huge coincidence that as we left the restaurant, he was waiting at the first corner and took us back to the hotel.  It is so nice to be "home," back to our life of travel together.

6 Feb: Riotous living???, Ron asked about my 2:30 AM hotel changes.  We will be at the hotel until Sun late AM; pick up the rental car, drive to visit cousin Pegram, tell tall tales, gossip, chase a wild goose.  Ron spent the day trying to resume computer projects, but became depressed by the unsettled state of his projects.  The nearby Subway provided a tasty foot-long turkey sub with all the veggies except olives, known for oil.

5 Feb: Whereabouts: Columbia, SC and Montgomery, TX.  Ron and Dick walked on drying pavement and breakfasted at Lizard's; unfortunately it was Susan's day off.  Returning to the  Gowdy's by noon, he finished packing and departed for ATL by 3:30 PM, stopping first at American Eagle Outfitters to redeem the American Eagle gift certificate, found at the eleventh hour of packing, only to discover that the gloves had been sold.  DRRat!  It was warm and pleasant to start the ride, but within 20 miles the temperature had dropped to 58, brrr.  After eventually stopping to add a coat, hat & gloves, the temperatures dropped another 10 degrees in the next few miles.  The gusty winds made everything worse.  Since the light was now fading, Ron "sucked it up" and kept riding chilly until dark before he finally stopped again to pull on another, wind-proof layer.  Now in Atlanta, Ron discovered a veritable mountain of boxes Cynthia shipped to Don's house, after all, you never know when a girl will need cute shoes and accessories.  Well!  Obviously Cynthia isn't wearing motorcycle gear on the flight.  Security might have a problem if she wear a helmet.  Plus, Ron needed dress shoes for taking measurements for Rachel's wedding. (Yes, Cynthia had mentioned such an event, but Ron was clueless that it was scheduled for this coming Tuesday in Atlanta; Somehow that one little item was omitted from the thorough schedule keeps moving up on this blog.)  Life is so simple when we are traveling; Ron is in charge.  He makes certain we only schedule food and fun.  We are eager to be together again.  Good night!

4 Feb:  Cynthia loves Tuesdays at the lake.  The nice restaurants open after Sunday through Monday

Tuesday Morning Moment
closings.  Dinner promises to be excellent (it was).  Even on this gray day,  I love the lake.
A trillion-zillion flocks of water-fowl frolicked, flapped and fluttered across the lake, dancing, diving, hovering and swirling.  Mesmerized, I could not think to reach for the camera.  Once they passed by, I rushed outside zooming the cell phone camera on the flotilla nestled in the cove;  aha, iPhoto.  (Note: watch: Ron will change my sentences...  hahaha)  Since it was a dreary, rainy day in South Carolina, the morning walk was postponed until after breakfast at noon.   Each time Ron and friends have dined at Lizard's Thicket, Susan is so busy she has not had time to visit.  Ron, Dick and Jim walked in the mall today where Ron discovered some interesting, 
Body Rests While Spirit Soars
fingerless gloves, with mittens tops attached, for 50% off at American Eagle; now he's searching for an old American Eagle gift card; if he finds it, he will have new gloves.  Smooch did RETURN the nearly-three-year-old year old briefs and tee shirts his sister gave him for a wedding gift (sitting in a box at the Gowdy's all of this time); J C. Penny's refunded with a gift card which he will re-gift to said sister.  Two bags packed, the Gowdy's house is once again presentable.  Tomorrow,  Ron will ride to ATL.  I arrive Friday mid-afternoon.  Today,  a magnificent heart-covered card arrived in my mailbox.  Awww and Smooch!! 
Cynthia stopped at Scott's Grove; it is a two acre private family cemetery created at the request of her son Scott when he was dying from Leukemia in 1998.  Not even the cows in the near pasture noticed a weeping mother.  Scott's widow,  children, siblings, nieces and nephews take marvelous care of the Grove (now a

3 Feb:  Awake at 5:30 for no good reason, Ron had to await daylight to begin yard work; Mary Lou needs pine straw.  The plan, successfully completed, was to walk with Dick, breakfast (lunch at 11:30) at Lizard's to see waitress Susan, and decide whether to ride to Atlanta today or later, depending upon rain.  The color radar map looks ominous, but this internet connection (from the next-door neighbors through a couple of brick walls) is ungodly slow.  The rain indeed came, light and brief, during the morning walkathon with RonFriend, Dick.  After returning to pack, Ron discovered that the early start and insufficient sleep has left him a bit lethargic - absolutely unfit for motorcycling to Atlanta, so "tomorrow" it is, and updating the blog is first project, before organizing and recycling.   Cynthia has an early morning medical appointment in the Woodlands, noon at the
4 Generations of Strong Women
aesthetician in Tomball, and then the drive to Stewart Title to close on the property in Hempstead (someone bought the contract in the midst of foreclosing on
 the current buyer).  Cynthia's heart hurts for daughter Julie's family (as well as for the doting great grandmother); her daughter Corrie and husband Alan, plus new baby Abigayle, are in the throes of preparation for departure to the mission field in SE China 15 February.  Three years  absence seems like forever.  Poor great grandmother.  I love you. (Awwwww! Sweet! Sweet! and Sweet Smooch, I love you, too! )

2 Feb, Sun:  After breakfast at Lizard's Thicket with Dick, Ron continued recycling & cleaning out his "stuff" at Greg & Donna's, but is planning to leave behind two packages of new undershirts and shorts given to him from the E-Vile older Sistah as a wedding gift (plus several computers and a few other items).  Oh what fun!!  Now Greg & Donna will be able to entertain in their formal living room without Ron's stuff leaving only Greg's Atari collection stacked to the ceiling in one corner.  Cousin Don in Atlanta will be happy to accommodate Ron upon arrival, who knows when.  We may rent a car in ATL so Don won't have to be tied to the top case of the motorcycle as we ride to dine out.  SuperBowl Sunday weather in Dallas is cold, raining and an ugly gray.  SmoochSmooch is pleased with her dress fitting; the five pounds seems to have disappeared; the silk charmeuse dress is elegant.  She left Dallas in heavy rain as the temperature dropped towards freezing every few moments. The traffic was not heavy, and drivers moved cautiously as warnings  of ice on bridges flashed alongside the freeway.  Smooch's soothing words were but a phone call away.  EXACTLY the time Cynthia turned onto TX SH 105, he phoned to find out if his beloved SmoochSmooch had arrived.  Such a sweet Smooch!  It is nice to be home.

1 Feb:   Ron spent the day having waaay too much fun transcribing metes and bounds from Spartanburg deeds on microfilm at the SC Archives, hoping to reconcile Laurance Bankston's purchases with sales.  Cynthia drove four hours in light rain and little traffic to Big D for a dress fitting tomorrow, Sunday, after which she will drive home again, home again, jiggity-jig.  There is little between Lake Conroe and Dallas except for the Blue Bell Ice Cream plant in Brenham and Corsicana fruitcakes. The Hilton in Highland Park is lovely; the nice staff  immediately upgraded my room.  (No,  Smooch, the super room does not make up for the absence of said Smooch.)   We shall see if Mr. Smooch departs for ATL tomorrow or Monday.  Sooo many big decisions.