Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

October 31, 2015

October 2015 – Family Updates

Filed under: Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 11:11 pm

October Highlights:

Life Can Throw a Lot of Things Your Way in One Month

This month had a little bit of everything — happiness, sadness, silliness, surprises, achievement — making it a little hard to focus this post on any one theme. My dad’s Tia Chela passed away at the official age of 102 — we believe her unofficial age may be several years older than that as records were not really that well kept in the countryside towns of Chile when she was born. In the weeks leading up to her death, her son would send a picture to my dad every day so that he could see she was still alive. My dad showed me a few of the pictures of a very skinny Tia Chela just hanging on to life until she eventually let go on October 21. The good news for my dad is that he had a chance to see her one last time during his visit to Chile last month.

Back in 2006, also in the month of October, Tia Chela was diagnosed with cancer, something the doctors kept from her because they said it was better for her to just live her life than try to operate or treat a 92 year old lady. I remember that I took 3 weeks off to take the trip with my dad because he said that it would probably be the last time we would get a chance to see her. Little did we know that his aunt would live another decade and that my dad would get a chance to visit her many more times after that. Even though her death was expected, I know it still hit my dad pretty hard. Visiting her was a pattern he had started early in his life as he was sent to spend time with her and his uncle on the farm every summer during his youth. He has nothing but fond memories of those years as he would help his uncle with farm work and his aunt would spoil him by doting on him with her good cooking. In return, my dad never forgot her — no trip to Chile was ever complete without a visit to see Tia Chela, the last of the four Jarpa sisters to be buried (his mom, my dear grandmother, being the first back in 1986).

My dad definitely experienced an emotional roller coaster kind of month. We celebrated his birthday a few days early on the 18th before his aunt’s passing. During his birthday he seemed aglow, happy to be surrounded by his family. He even introduced us to a new Chilean drink, The Terremoto (the earthquake), which apparently is a thing in Chile (how apropos given that this small country is one of the most seismically active regions on earth). The drink is made with some kind of Sherbet ice cream and a special reddish looking wine mixture of some sort, which we all happily drank — maybe that is why my dad’s cheeks were so rosy and aglow on that day ;). The news of his aunt’s passing came a few short days later, hitting him pretty hard in contrast.

But two days after her death, my uncle Mario (his brother), showed up on exactly the day of his birthday surprising both him and my mom in the process. It was a nice surprise for my dad. It also reminded me of how he used to make the same unannounced visits during my youth, bringing us presents and wowing us with his athletic exploits (I still remember that during one of his visits he had my mom stop about 6 miles away from our house so that he could run there instead). It had been decades since he paid my parents a surprise visit, but timing is everything and he couldn’t have done it any better than he did this time around. He really helped cheer my dad up immensely — thanks Tio. The cool part is that we’ll be seeing my Tio Mario (and his son Mario Jr.) again real soon as my dad, my sister and I will be traveling to Miami in November to attend Mario junior’s wedding.

Busy With Work & Real Estate Transactions

This month landed me a promotion at work. I’m now the Marketing Communications Manager for my company, which has increased my workload pretty dramatically. On the one hand, I’m happy for the opportunity, but on the other hand I miss the less frenetic pacing I had with my previous role. In the long run, I think it will be a good challenge for me and I’ll figure out my own way to organize and prioritize things a little better so that the pace becomes more manageable despite the increased responsibility. I’ve always thought I’m pretty good at adapting to things. This latest role will definitely test that assumption.

In addition to my new job, I also completed the sale of our 4-plex with my brother inlaw and used the proceeds to buy 3 new rentals in Reno, Nevada. I don’t think I’ve ever signed so many papers, made more wire transfers, and exchanged so many e-mails in one month. The good news is that all the transactions are complete. Currently, one of my new places is rented (as it already had a tenant), but now we are searching for renters for the other two places. Or rather, my property manager is doing this. There are some repairs to make on one of the units before it can be rented but I’m glad I finally have someone who is focused on getting this done. You see, the property manager I originally had left the company, which meant I had to get a new guy and start the process all over again. This means getting tenants for my units has been delayed leading to me taking more money out of my pocket in the short term to cover things like HOAs, taxes, and energy and sewage bills on empty units. Once we get the places rented, I should start seeing a nice positive cash flow — but that day can’t come soon enough.

Kids Put on Unique Costumes for Halloween

If you’ve been following my blogs for a while, you know that my daughter is a pretty independent person who doesn’t sugar coat things. She also doesn’t suffer fools well, doesn’t let people into her circle easily, and is prone to sarcasm. For years, I’ve been telling her that her “sweet disposition” would make her a really good Veruca Salt for Halloween (not so mention she has similar hair). Well, this year she finally took me up on my suggestion and played the part brilliantly as you can see from her pose here. This year, she spent Halloween with her friend Lauren at her house. According to Lilah, they had a good time and she didn’t elaborate too much other than to tell me they were given king-sized candy by the few homes they visited which were also king sized dwellings spaced so far apart that they only went to five houses.

Luke took a silly angle on his costume. He wore this green suit that puffed out with air. I thought he was trying to be the Incredible Hulk, but he said he was “cabbage.” His friends told him he should dress up as cabbage and so this was his interpretation of that concept which Lilah cracked herself up filming.

That’s all for now. More next month…

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