Warren and I decided to adopt a dog after moving into our apartment community in Alpharetta, GA. As dog lovers we knew adoption was the right option for us. Like many things, we were thorough in our search visiting multiple shelters throughout the metro Atlanta.
The task of timing our search with Warren’s birthday a few years ago allowed plenty of time to research the proper dog training techniques and resources I thought might be best for our small two-bedroom apartment we occupied back then.
With only 30 minutes to closing at the Cobb County Humane Society — even after looking for two weeks — nothing could have prepared us for Kelly. As soon as Kelly looked into my eyes, I immediately called Warren over. When he stepped around the corner he looked at her and said, “what do we need to do to adopt her?”.
With house training on the list of details — we didn’t even hesitate. I love it when Warren and I make these decisions together. It makes me feel proud.
Kelly has been an amazing pet and friend. She is always greeting us at the door and waiting for us to put on our shoes. When we grab the leash she gets so excited she can barely stand it. She loves to curl up next to us when we are playing chess or relaxing.
Our dog Kelly has offered us unconditional love and in return she has it pretty easy 🙂
Getting even one chance this year to visit my family in Texas has been tough. Missing some important events earlier this year like my aunt’s funeral and my cousin’s wedding upset me quite a bit. Something wonderful happened in June however. My wife got a call from her Dad to let us know his frequent flyer miles were about to expire. It so happened that he had enough credit to purchase each of us an airline ticket to travel to our respective family’s homes in Georgia and Texas. Living in New Jersey since last fall has opened our eyes to many new things, but being away from my family since my wedding in 2010 has not been easy.
My grandmother in San Antonio was at the top of my list. I knew her health had been failing a bit at a mere 91 years of age. Little did I know after talking with her for a few days that she had had a mild stroke the year before. My aunt had sent me a photograph of her in a temporary nursing home, but I had very little knowledge of why she was there. Her ability to walk had been impaired. She was taking medication and improving every week. Her speech on the phone for several months had been noticeably less expressive and slower. I was pleasantly surprised to hear her speak again like the grandmother I’ve known for a very long time after spending this time with her a few weeks ago.
An independent woman like my grandmother continues to manage most affairs of running a household. Of course, my aunt is only a phone call away and for many years has lived no more than 80 feet away from her back door. Learning the news of my grandmother’s recovery gave me more encouragement to re-introduce to her the game of chess. She knew of the game through her father who was an avid player, but in that time chess was almost exclusively played by men of stature and perceived intellect. I explained to her that chess does offer an intellectual challenge, but can be taught to anyone and practiced.
She thought this would be okay, but in exchange for her concentration to learn something new I first had to – you guessed it – a few chores around her house.
Well, it’s been just over a year since our last blog post. With the best of intentions the beat moves on. Everyday life is a thing of the past as I share new experiences with my wife in the Garden State. We moved from Atlanta, GA last fall to Southern New Jersey. To those of you here, Chess Made Fun is bringing chess to some of the newly explored locations along the Jersey Shore and wonderous outdoor parks!
Of course, what we’re really about is making new friends along the way. We thought we would share with you some of the places we’ve visited this year.
We’ve put some time aside to practice play and to network through Facebook with a few volunteer groups since our move. We’re getting back into full swing albeit a late start with summer activities already underway. Compared with the Southern US, outdoor activities seem to be more common with kids than adults. Community events however are very organized and we’re enjoying the ‘old world’ culture and feel of farmers markets and large volunteer drives without the need for corporate sponsorship and promotion found in larger cities. Southern New Jersey seems like a great place to have landed to spread the word about what we’re doing to help local communities.