Category: <span>Family Stories</span>

Moving Away From Virginia
Moving Away

Estimated reading time: 15 minutes

We’ve moved. Over the past several months Winnie and I have made the complex transition from living in Northern Virginia to living in Charlotte, North Carolina. This transition involved buying a house, selling our house, moving our extensive collection of household goods, and reorganizing my ongoing professional life. Not to mention shifting all our necessary professional support services we developed during the eighteen years we lived in Virginia.

But we now live in Charlotte. In the great scheme of life adventures that’s happened to Winnie and me, this was just another speed bump.

Family Stories Ron Charest

Stack of empty boxes needed for moving. Photo by SHVETS production:
Lots of Boxes Needed for Moving

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

I’ve always tied physical objects to memories of people and pleasant events. So, the end result is that I collect “stuff.” Lots of “stuff.” Odd small “stuff” like pamphlets, letters, and greeting cards. Then, there’s bigger “stuff” like books, small furnishings, and collectibles.

With my collecting “stuff” quirk, which can easily border on obsessive, moving is hard. One of the things I’m having to do in this latest and last move I plan on making, is letting go.

Family Stories

For Sale Sign on front lawn of a house
Moving On Again

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on this humble website. This is by reason that, once again, Winnie and I are in-process of moving to a new home. This time, we’re making a bigger move than just across town.

This is a move to a new state and is part of shifting into my retirement phase of life. The entire process is giving us another dose of the moving time blues.

Family Stories

Winnie and Friend Paddling in Lake Wylie, South Carolina

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Over the past fourteen years kayaking has become my most favorite outdoor activity. Along with actually paddling kayaks comes the fun part of collecting kayaks. I’ve managed to collect a few nice boats over these past years including inflatable kayaks.

One of the most common remarks I see/hear when people ask about the pros and cons of inflatable kayaks is: “If you punch a hole in an inflatable, you’ll get wet.” I can now attest that this is not true.

Family Stories On The Water

Melissa Etheridge File Photo
Melissa Etheridge

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Of the many musicians and types of music I enjoy, there is one musician I haven’t written about on this humble blog. That would be American singer, songwriter, and guitarist Melissa Etheridge. So, for this chilly pre-spring equinox Wednesday I’m going to correct that deficiency. I’m also going to make a tribute to a woman who once helped me through the absolute lowest point of my life.

Bonus music video for those brave visitors who read all the way through this post.

Family Stories

Ron and Winnie Charest on a Cruise Ship at night
Ron and Winnie Cruising

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

I’ve been catching back up on my daily grind this past week after returning from a vacation. For our latest adventure, Winnie and I did something entirely new – for us. After months of planning and anticipation, Winnie and I took our first vacation cruise a couple of weeks ago.

Family Stories

Obnoxious Neighbors - stay over there!
Obnoxious Neighbors

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

While perusing my favorite social media – Quora – I stumbled upon a question that triggered an immediate flashback. The question was “Have you ever had a neighbor who believed they had free reign of your property?” The question brought back painful memories of a nasty feud with my first neighbors while living in Southern Mississippi.

That feud lasted five years. By the time it was over I had charged the neighbors with misdemeanor trespassing and made several calls to our local police. It was the ugliest neighbor conflict I’d ever had, up until then. But it turned out to be only a prequel to an even worse feud.

Family Stories Quora Re-Posts

USS Scamp (SSN 588) Official Navy Photo
USS Scamp (SSN 588) Official Navy Photo

Estimated reading time: 15 minutes

Winnie and I are back from vacation and back to work this week. We had a short but relaxing vacation spent camping, and kayaking, and attending reunion dinners all last week. The big event was my second Navy reunion with former shipmates of the first submarine I served on, USS Scamp (SSN 588). We also springboarded off this event for some enjoyable extracurricular side adventures.

We ended up with a week of camping and kayaking and reunion dinners with friends and family.

Family Stories

On The Road Photo by Bob Ward:
On The Road Again!

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

So tomorrow Winnie and I are headed out on another week-long adventure. This will be a combination camping/kayaking trip, Navy reunion, and family visit all strung together.

Family Stories

2010 Bayliner 175 “Sea Dragon

Estimated reading time: 22 minutes

Boats have a reputation for being expensive. However, this is not completely true. Boats are very inexpensive to maintain and operate, as long as you don’t put them into the water. Once a boat gets wet, all bets are off and “boat” does in fact become the acronym “Bust Out Another Thousand.”

A few years ago, I made a horrifying discovery that water was seeping inside the wood-cored transom of our family boat “Sea Dragon.” Water and wood do not mix, and this issue required some serious remediation work. So, I’ve spent the past several years drying and waterproofing “Sea Dragon.”

Family Stories On The Water