Vacations and Ruminations

I took much of the month of April off as a vacation of sorts. Having worked for me most of my life, I’ve never really spent much time separating time into slots with one called work and one called vacation. It’s all living and creating a life for me. But, I called this a vacation because I unplugged (for the most part) and spent quite a bit of time reading, thinking, and plotting.


Rylie Poole

Early in the month, Joann and I traveled across the state of Pennsylvania to the Pittsburgh area and into Ohio for about 9 days. My adult children, Mindy and Ryan live in Erie and Pittsburgh respectively. Ryan is married to Sue and they have two daughters, Rylie and Sadie. Rylie just turned two and Sadie will be one year old in June and since they live almost 6 hours away we don’t get to see them as often as we’d like.

Sadie Poole



We also got to spent time in Pittsburgh with the funniest man I know – Walt Zastawa and his wife Becky who keeps him in his place while working as his foil. After an evening with him, your sides hurt from laughing. He is the best medicine for anything that ails you.

Next, it was two days spent with mom in East Liverpool, Ohio. Day one was a semi-family reunion with my brother and one of my three sisters and some of their kids and grandkids.

Mom – Dorothy Poole

Day two was spent being run ragged by a mom who is almost 83 years old. She is deaf and has worn a cochlear implant pretty much since they were first approved in the US. Sadly, it does not help much anymore despite being upgraded several times to the latest models. But, that didn’t stop her from having me take her to get a new cell phone. She said she couldn’t hear very well out of hers. Try keeping a straight face when your deaf mom tells you that!

Despite my skepticism that any cell phone was going to improve mom’s hearing, I started doing some research. I needn’t have as she had already done the same things on her computer. I was just repeating her research which she showed me. I then put a call into her audiologist who verified what we had found out and who also told me not to get mom’s hopes up for much improvement. But, mom is one tenacious lady and I wasn’t going to say no. So off we went on the trail of a new phone.

I was skeptical.
We got the phone. It worked.
Mom was right – once again.


Cottage in Erie
The Cottage on Lake Erie

Finally, we hit the road once more – this time for Erie, PA, and my daughter’s new home on Lake Erie. She and her partner, Tom, have turned a storybook cottage into one of the most charming and comfortable homes I’ve ever visited.

Mindy and Joann

We had a great time including an outstanding dinner at their favorite restaurant, Petra. Petra serves exquisite Middle Eastern cuisine complete with warm hospitality on the part of the owner, his family, and staff. If you’re ever in Erie, make a reservation and treat your taste buds.

We had originally planned on stopping on the way back across the state from Erie to Bucks County. It’s a pretty long drive and can take as much as 7 hours. But, Joann and I were both anxious to get home and to also see our dogs Bucca and Max and kitties Winnie, Bear, and Toby who seem to miss us terribly when we travel. So, I pushed on and made the trip in an uneventful 6.5 hours without once breaking the speed limit or honking at people to get out of my way.



The day after we returned we got a visitor of our own. Eight-week-old Maggie, a gorgeous Caveshon puppy came to visit for 11 days while her owners were on vacation. I had volunteered to watch her when our friends told me they didn’t want to leave her in a kennel all that time. We introduced her to our zoo the week before she arrived and she had a blast during her visit. Joann and both spoiled her something terrible and she spent most of that time playing with Max and Bucca or curled up next to me while I read and caught up on things on the Internet.

Why do I share all this with you? Well, one of the things I learned while sitting with Maggie and going over some data is that over 63% of you are over the age of 45. Actually, the percentages are 45 – 54 years old, 28%, 55 – 64 years old, 29% and 65 years or older, 6%. 46% of you are female and the data says 54% are male. Apparently, there are no canines following the blog.

I figure that means that many of you probably have kids and grandkids of your own and you might like to hear a little bit about mine and even see their photos. At least I hope so. And, for the 20% of you between the ages of 21 and 34, I ask you to give me some leeway as I talk to kids and grandkids today.

For those of you who are into numbers, you’ve probably already added up the totals and realize that something like 17% is missing. That would be the 35 – 44-year-olds who also tune in and offer much of the feedback that I get here. I thank you for your continued reading and commenting.

I have quite a few new things I want to share with you that I’ve been working on this month. I’ll still be discussing sales, marketing, and creativity as well as leadership and the occasional foray into the world of politics and current events. You’re welcome to join in anytime and if you’d like to use my soapbox as a venue for your own post, just let me know. For now, enjoy the photos. And, when you’re done here, stop over and take a look at what Seth Godin and Paul Durban have been cooking up. It’s really, really good soup.

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