Winning!!!!! Defeat was not an Option!

Just couldn't resist posting this

In my mind bells are chiming, whistles are blowing, foam fingers reading “KeJen is #1” are waving and people are cheering for me because I WON.  Today is the first day of Spring and that means I officially made it through my first Boston winter!!!  If that doesn’t equal “Winning!!!!”, I don’t know what does.  The first day of Spring here was beautiful – the mercury rose right up to 70 and the sun was so bright, I think I may have gotten a bit burned.  Hmmph.  I wish.  Subtract 38 degrees, throw in light to moderate snowfall followed by cold misty rain and that is what Day 1: Spring 2011 brought to the good folks of Arlington, Mass.

We did have two back-to-back days of 65+ degrees and sun last week.  Plus, I know that in a few weeks I can put away the coat and gloves and embrace t-shirt weather.

Ken won’t have to wait as long.  It has already begun to warm up nicely at Camp Stone.  I think he said it was about 70 degrees one day last week.  I would have been jealous, but even the simplest comfort and joy in his life provides me with comfort as well.  But just about two weeks ago, it was snowing there (I think Boston and Western Afghanistan have the same weather patterns).

March snowfall at Camp Stone

Enough about the weather, the real news since I last posted, aside from the arrival of Spring of course, is that Ken will be home is about 80 days, I lost my job, my grandpa had a stroke and I decided to try to freelance my way out of unemployment.

First things first…time has kind of flown by and Ken will be home in just 80 days.  That’s just a little over two months.  About 11 weeks.  Again, WINNING!

Next…Revolution Fitness, the gym where I was the Director of Marketing and Community Outreach, a job that I loved, closed on February 28th. The gym closed due to an inability to reach a workable lease agreement.  It all happened pretty suddenly and was hard on everyone.  The members (some of whom had been going to the same gym for 28 years, the trainers, the staff and especially Derek, the owner).  Derek and his wife, Sarah, have gone out of their way to make sure that we all find jobs that we enjoy (more on my new gig later).

The sad news now…my paternal grandfather, Pops George, a man for whom I have much respect and love, suffered a stroke on Friday, February 25th.  This stroke left him with global aphasia. He has been in the hospital going through inpatient rehab and was released today to begin outpatient rehab. His recovery is something that will be ongoing. Not being with my family during this time has been hard and am really looking forward to being there.  My grandmother, Memaw Mary, who since my mom’s death in 2009 has become more of a maternal figure to me, has reassured me that the family is fine with me here in Boston.  I am hoping that I can spend some time with them and help Memaw with Pops later this Spring and Summer.  I looked for a picture of them both, but couldn’t find any.  My Uncle Phil emailed me a picture of Pops that he took with his camera phone last week.

Pops George with his dog, Buck on the patio at he and my Memaw's home in West Point, MS

Speaking of my grandparents…my Memaw said she was very proud when I told her I had decided to try to go into business for myself.   I know that the freelancing world is tough – especially in the social media world, but I’m going for it and am really excited.   My focus is social media management (if you don’t know what this is, it’s a-okay – a lot of folks don’t.  This site’ll kind of tell ya.) and right now I just have two clients, but that will change.  Ginger Media (The biz name with which I am going.  If you are interested why I chose Ginger Media aside from the obvious answer of my hair color, ask) will be in full swing in no time – hopefully.  When I get a website up, you all will be the first to know.

Ken has been super supportive during all of this.  I couldn’t ask for a better friend or boyfriend during the last month.  And on top of him being super rad, his family and friends have been quite rad, too.   Thank you all for your cards, candy, candles and especially the head massager.

While I’ve been starting my freelancing business, Ken has been doing some really cool things.  He and a colleague are planning an on base 5k to support needy women and children in Herat.  I am so excited to be able to help with this and hear about it as it develops.  Also, Ken has been going on quite a few site visits – visiting his clients.

Below are a few pictures Ken sent me.  I am a big fan (read: I think he looks quite handsome) of the one of him in the Blackhawk.  If you think it’s pretty rad that Ken was riding in a Blackhawk you may want to visit this site to see how Blackhawks work.

At Camp Stone you just throw out your thumb and a Blackhawk lands

Riding in a Blackhawk looks like fun!

Besides getting to his site visit, Ken was able to see this

Write more soon…should be easier to type after I thaw out and drink some tiger blood.