Our Family

Family Calendar
Family Album

The Year in Review

December 2020
Nothing special about this December. Despite an abundance of care and caution, Jay tested positive for COVID-19 in December 3rd. By December 14th he tested negative and was fully okay. Of course, between the 3rd and the 14th there were most of the symptoms: sore muscles, a cough, excessive fatigue. But with the help of Joyce (AKA Nurse Ratched) he recovered nicely. This year Jay and Joyce celebrated Christmas Day with her side of the family. There were around 14 of us and we had a good time with food, fellowship, and Jay’s games.

November 2020
This month Joyce and her long time friend visited Gatlinburg, one of Joyce's favorite cities. During this time Jay visited Robert and his family in Alabama. Both visits created good times and sweet memories.

October 2020
This month Jay and Joyce traveled to St Augustine for a few days. While there we enjoyed eating at some nice restaurants, hopping on and off the trolley tour, visiting the lighthouse, and expereiencing the unique aspects of this very old Florida city.

September 2020
This month we returned to Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia, where we stayed on property at one of their three bedroon villas. Joining us were Robert's family and Karens's family. to get around the property - from the villa to the lake to the activities center ... we rented two 6-passenger golf carts, and riding around in these added a new and fun aspect to our adventure.

August 2020
Robert came in from Orlando with his family and we celebrated Karen's 50th Bithday at nearby Medard Park. The next day Jay joined Karen and her family at Holmes Beach in Bradenton. Braden, Daylin, and Skyler prepared to go back to (virtual) school. They were not happry with that, but Karen and Cathy felt that distancing precautions still needed to be practiced.August was go to UCF month for Conner Kernohan, and Joyce and Conner had made a lot of preparations for his freshman year there. They had worked hard to select a nice dormitory and to make sure Conner had all the supplies necessary for his stay there. Conner would be living in a four bedroom freshman suite with two other roommates and they would all be taking classes virtually.

July 2020
Jay and Joyce got away for two nights at the Bilmar Resort on Treasure Island Beach in St. Petersburg. Good times. Jay visited with Robert and his family when they were in Lakeland. On the 18th of July Joyce exercised her Second Amendment rights and purchased a pistol. She also purchased all the ancillary items: bullets, hearing protection, protective glasses, holster, and ammo. She practiced at the range and did well. Joyce and Jay also took the required training for a concealed weapons permit and filed their applications with the state of Florida. Note: You might want to knock loudly before your come in to our house.

June 2020
This must have been surgery month. Joyce had two separate hospital days; one for cataract surgery on her left eye and another for cataract surgery on her right eye. Both procedures turned out very well and now Joyce can read the fine print on all the advertising we get in our junk mail. Hunter Wooden also had surgery, to remove some pins in his leg that were part of a surgical solution to a broken leg he had years ago. The steel rod will remain but the pins had come loose and were causing him some discomfort. This procedure needed to be done because Hunter was considering entering the US Air Force. Jay and Joyce along with the Karen Alvarez family, spent the weekend in Orlando at the Westgate Lakes Resort. There they played miniature golf, swam in the pool, competed in board games at night, ate out at Longhorn Steakhouse, and played paddle ball on the grounds of ICONN Park. A nice time. Not a lot to report this month. COVID-19 precautions still dampened our activities and so Jay's racquetball had been out since March but this month one of his racquetball buddies set up a PickleBall court in his driveway, so Jay switched racquet sports. PickleBall is fun. Jay also resumed playing golf, with safety precautiions in effect. he learned that COVID-19 had somehow made his golf game ten strokes worse!

May 2020
Karen continued to struggle at her hospice work due to the shortage of PPE and the rest of us continued with social distancing. Bummer. We had graduation celebrations for Hunter Wooden (from USF) and Conner Kernohan (from Bloomingdale High School and about to attenbd UCF).

April 2020
This month will be remembered mostly for how the United States and the world attempted to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. In the US alone, the death toll went from 3,746 on April 1st to 55,225 on April 30th. Concurrently, unemployment numbers soared and the stock markets were in the tank. Cities scrambled to locate N95 masks, PPE for health care workers, and ventilators for critically ill patients. Jay and Joyce did "sneak out" to deliver Barbeque to the doctors and staff on the COVID-19 ward of Advent hospital, but mostly adhered to stay-at-home and self-isolation mandates and practiced social distancing when they did have to be in public. On the upside, Jay’s mom seemed to being okay in her nursing home and we got to speak with her fairly regularly using our iPhone FaceTime software. Her 99th birthday was on April 10th, and we met virtually to send our best wishes. We did have some sadness in the house: Mosby went to cat heaven. He was a great pet and will be missed very much. Puppy Cinny remained, however, to bolster our spirits.

March 2020
Armed with surgical masks, germicide sprays, and Lysol wipes, Jay and Joyce flew to Hawaii for six great nights. Yes, the Coronavirus was out there, but no reports cases in Oahu. They had a great time and some pictures of their visit are here. They returned to a mainland overwhelmed with cases of COVID-19, schools closing, businesses closing, and to essentially self-isolation. Jay did play in the Polk County Senior Games before things got really serious (and even won his age group by kicking the crutches out from his opponents), but even gave up his twice-a-week golf, citing an overabundance of caution plus the fact that his family would kill him if he caught the virus and died.

February 2020
February was a month of a number of things. jay and Joyce visited the Florida State Fair to include its horticultural exhibits and even Jay could tell thatr Joyce would have won Best of Show there should she have entered one of her Fairy Dish Gardens. Jay visited his Mom in Indianapolis who is now in assisted living. She is well, all things considered. Blessings to Ellen who sees her almost daily, arranges her doctor appointments and gets Mom to them, does her laundry, and interacts with the staff to stay informed and to be a presence in the home ... a good way to keep care to one's family member at the best possible level. Joyce also succumbed to getting some attention to her back, visiting a neurological spine surgeon, beginning therapy sessions, and getting scheduled at a surgical center for a spinal injection that had some promise of helping ease her pain. This was also the month that Jay sold his townhome that he owned and had been renting in the valrico area for eight years. His great tenant Carlos had decided to move and Jay decided not to be in the landlord business any longer. The sale was fast and smooth. And - meanwhile - Jay and Joyce continued preparations for their upcoming Hawaii trip while watching the Coronavirus in China beginning to spread worldwide ... wondering if all that travel would be safe.

January 2020
In early January Jay returned to Orlando with Karen and her family to cash in on remaining passes from the December visit. This time they tried another Escape Room (and again successfully escaped) and also played video games, had lunch, and drove Karts at the NASCAR I-Drive attraction. In mid-January Jay and Joyce's life changed when they added a new member to the household; two-month-old Cinnabar Braden ("Cinny), a loveable five pound mix of Bichon Frise and Shih Tsu. Why would anyone want to sleep through the night when you can get up at 3 AM to walk the dog? Also Joyce continued her efforts as essentially a patient advocate for a number of friends and one relative: grandson Devin who broke a bone in his ankle and required surgery to insert a pin to hold the bones in place. Lastly, Jay and Joyce joined the boistrous crowds to watch the Gasparilla Pirate Parade in downtown Tampa (Aaargh!). A fun time and they collected almost more beads than they could carry.