We have a lot of family that lives on the East coast. Not only on Mary Margaret’s side of the family tree, who we have been visiting since we arrived here the Washington DC area, but on my side also. In fact, we used to live in Delaware for 9 years starting way back in 1976. We moved there when I was accepted into U. of Delaware’s Ph.D. program in Marine Engineering. Mary Margaret also finished her Master’s program in Nursing at U. of Pennsylvania while we lived there and all three of our kids were born in Delaware.
As I write this, my brother, Don, and his wife, Debbie, are driving from Connecticut, where they have lived for years, to Blaine, Washington. Don has just retired and they have bought a new house in Blaine where they will be living. They have a beautiful 40-foot Grand Banks trawler which they keep in Bellingham and then use to sail around the San Juan Islands and up the Inland Passage to Alaska.
They have two daughters that still live on the East coast. The youngest, Sarah, lives with her husband, John, up in New Jersey while the eldest, Katie, lives in Maryland, not far from Washington DC.
My family’s history on the East coast even goes back to when my parents, shortly after I was born in 1950, moved to Fort Lee, New Jersey so my dad could attend Columbia University where he got his Masters Degree in Education. We lived there for three years, before moving to Michigan, where he received his Ph.D. at Michigan State University.
Thus, you can see we have a significant history on the East coast and that is why Mary Margaret and I wanted to drive all the way across the US to come here. Family means a lot to us and we longed to meet up with as many of our relatives that we could.
Today, we were treated with a get-together with our niece, Katie, who is my brother, Don’s, daughter. We last saw her in 2015. She is a remarkable woman, as she is making her way up the corporate ladder in the male dominated gaming profession. She is a manager at a Maryland casino, in charge of up to 80 dealers and pit bosses. She loves her job and the company she works for, which we find very exciting. We have long preached to our kids that whatever job they have, they need to chose one where they will be happy. One spends so much time at work that if it is not something one enjoys, it can have a profound impact on one’s immediate family and outlook on life.
Since it was a work “day” for Katie (her shift starts at 5 PM), we got together for lunch at a restaurant which was more convenient for her instead of coming to our bus. She shared with us that it was a restaurant that she would meet her dad at whenever he would come to Washington DC.
Along with managing part of a casino, she is also a part time professional gambler. She no longer does this as much as she once did (she used to live in Las Vegas before moving back to the East coast) but still enjoys competing at the gaming tables. This was something that I was curious to learn more about and I learned that when she gambles, she usually sells a subscription to raise money and then splits her winnings with the various subscription holders. Katie shared with us that she is fairly well known and does not have a hard time selling out her subscriptions since she has always turned a profit at this endeavor for her and her subscription holders. Wow! That is pretty darn amazing.
The time flew by and all too soon it was time say our good byes so Katie could return home and get ready for work. It was a special treat for us to see Katie again and we hope it will not be too long before we can see her again.