Family Journal: July 24, 2021

Owen with his new ride!

Much of the summer was spent getting Owen ready for university. We bought a Nissan Rouge SV used car for him (and us when we visit in the summers). Hopefully soon he will get a drivers license so he can take it all the way to Michigan. We purchased the car from a CarVision Nissan dealer in Hazleton, PA. Our luck would have it that used car prices are up 43% in the USA this summer due to the pandemic. We did get a pretty good price on a car with low mileage. Most importantly, the 2019 model has many safety features including the blind spot warning and a warning system when the car crosses the centerline or edge of the road. This is important to us for a male, teenage driver. The car handles well and is much better than the car my parents bought me for university, a used 1980 Ford Zephyr. 

We played some tennis and golf in our last week in the USA. There are good public courts in Freeland and I was the ball boy for Nadia, Oliver and Owen. Our family loves tennis and we are following Novak Djokovic’s quest for the golden calendar slam. For those non-tennis people, the calendar slam is winning all four major tennis tournaments (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open) in the same season. He already won the first three and the US Open in September is his final hurdle. The “golden” part is the summer Olympics gold medal. Novak has his second round match tonight in Tokyo. I took the boys to the local driving range in Drums, PA. They have a nice mini-golf course and I defeated both Owen and Oliver. Owen then borrowed my uncle’s clubs and hit buckets of balls on the driving range. He can hit much further than me. 

My shoulder is feeling much better and Dr. Neil gave me the green light to try to do as much as I can. He said if it starts to hurt, to ease up. I still have 2 to 4 months of healing, but I am slowly getting back to normal. I think I may even try to go for a morning jog this week when I return to Tashkent. Being hit by a car puts things into perspective regarding my cycling. I didn’t see or hear the car coming and I worry that as I get older, my reaction time and coordination are slowing. In a city with reckless drivers, it may have been a matter of time that an accident occurred and I am lucky I didn’t fall on my head or had a more serious injury. Then this week the tragic death of New York Jets assistant football coach Greg Abbott, age 58 (above) also shook me up a bit. He was killed in the middle of the afternoon while riding close to his home in California. He was in a designated bike line and like me, was struck from behind by a car going in the same direction. Doing some more research, I read of the high number of deaths from cycling and I also have friends that have had more serious car collisions than me. I have decided to stop cycling in the city and will only ride my bike on less traveled country roads and trails. I am sure I’ll blog more about this in the upcoming months. 

We finished up packing and on my last full day in the USA, Owen and I hiked the “mountain trail” in the nearby Nescopeck State Park in Drums, Pennsylvania. The 4 mile hike was insignificant regarding scenery or landmarks, but it was just nice to spend a quiet time walking and talking with my son through the woods. We were the only people on the trails in the late afternoon. I cherish the times I shared with my eldest son and it was a good way to say goodbye as he heads off to university next month. I am already counting the days until he comes back for Christmas in December.

Mountain Trail – Nescopeck State Park – July 24, 2021

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