A Day at the Office

This week went by way too fast, yesterday morning it was already time to take Dad to the airport to head back home to Rochester; someone has to put gas in the car.  As we drove through Albuquerque, we were all impressed with the artistic detail of their bridges, highway sound barriers, and the amount of great public artworks; Albuquerque is a classy city.  Dad, hope you make it back out soon, but at least I can stop acting like I’m being careful with the trailer for a while.  The car is a whole different matter.

Thankfully, a few years ago during benefits open enrollment at work I opted for long term disability.  In a time like this, the last thing you need on your full plate is financial stress.  My strong advice, if long term disability is an option, take it!!  However the drawback, MetLife requires that I apply for social security disability benefits to offset part of their cost.  With Shannon’s support, we faced this bureaucratic nightmare head-on this morning.  For about four hours we filled out the applications with information that I thought I had already provided numerous times on my tax forms?  With breakfast and lunch in bed, this was starting to look like another zero day…

…however, later in the afternoon I managed to rally.  Geared up in my Warsaw Poll Vaulting Club t-shirt, we headed down to the Old Town of Albuquerque.  Growing up, high school track was an important part of my life.  On weekends, track invitationals were  often a sort of family reunion as we “competed” with our cousins.  Cousin Mike took his love of the sport to the next level when he became a phys-ed teacher and track coach.  Poll Vaulting has become his specialty, and he has coached kids all over the Rochester area to amazing success.  Most exciting for us to watch has been his own daughter Karmen, one of the top eighth graders in the country, who recently vaulted 11’6″.  I am sure you will be seeing her name over the next few years.  Congratulations to you both, and we can’t wait to see more!!  However, I recommend more subdued t-shirts in the future, I look like a pumpkin.

With Dad back home, the balance of power shifted; Mom and Shannon declared mutiny on the Volvo and dragged me out shopping for arts and crafts.  The old town had tons of shops with great native Mexican & American art.  Most notable were the Oaxacan painted carvings; the intricacy of the painting is phenomenal.  However, they come at at great price as well; the best are a couple thousand.  I pushed Shannon toward the much less expensive place-mat sized hand woven rugs.  We both had great visions of pimping our ride: rug floor mats, bull horns, and a cow hyde throw for the back seat.  The Volvo has become home.

We had dinner right in Old Town and a restaurant called The Church Street Cafe.  Out of a commitment to my stomach, I stayed away from their more notorious Mexican food and ordered a ham sandwich.  When it arrived, I felt full just at the sight.  I ate a couple of fries, and packed it up in a to go box, kicked back on their comfortable bench seat covered in pillows, and enjoyed the great atmosphere.  Meanwhile, Mom & Shannon soaked up some margaritas…Debbie, they left us craving a good beerita.


About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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11 Responses to A Day at the Office

  1. Cousin Michelle, Mario, and Simona says:

    Nice shout out to PVP and Coach/Cousin Mike!!!!
    Karmen and Mike are headed to our place in NJ tomorrow for the weekend and Karmen will be competing in NYC this weekend. We are very proud of her (and Mike!!) Can’t wait to see them!

    Bret I dont envy the paperwork… YUCK. A bureaucratic nightmare is a very nice way of putting it I am sure. Reminds me of serveral stages of life when the never ending prying of the details of your life come out on paper (mortgage, taxes, travel visas….) not fun. But at least you guys got a ZERO DAY and breakfast and lunch in bed.

  2. Debbie Kruse says:

    Just remember that I will always have a pitcher of the beeritas ready if you come back way again. Plus free use of the washer and dryer!

    All my love to everyone – daily hugs come to you all!


  3. Gordy Warn says:

    Hi Bret,

    I like the view from your office better than mine! Your trip looks amazing and the photos are great. By the way, I downloaded Edwarde Sharpe’s “Up from Below” from itunes and I must say it’s excellent. One of those albums you can put in and listen to from beginning to end without the urge to skip a song. Thanks for the recommendo!

    Keep posting those great photos!


  4. Cousin Mike says:

    1st, you look awesome in that shirt! 🙂
    2nd, kids today… they love the crazy T-shirts. Last year was a tie-dye, then the neon orange and now “safety green” which really just makes them look like walking yellow highlighters!

  5. Nancy Hoefen says:

    Are you headed to Denver? Stop by. This is your cousin Nancy, William Hoefen’s daughter. I live just north of Denver and you are welcome to stop in. I have an extra bedroom if you don’t mind dogs. I have two siberian huskies.
    What kind of bike are you riding? It’s kind of cold this time of year to be riding. Its supposed to possibly snow this weekend and then get up in the high 40’s next week. Let me know.

  6. Nancy Hoefen says:

    If you can’t make it up here, I hope you have a great trip.

  7. Uncle Lee and Aunt Sharon says:

    You look great in that PVP t-shirt, Bret. It is a bit bright, but you wear the orange well! That must have helped get you up and going after a full morning of filling out paperwork! Ugh! At least you got to kick back a little and have a half a zero day in the process. (I meant to mention earlier – “zero day” is what Uncle Lee and I refer to as “jammie day” aka known as stay in your pajamas all day and chill out. We always used to do that the day after Christmas and watch movies all day. It has become such a sacred tradition, I even threatened to go to a family party the day after Christmas in my pj’s once. Of course, I really didn’t!) Nice acknowledgment of Mike and Karmen – we’re extremely proud of them too! 🙂
    Looks like the Volvo is getting a cozy, homey look with the addition of that beautiful woven rug. Pretty classy floor mat – be sure to wipe your feet before you get in the car! 🙂 But I’m wondering where the bull horns will go?
    Will be anxious to hear where you’re headed next. Hopefully, you can avoid the snow and cold. We’re talking single digits to below zero temps. overnight here for the weekend! And of course, accompanied by more of the white stuff! On a positive note, there have been some beautiful winter wonderland looking mornings this past week.
    Take care and know we’re thinking of you every mile you travel. Sending you, Shanny and your Mom big hugs and much love.

  8. Uncle Lee and Aunt Sharon says:

    I forgot to comment on your being “proofed/carded”……Sorry you couldn’t end up getting a glass of wine but what an “honor” to have had to show proof – way to go girl! It’s obvious why they had to check – you look GREAT you young thing! 🙂

  9. Cousin Mike says:

    Brett & Aunt Betsy,
    Quick random story about being “carded” (asked for ID). When I was a very young coach, 21-22 years old, I went out to a Geneseo bar with our coaching staff. I walked in first without being asked for ID. My former coach (who at the time had to be in his mid-40’s) walked in behind me and they wouldn’t let him in without seeing ID. He said, “are you kidding?” then grabbed me in front of him, pulled me back and said, “This is my son!”. The “bouncer” then looked a little embarrassed and let him in.
    Yikes, this is probably the first time my parents are hearing this story. Hmmm…. I should be careful in future posts not to reveal too much about the past that may incriminate myself. Mom, Dad, if you happen to look behind any posters in my old room, and there’s a hole in the drywall… Michelle did it.
    (There. Little sister officially thrown under bus)

    • Cousin Michelle, Mario, and Simona says:

      Michelle: “MOM!!!!!….. (michelle crying in the background), Mike just bit me and said I punched a hole in his wall”
      Mom: “MIKE– GO TO YOUR ROOM and leave your sister alone”

      See Mike I still win, even on blog posts 25 years later. You really think mom and dad will side with you, they know their little angel would do no harm! 🙂

  10. Uncle Lee and Aunt Sharon says:

    “Mike, go to your room!” “Michelle, go to your room!”
    25 years and they still think they can pull one over on me! Nice try, guys! 🙂
    Love, Mom

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