She Drove on the Highway, and our First Houseguest! :D

by John McNichol on August 13, 2016


Hey, all!
Nice little milestone out here this week:
When we had our amazing realtor, David Ross, look for our house, we told that that (among other things) we needed to be close to side streets & able to get around without the highway. Jeanna, since her stroke, has had difficulty driving in unfamiliar areas, and especially so on unfamiliar highways.

When we went to return the U-Haul  this week, Jeanna followed with her Mom in the van we bought. I pulled over at one point, realizing that the GPS was sending me along the President George Bush Turnpike.

“Are you okay to drive the Highway, hon?” I said in a clapboard church parking I’d drove the U-Haul into, ignoring the stares of the folks who were already there. Oops.

“Umm….yeah!” Jeanna said, acting as if I was from Mars.


Better yet: I was trying to change lanes, looking for a big enough space that Jeanna could follow. Not easy, when you’re a 26ft U-Haul followed by a 7-asenger minivan. :)

Instead, Jeanna took the initiative, swooped into the lane behind me, and then slowed down to give me room! Here I was worried about her, and she took care of me instead!


We visited the school, too. My colleagues are amazing people, one and all, instantly warming up to myself, Jeanna, her mom and the kids. One staffer even said hello by giving my MiL a big hug, and that won her over instantly! The school will be, I think, a great fit, and I’m really enjoying the prep work. The inservice presentations have been interesting and insightful, and I’ve gotten a lot out of them, too.

We also had our first houseguest, a lovely young woman named Mary B_____. We’ve known her & her family since the early 2000s, and now that she’s a University of Dallas student, she dropped by with homemade cookies, and we had a wonderful time & Spaghetti dinner with her. After all the work Jeanna’s been doing, It was wonderful to hear her laughing in the kitchen with our daughter, Mary, and her mom. I helped a bit, too, browning the meat before the sauce was added. :)

Ended the day with the family rosary, and now off to look at used cars, and uniforms for the kids for when school starts!  :)

God thank you for today, and please bless our endeavors. St. Joseph, thank you for your prayers- the move has gone smoothly so far. Whew!
AmenDallas-the girls cookingDallas-first houseguest!


by John McNichol on August 11, 2016

Hey, all!
Busy, busy, Busy! 
Getting ready for the new school year, kids getting tested, going for orientation, and me getting curriculum ready for my future students! 
Just a few pics for now:
1) The Arlington Mall at night. Like Standing in a a sauna, but the sky was beautiful.
2) Family arrived in Dallas! The poor things had to get up at 2:30 am, can you guess which ones just stayed up all night?
3) The first meal for the first night…chicken with Strawberry salsa sauce. Taste better than it sounds….at least i thought so….  ;)  Along with sliced fruit- cinnamon apples and oranges. It was a hot night, and even though we had AC I wanted something cool.

to texas- arlington mall at nightto texas- welcome family!to texas-first meal

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Moving….FORWARD! :D

by John McNichol on August 9, 2016

Hey, all!
Well, the house is good and I like it! It’s older, which means it has a few things to be fixed. Some of the Things that Jeanna and her mom have said were broken turned out to be fine…whew!

Moved the fridge into place with Dano and the help of an appliance dolly, thank you Uhaul! I felt a little sad turning the truck in today, to be honest. After driving 2050 miles in it, I actually got attached to the giant thing, leg cramps and all. :)

The job is going great so far! Great colleagues, great admin, got to see my classroom, and meet a few students. MiL took us out to dinner tonight at the Golden Corral- all you can eat place!

Glad to see, too, that several of the kids stepped up to help out today, in unexpected and enjoyable ways!

Still hearing from good friends, even though At&t goofed up our new phone number…but stuff like that is bugging me less and less. A good new friend told me today that it’d be better to just accept that a house built in the 50s like ours is gonna have these kinds of issues; things like doors that stick, stove elements that choose when to work, and so on.

And you know what? I’m not too worried at all.
I budgeted to have repairs like this made from the profit of our first house sale.
Plus, we have a basement! A place where the kids can be noisy! Use pogo sticks, ride their scooters, play ping pong, watch movies with explosions in them, and the whole gamut! A few issues that can be fixed by a repairman is worth that, to me.

And today, JEanna seemed much brighter. A good friend gave me this recently, and I’m going to remember it for a while:


…thank you, St Ignatius of Loyola. You were the patron Saint of my oldest son at his Confirmation. Please pray for him and my other kids as well.
St. Joseph, thank you for the guidance you’ve shown me thus far. Please continue to pray for and guide me, as a Dad who’s moved his family. Mother Mary, pray for me. Christ guide all my steps.



Saturday, Saturday…

by John McNichol on August 7, 2016

Hey, all!
Summary of Saturday:
-woke up, after sleeping for 8.75 hours (that’s a LOT for me!)
-Picked up a Washer & Dryer from a couple moving to Edmonton (Thank you, Mike, Sarah and the ICON network!)

-Unloaded the truck, with the help of some old and new friends!

-waiting for the internet to get installed.

Slept well, after struggling mightily to get the mattress into the master bedroom. Whew! Felt good!

Got called in to get the washer & dryer, and met four new friends, Dads with the Icon network. A good day!

At 7pm, old friends showed up to help unload, and then a few new friends (friends of friends, really) showed up and we got to work. Wow…it took a week to pack the thing, and we took it apart in under 2 hours. Whoo hoo! After, we had pizza, and found that the new family I met still remembers Rescues(pro-life protests) that Jeanna was on in Pittsburg in the 80s. “Honey,” I told Jeanna on the phone that night, “You’re a celebrity out here!”

Fellow came by to hook up the internet, but didn’t quite happen. Still waiting, and doing my blogging over at McD’s today.

Sunday (today), went to Mater Dei parish. I haven’t been to too many Latin masses, but this was quite beautiful, and no one gave me the least hassle for showing up out of the dress code they ask parishioners to respect. :) Met some good friends for lunch in the parish hall after mass, and made some mor new friends, too. Whew!

Today: Trying to get the fridge, then building beds, then unpacking. Tomorrow,at the job at 8:30 in the Morning, get Jeanna and the kids and my MiL at the airport at noon, and return the van. Whew!
Thank you God, for the good people you are putting in our lives. Help me to do well,


Days 3 and 4….

by John McNichol August 6, 2016

Hey, All! Nope, I  didn’t disappear. Just got very, very busy. Starting over from… Day 3 I rolled through Wyoming, and saw the most beautiful mountains I think I will ever see. The best parts couldn’t be photographed, since I was in motion and had to make time each day.   Colorado was beautiful too, […]

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Broke-down in Denver…

by John McNichol August 3, 2016

Hey, all! The Brakes on the U-Haul started doing the electronic-screaming-thing at me after I finished my lunch at Wendy’s (eating my own Ham & Cheese sandwich, water bottle, and bought fries as an excuse to sit in the AC’d place.) , so I called roadside, and as of this writing, he’s still checking things […]

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In Rawlins, WY

by John McNichol August 3, 2016

  In Rawlins, WY!   Whew!   Driving: Not so bad, except for the darn leg cramps, and my GPS which teases me at the beginning of the day by saying that I’ll hit my destination by 4:15 in the afternoon….then 4:30…then 5:30….then 7pm….I now know that 8.5 hour journeys by map quest take about […]

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In Glenn’s Ferry, ID…

by John McNichol August 2, 2016

Day 1: ….so why Dallas? Short version: I’ve been looking at getting my PhD in Lit for a while. I have 2 Master’s degrees, but they couldn’t get me the University prof job I was angling for a few years back. UDallas has a program that is affordable, had a good academic rep, and there’s […]

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by John McNichol August 1, 2016

  Hello, all! John here again. Well, the McNichol family is up and moving about! Starting tomorrow, I get into the U-Haul truck, and begin the long drive from Vancouver, WA to Dallas, Tx! I plant to move the family to the suburb of Grand Prairie, TX so that I may pursue my PhD in […]

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Oh, yeah. I write books, too.

by John McNichol June 28, 2016

6/28/16 Hey, all. -Well, things have been BUSY the past few, even if you don’t take into account Jeanna’s latest steps on the road to recovery (see previous post): – 1) It appears a story of mine, titled Two Kinds of People, will be featured in an anthology of Catholic short stories. Centered around themes […]

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