On the last day of August, I wrote a piece called “The Change.”  It was about the approach of Labor Day Weekend and how our seasons were evolving.  Much has happened here in the last 60 days.  We packed up and moved again.  This time is the LAST time.  Our house/cottage was finished on Friday, October 14th.  We moved on the following Monday the 17th. We are delighted with the results.  While I still have much unpacking and organizing to do, we are slowly getting to the point where some normalcy of life may return.  I want to take a moment to thank our builder.  Jeff Sherwood, owner of Sherwood Custom Homes.  Our little home was more of a hobby project for Jeff who is accustomed to building high-end executive and Parade of Homes type projects.  He showed no less interest in our project than he does any of the fabulous high-end homes he has built. Jeff is a great idea guy and a perfectionist.

In my lifetime, this is the sixth home I’ve had built, and I can say unequivocally that this was by far the easiest.  As we got to know Jeff and he got to know us, he seemed to have a profound gut feel for the kind of home we wanted.  He took so much of the burden of decision making upon himself which allowed us to enjoy the process.  He knew that we had faced many difficult challenges over the last five years and did everything he could to relieve us of any stresses that come with building.  Jeff is a class guy, an extremely honest man and he has surrounded himself with skilled craftsmen who are excellent people who never settle for less than their best.  Thank you, Jeff.  We are grateful beyond words.

It’s almost like Christmas here because I keep opening boxes marked “STORAGE” and
I am discovering things that have been packed away for a year and a half. Plates, serving dishes, kitchen tools, and appliances I had forgotten about.  I am excited to put them to good use.  By the end of this week, I hope to have rediscovered everything and put it in its place.
Perhaps I’ll even get to put the cars in the garage for the first time.  Does anyone need empty moving boxes?  I won’t need them again.  We are here to stay.

This brings me to the final point in all of this.  The plan all along has been to rediscover what I want to do with the rest of my life.  I have an office for writing and recording, and I have the kitchen I’ve always wanted. We are in the woods on a lake surrounded by beautiful trees and wildlife.  It’s quiet, secluded and inspiring.  I have a new job although it doesn’t seem like work at all.  The things I just mentioned happen to be all the things that I love most in life (other than the family of course) and these are the things I want to write and talk about.
I will be at this keyboard and in my kitchen developing recipes every single day.  It’s what I want to do. Every single one of us knows how hectic and stressful life can be.  Sometimes it feels like you can’t even find enough time to sit down for a minute and breathe between the job, the boss, the kids and their activities, the traffic, the bills.  Heck, even world events pile on the stress.  It can seem overwhelming at times, and you can’t seem to turn it off.

I want to be your “OFF” Switch.  I want nealdionne.com to be a safe place for you.
You and I can share recipes and family stories.  No politics here!  I want you to be able to smell the wood smoke in the air and hear the rustle of Michigan white pine in the breeze.
I want to describe what’s coming out of the oven in such detail that you can almost taste it.
I want to share with you the kinds of things we had the time to appreciate in a simpler time.
Many of you have written to say how much you miss my Morning Radio program.  I will soon be adding a Podcast feature to the website.  I will have a regular monolog so I can speak to you directly.  You’ll be able to listen anytime and anywhere.  So, if you need a break from the craziness, I’ll be here.  You and I have been friends for a long time.  Yes, I’ve missed you too!
You can always contact me here on the site, and I look forward to the exchange.

If you have friends who might enjoy this sort of thing, I’d be very grateful if you’d pass the word. Now that it’s November, its time to switch to heartier comfort foods and I have a new stove to figure out.  It’s a little intimidating because I’ve never had a piece of equipment like this to work with.

I’m going to head to the kitchen now to mess around, and I’m excited to share the results with you in my next blog piece.  Thank you for reading this, and I hope you’ll be back very soon.

Warmly,  Neal


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