Meet the Johnsons

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Al and sue at Dolly Sods with Rascal
If you're curious, we're Al and Sue Johnson.  We've lived in Virginia for over 30 years but seem to think of West Virginia as home.  Since the circumstances seemed right, we decided to make it official and move to West Virginia.  Virginia was OK but the DC area is so crowded it got hard to deal with.  Everything, especially in a car, is aggravating.  We've started looking at other areas to live.  I got laid off and Sue is willing so this might be a good time.  Morgantown was a pretty easy choice so we moved here.  Actually to Bruceton Mills about 15 miles east of Morgantown

Sue was a nurse with Kaiser Permanente.  She spent several years working in an emergency room before settling in with Kaiser.  She has finally moved here full time and is working for Amedisys.  They're a visiting nurse organization.  We actually had to buy her a used car because of the winters here.  Seems like it snows every day and its 11 degrees now.  She has a used all wheel drive Subaru.  In June 2010, Sue left Amedisys and now works for a clinic associated with the WVU  hospital.  She's a lead nurse and is very happy in her new position.

Until April 18, 2008, I worked with CSC and did for 30+ years.  Some of those years are with companies ultimately bought by CSC.  Most recently I've been a Program Manager on an effort with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  I've probably seen the inside of more prisons that most of you.  Hopefully, anyway.  Now that this effort has ended, I'm on the job market.  In three weeks, I was unable to find a new job within CSC and was laid off.  CSC has little regard for people in the face of overhead rates.  I put my resume here if you're interested in reading about a PM that also likes travel and photography.  You can right click here and download the MS Word version if you'd like.  I'd happily work in other areas of your business if you'd have me.  If you are in the need of someone like me, let me know.  The job search here is very frustrating.  I'm having problems finding jobs and even more trouble getting information back from potential employers.  I'll put more in the blog later.

We had a lot of work done on the Reston house.  Upgraded bathrooms, new carpet, new pant and other things too numerous to list.  After living there 24 years, we had to do something to fix it up.  The result didn't even look like out house.    My oldest daughter said she had trouble figuring out which room which in the pictures I took.  The process of getting there was fairly painful.  We had people in our house every morning and for the day.  Dust everywhere.  I bought the needed material and hauled old stuff to the dump to keep ahead of them.  Schedules were missed and recovered only with extra labor.  Little things were done incorrectly and had to be corrected.  It was never ending.  The work was to be done on a Friday and didn't finish until Tuesday evening.  The house went on the market on October 1 so that cut it very tight.  Hind sight says that was also about the same time the housing market went into the toilet.  We listed the house for $495K and sold it 8 months later for $450K.  We were still able to make the move work out OK and have a very small mortgage.  Now if we can only find jobs in Morgantown. 

If it were up to me, I'd probably be a photographer.  I've had several people tell me I should sell various pictures.  The problem is that there's been far less people saying they'd like to buy one.  I'll keep taking pictures for my own amusement and sharing some of them here.  I may be a better storyteller than photographer anyway.  Just to try something different, I put a store on Smugmug.com.  After a year, I sold 9 copies of the same picture to a lady in California.  Should be no surprise that the store is closed now.

We probably still qualify as Parrotheads.  We've been to 12 Jimmy Buffett shows since 1996.  For the past couple of years our travel schedule has conflicted with his virtual beach and party in the parking lot.  We've been going to Yellowstone National Park at about the same time as his shows.  We still like his music but have trouble working his shows into the schedule.  As much fun as his shows are, the reality of the great outdoors is much better.  Maybe next summer we'll make it to Pittsburgh for a show up there.

We have two daughters but neither lives at home.  Michelle lives in Morgantown, WV.  She's married and had her first daughter in early May.  There's pictures we try to keep updated on this site if you're interested.  She's a counselor with the VA.  She's also a diehard Mountaineer fan.  The baby's first picture was taken in a blue and gold outfit.  Brynn is now 20 months old.

Angela lives in Park City, UT.  At least sometimes.  She's more of a traveler than we are so you never know where she'll be.  She spent 7 months in Belize before coming to see us at Christmas.  Right now she's working hard providing child care for several people in Park City.  If you ever meet her, she'll introduce herself as Moment.

When we have time, we like to camp and kayak.  Not necessarily at the same time even though we almost went kayak camping one time.  We've got enough backing gear to make it work but weather got in the way.  Our camping trips seem to take us to West Virginia.  Particularly Dolly Sods and the Big Bend area in Smoke Hole.  Kayaking finds us frequently in Chincoteague, VA or at Pohick Bay along the Potomac River.  We'll let someone else do the white water stuff.  We've both got two boats and enough gear to take guests.  Now we need to find a good place in West Virginia.

We're both avid West Virginia Mountaineer fans.  We usually have season tickets and manage to get to all the home games.  At least as long as they don't play many on Thursdays.  We used to go on Friday evening and come back on Sunday morning, making a weekend of it.  We've found rustic cabins at Chestnut Ridge Park and stayed in them.  The wood burning stoves keep us warm as it gets colder.  We've found that sitting around the fire outside makes it nice even when we lose.  Now that we live here, we only stop at Chestnut Ridge to visit or for a bluegrass concert.

Well, there's a bit about us.  I'm 61 as of August.  Sue will be 35 again this year, I imagine.  I guess one of us has to age.

If you think you see us someplace, say Hi!  We enjoy meeting new people wherever we go.