It’s on for young and old.

DOM Team | |

I don’t think I can cope.

My mother is currently charging around like a kid in a candy store on a sugar rush. Everything is super, smashing, great and lovely – and those are just the superlatives uttered relating to the clearance aisle in Wal-Mart. I think it’s fairly safe to say that she’s taken by Wheeling and American ways in general. But, both Steph and I are completely pooped and we’re only on day three. Steph takes care of her during the day until she takes a work break at four, then I get to look after her in the evenings.

 

It wasn’t an immediate love affair having spent all day Tuesday getting here and not arriving back in Wheeling until midnight. But, that has something to do with us losing our Garmin then losing track of time at the OVConnect shindig held at Tony and Cleo’s the same evening.

If I could’ve avoided Tuesday’s inaugural wine tasting I would’ve. I wasn’t really in much of a mood to mix it and match it with a bunch of young guns who I didn’t know; especially considering I’m in the upper stratosphere of the age range. If it hadn’t been for the fact that Justin is a key player in OVConnect proceedings and life round here might’ve been slightly strained for a couple of days / weeks / months, I’d have given it a miss.

But, I would’ve missed a thoroughly splendid little do; and so would Steph for that matter. It was infinitely better than I remotely anticipated. A couple of beers and I wasn’t fretting about my GPS lifeline going missing – after all, I’d seen signs previously whilst visiting Pittsburgh, and I didn’t think they were there just for show. We were having such a blast that we didn’t even use our ‘get out of event free’ card. I mean, planes very rarely arrive slap-bang on time and it takes a while to find your bags, right?

Wrong.

The plane landed thirty minutes before it was supposed to and my ma managed to get off and sorted straight away. Steph and myself also managed to go hurtling past the airport turnoff due to us chunnering animatedly about how good the OVConnect do was and how it could shape up to be a great thing to be a part of (or words to that effect). I entered the airport to see her darting about and looking flustered. I sometimes wish she was a bit more Fonzie than Potsy, but it honestly wasn’t my fault that we were nearly an hour and a half late. Blame OVConnect.

Generally I’m too cool to gush excitedly about anything. I’d probably only raise an eyebrow if I won a mega-millions jackpot, and I’d consider that to be show-boating. But it’s something I’m definitely looking forward to more of. Justin even managed to get a sizeable chunk of his recent State Journal feature devoted to OVConnect:

“We need to be able to keep our talent here,” he said.

To that end, he is helping to create a young professionals group called OVConnect, which he hopes will give younger business leaders a networking foundation to help keep them active in the Ohio Valley, not just in West Virginia but in neighboring communities as well.

“I really think this group we’re starting up is so important because there is no group — even socially, not just business — that is trying to keep people here,” Seibert said. “There is a perception that there are no jobs here. So much focus is on whether we can attract the big smokestack companies. It’s great if we can, but we need to focus on diversifying our economy.”

Seibert said the Northern Panhandle is in transition, but he said he believes the future could be exciting if the area economy is more diversified.

“[W]e need to diversify our economy,” he said. “I think Wheeling is going to be awfully interesting in the next five to 10 years. We just need to keep our talent here.”

You can read the whole unexpurgated version here.

Now by my reckoning – and my reckoning has been wrong before now – I’d say that Justin’s vision for the young people of the Ohio Valley got off to an extremely good start on Tuesday night. Although I’m sure Justin would want me to point out there are several others involved organizing everything – good job, people.

I have a feeling that it might be something that definitely makes life easier for me here – like a social GPS, if you will.

And, while we’re on the subject of GPSs, I’d like to thank Ye Olde Alpha for letting us know they’d found Steph’s purse with the Garmin still inside.

I think we’ll be needing it quite regularly this next week, as my mother has organized a full itinerary of various sights and sounds she wants to take in. Or more precisely, she’s got herself a Wheeling tourist flyer and is frantically circling everything.

So, I’m only just on the right side of forty to play out with the younger end and my mother is more tiring than a pair of toddling twins with ADHD.

I just want to put my feet up.

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