Just three weeks away from moving into our new office here in Raleigh, we've learned a lot of lessons about planning in a very hands-on sort of way. The hand-drawn timeline that we started with (thanks to our wonderful general contractor) appears almost laughable in hindsight, and yet if we hadn't begun there, it's likely that we would be three months away from move-in rather than three weeks.

When I was a little kid--probably 5 or 6--my dad started taking Hebrew lessons from a brilliant woman at Sandhills Community College named Vivian Jacobson. Originally from Chicago, Vivian and her husband Ralph had retired to Pinehurst, where they became--and remain--an integral part of the community, and more importantly, close friends of my family (as well as employers of yours truly--I spent many a Saturday doing yard and house work at the Jacobson house!).