Welcome to Chuck & Nancy Brabec's Website
We grew up in Chicago, Illinois and met while attending the University of Illinois at Navy Pier. (Yes, the U of I had a campus ON Nacy Pier!) We finished our degrees at the main campus at Champaign-Urbana and graduated in 1965. We got married and went to work for IBM in Kingston, New York. While working in Kingston we lived in Saugerties, NY. IBM offered to relocate us to Raleigh, NC in 1982 and we jumped at the chance. It was perfect timing as our eldest son (Charles) was starting high school and our youngest son (Daniel) was starting 5th grade.
We both worked as computer programmers for IBM. Chuck's career lasted almost 32 years before he retired in November, 1996. Nancy left IBM in 1968 to be a stay-at-home mom. She went back to work for IBM in 1982 and continued her career until she took a bridge leave of absence in December, 1996. She officially retired in December, 1998.
We found the winters in the Catskill Mountains to be too long and cold and the summers in Raleigh, NC to be too hot and humid so we started searching for someplace to retire in the early 1990s. Our ideal place would be rural with room and a climate where we could have a big garden and fruit trees. We finally settled on the area about 8 miles east of Summersville, West Virginia and bought 5.4 acres on a dead end road during the winter of 1994/1995. We moved into our new house in the fall of 1997 and are enjoying retirement in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia!
We spent many years enjoying whitewater kayaking, mostly in North Carolina, West Virginia and Tennessee; with a few trips to Colorado, Idaho and Costa Rica. As we have aged, our number of days/year on the rivers have dwindled but we still enjoy getting on the water every once in a while.
Our main interests nowadays are our garden and yard and caring for our cats. We also are volunteer transporters for the Three Rivers Avian Center (TRAC). When someone calls TRAC with an injured wild bird in our area of West Virginia we get a call from Ron or Wendy Perrone at TRAC asking us to get the bird and transport it to them. Click here to see pictures of some of the birds that we have transported.
We had indoor/outdoor cats from 1966-1993 (when we lived in NY state and Raleigh, NC). After our last cat died, we decided not to have any more cats. We moved to our current house in WV in 1997 and a couple feral cats showed up in 2003. We fed them on the front porch and put out a dog house so they would have some shelter in the winter. Over the years the feral cat population grew and shrank. At one time we were feeding 20-25 cats. It was hard to tell exactly how many were around because some of the males would only show up when the females were in heat.
In mid-October of 2016 we had a few inches of rain from Hurricane Matthew. Nancy walked around the yard after the rain stopped and heard a kitten crying. She found a tiny kitten inside the garden fence and brought her in the house. She was really thin, soaked, suffering from hypothermia and too weak to climb out. The kitten's sibling was outside crying and lonesome, so Nancy caught her and brought her in the house too. With Nancy's TLC, the kittens survived. Nancy named the smaller kittten Matty (for Hurricane Matthew). I named the other one Taffy (because of her coloring). Both kittens shared our laundry room for several days. When we took them to the vet we learned that they were both males so Matty became Matt. We didn't change Taffy's name. After the first visit to the vet, we allowed them in the kitchen, living room, foyer and hall during the morning and afternoon/evening when we are home. We kept the doors to the bathroom and bedrooms closed. They were put in the laundry room at night. We sometimes put them on our screen porch and in mid-November we started letting them roam in the back yard for short periods of time. They have gradually taken over the whole house, except for the guest/sewing bedroom.
Cutie (one of the feral cats) gave birth to 4 kittens on Eclipse Day (August 21, 2017). She wasn't taking care of them so we "adopted" them when they were about 2 weeks old. We called them the "Eclipse Kittens". Eventually we named them Big Boy, Callie, Tippie (because of the white tip on her tail) and Little Gray. Big Boy is the only one who is a male. So now we have 6 indoor/outdoor cats. All of the indoor/outdoor cats have been neutered. During the warmer weather they are "put out" for the night so we can get a good night's sleep.
Our mission in 2017 and 2018 was to trap as many of the remaining feral cats as possible and get them neutered. Unfortunately, we were not able to trap one female (Tigger) and she gave birth to 6 kittens on August 3, 2018. One kitten disappeared a few days later. We made friends with the remaining 5 kittens (3 girls and 2 boys), but their mother (Tigger) wonít come near us. She has been good at taking care of the kittens and even better at avoiding the live trap. We havenít given up though. Meanwhile, the 5 kittens have been to the vet for their vaccines. They were all neutered in early December. We would love to have someone adopt one or more of the kittens. The kittenís names are Socks, Toby, Rosy, Lily and Chrissy. Socks and Toby are black with white paws. Toby has black fur on one of his front toes.
Click here to see photos of our indoor/outdoor cats and here for photos of our feral cats.
When we are indoors (mostly in winter), we are likely to be found occupied with our favorite hobbies.
Chuck's hobbies include volunteering for the Werst Virginia Wildwater Association and, more recently, photography. He also does some woodworking, mostly during the winter. He also keeps busy as a general handyman around the house and yard. See Chuck's page for more about his woorworking and other projects.
Nancy's indoor hobbies include knitting, quilting, sewing, painting rocks, and preserving & preparing food (mostly from our garden). During the past few years she has been sewing baby-sized quilts to be donated to our local hopsital and dresses/britches for an organzation oalled "Little Dresses for Africa". See Nancy's page for more about hobbies.
We are both on Facebook as Chuck Brabec and Nancy Erhardt Brabec, respectively. Or you can click here to send us a message.
|Charles is our older son. He lives in Raleigh, NC with his wife (Kellie) and their dogs and cats. He has become an avid photographer. You can see his photos at http://server.brabec.com/photos/index.html.|
|Daniel, our younger son lives in Steamboat Springs,Colorado with his wife (Jill) and their daughters (Alexa and Haley). When Alexa was born, we officially became Grandpa Fuzzy and Granny Nan.
Both of our granddaughters are active in sports - mostly ski jumping and cross country skiing in the winter and soccer in the spring and fall. We love visiting them to watch Alexa and Haley playing soccer and ski jumping.