Holiday Happenings and Ponderings

So, we’ve arrived at December already. Can you believe it? The end of the year! It is a time that I can find at equal parts exciting and depressing, but perhaps this go-round will be more the former due to having so many good friends.

And family, of course. That’s many of us her in the States at least have just celebrated Thanksgiving. I’ve always wondered when exactly the holiday season starts, but this year I think it can definitely be said to have begun on Thanksgiving as it practically fell into December. So, happy holidays! I’m looking forward to celebrating Christmas in a few weeks.

As a bit of an aside, I don’t know if I have any practicing Jewish people reading this blog but it had to be kind of neat to observe the beginning of Hanukah at the same time. Some media types took to calling this supposedly very rare phenomenon Thanksgivukah. I wonder what’s with our penchant for smashing words together these days? I guess it’s a bit amusing.

Anyway, my Thanksgiving was a welcome respite from the drudgery of this job. As usual for me these days, I hopped the Amtrak train to Charlotte to visit my cousin and his wife along with my Aunt. My mom sisters, and some of my nieces and nephews also made an appearance at my youngest sister’s nice house for the big dinner.

I didn’t even eat half of what was on my plate, and yeah I’m kind of sad about that. I didn’t wanna force it though, and just consumed till I felt full. My folks love to pile it on! I did eat some meatballs with sauce, mac and cheese, (which I MUST have every year), broccoli casarole, a deviled egg, and I think some vegetables. I topped it off with a delicious piace of chocolate cake that I was told my mom baked mainly because she knew I would want it.

The next couple of days were a haze of sports-watching and just catching up with my cousin between plays/games. Did you see that crazy Alabama Auburn finish in what they call, for reasons I don’t know, the Iron Bowl? After having missed three (3!) field goals, Alabama decided that it’d be a good idea to try one from 56 yards to attempt avoiding overtime. I think they’d put in a different kicker for the 4th try, but in many ways that makes even less sense as he’s coming in cold. Anyway, the attempt fell well short, an Auburn player corraled it in the end zone and ran it all the way to the other end zone for the winning touchdown. I think that was the best, or craziest, college game I’ve ever seen.

I’m also happy that the Carolina Panthers (NFL) have won 8 straight games, vaulting all the way to 9-3 and now gaining a share of first place due to the New Orleans Saints getting pecked by the Seattle Seahawks. Carolina and New Orleans square off this coming Sunday in what is sure to be a showdown.

I watched this last, Carolina vs. Tampa Bay, with my cousin and his wife after going to church with them at Providence Road Church of Christ. The pastor gave an interesting sermon on the importance of not judging others, as the Bible says “lest yee be judged”. To underline his point, he brought some unsuspecting little kid up there and handed him a balon, which he then popped quickly with a pen. Unsurprisingly, the kid then became skittish of accepting any further baloons from him. The pastor said that judging others was like popping their metaphorical balloon, and would make them a lot less likely to listen to what you might have to say. It was a good service.

By Saturday, I began to develop what is a fairly regular cold that still persists. I think today is the worst of it, I hope it is!, as between sentences I forage for tissue and count myself fortunate to have recently bought a giant box of Klenex. I think I’m glad this didn’t happen at the time I’d be going to the feast, as it did in the crazy 2011 season.

And now it’s time to start thinking about what I’ll do for the two weeks this job will be shuttered, starting either on the 23rd or the 24th and lasting either till the 2nd of January or the 6th. They say they don’t know yet, as we may be so low on work that just taking the extra Monday prior to Christmas and Thursday/Friday after New Years would be warranted. I sure wish they’d make up their minds, as my plans hinge on the decision. If they say we must be there on the 23rd, I’ll have to show up. This wll create more of a challenge/expense in returning from my friend’s party that she’s having on the 21st. But, I don’t really know if the need to have time for orchestrating transportation and the like is occurring to anyone.

One thing I might do if I can sweet talk someone into lending a couch, is zip down to a warm-weather destination like Florida for at least a couple of days. But at this oint, that idea remains far-fetched. In any event, I will get a lot of reading and perhaps writing done with all that time.

So, how was your holiday? Do you have any exciting end-of-year plans? I’ll be back with more in the coming days, but shall now draw this stream-of-consciousness piece to a close.

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