(The following was written about 4 months ago and never finished. I promise I’ll try to get to a blog about what was a wonderfully mild-mannered and fun Christmas blog…as soon as I can recall the details again!)
Well, here it is. Christmastime again, and as usual, my holiday schedule is packed tighter than Santa’s bag. Also, again, I find myself sitting in a car repair shop waiting for my mobile Fortress of Solitude to be made right. Thankfully, this year, it’s preemptive maintenance rather than catastrophic recovery. Thanks to the new job keeping me from slowly sinking into financial quicksand (thought not quite emerging yet), I’ve been able, with the help of the generosity of friends and family, to keep my means of conveyance in quite workable shape.
It all began with Thanksgiving (sigh of sweet reminiscence). My dad and her partner, Mary, drove all the way up from Topeka to spend the holiday with my family. It was one of the best weeks of my year. Not just spending time with my dad, but sharing many of my proudest achievements with her while she was here. First and foremost, on her first full day here, I took her to my barbershop chorus rehearsal. This is the single proudest achievement I’ve made this year – becoming the director of not just a musical ensemble (my lifelong goal), but a barbershop chorus. It’s the kind of ensemble I know would my dad could relate to best. I was able to show off a bit of what I had done with them, and even better, I chose that night to try an experiment with the voicing. It worked out great and my dad and her partner, Mary, beamed with amazement and pride. I was on cloud 9! Not only did I manage to improve the sound of the chorus, but impress my dad and Mary, both seasoned barbershop aficionados!
The next day, my dad offered to get me a new set of tires for my car. I hadn’t realized that the worn ball joint had made the inner edge of my tires smooth as an android’s bottom. The plan was to do some car-trading to see that I got to work on time, but as I had apparently left the dome light on in my car the night prior (which I have NEVER done) and would have to jump it (which took quite a while), I took the day to deal with my car and spend some time with dad and Mary. I was so taken aback by my dad’s generosity, I insisted that the tires be the only repair she pay for. Any others, I could handle in due time (and with due finances). After a lovely lunch at the Olga’s across the street, my horse had a new set of shoes and all that was left (of immediate needs) was to fix the rear suspension, ball joint, and alignment. I figured I’d be able to afford one soon and one later. Given that the slightest bump in the road would lead to a miles worth of bouncing that nearly made me seasick, I chose the suspension.
Thanksgiving itself was wonderful, for the most part. I watched the parade with Awesome Girlfriend while waiting for the ex to let me know when and how to connect with my kids for Thanksgiving dinner at my grandfather’s. By noon, I had no word as to their whereabouts, so I called and found that they had not gone downtown to watch the parade, as planned, but chose to stay in Flint due to not feeling well. Reasonable enough, but it would have been nice to know this sooner than noon, as it was an hour up and back to get the kids, starting Thanksgiving at least an hour later than originally planned.
Still, we arrived at my grandfather’s about 2:30 to the glorious aroma of not only Thanksgiving dinner, but one cooked entirely by my dad. The smell of a Keiser home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner had memories flooding back to me of my sister and I watching the Macy’s Parade on TV on the living room floor while ripping apart loaves of bread for the chestnut & sausage stuffing. The food was AMAZING, right down to the vegetarian version of the stuffing made especially for the kids. The dinner was a bit bumpy, as I had to fight with the boy to try anything. If it’s not pizza, burritos, or macaroni & cheese, he gets dramatic. He had one of his usual moody uproars (which he seems to save for company when he’s with me), and once again embarrassed me in from of my dad.
Still, the evening was a lot of fun, enjoying the holiday with family, some of whom had not spent a Thanksgiving together in probably 30 years or more!