Merry Christmas. I've been home since Friday afternoon, and have enjoyed a continuous string of good cheer, since I've been here. The caroling party took place on one of the warmest nights we've ever observed, for the occasion. This meant that nobody was chomping at the bit to get back inside when we got back to our house, as they normally are. It wasn't even freezing outside.
As is the repeated case, I only had time to talk to a few people at the party, and the process of re-entering the house was just a bit less severe than pandemonium, because of the scores of muddy shoes that were discarded at the door. However, the pictures that were taken that evening will attest to the fact that it was an altogether great gathering. Stay tuned for them.
I saved two beers from each batch that I brewed in the last year, and brought them all to Peoria for the party. They were a hit. I am convinced now, that just about any homebrewed beer will keep for well over a year, and will indeed improve dramatically in flavor, over such a period. I will do the same thing, next year.
Christmas Eve was essentially a comfortable day of sitting around and relaxing. We decided, this year, to put off the customary gift exchange until Christmas morning, which I found to be a great idea. It gave us more time to spend out of the house, which was also a very nice change of pace from previous years.
This change allowed us to make it to 5 PM mass in time to get front-pew seats at St. Thomas, so we were all irretrievably distracted by all the children sitting in front of the altar, in an effort to make more room to accomodate the rear ends of more grown parishioners. After mass, I ran into Mrs. Harn, and Mrs. Goett, and enjoyed catching up with them, before we all loaded up into the cars and motored up to the Lake of the Woods, for another new Christmas event. New for us, anyway. We had never been to the Paris' Christmas party before, but they had always made it to our annual caroling party.
I suppose the guilt, or just perhaps the newly available evening spirited us to their house, where we ate of their fantastic spread of food and drink, and caught up. I hadn't talked to Dana since we got a drink when I was in New York last year, so it was very nice to sit down with her, and see what she's been up to, and to tell her all about all of our mutual friends in Kansas City. I also thought it was extremely classy of her to come and make time to talk with me, even though she was surrounded by people with whom she hadn't spoken in months, or maybe years.
All this down time has also given me a good chance to think, and to ask for advice about a personal conundrum that is currently working its evil magic on me. On Thursday, back in KC, I was woefully frustrated and confused about this situation, and so, as if by instinct, I began writing. Being a geek, I composed the whole piece in vim, a text editor made primarily for writing programming code, and then, when I was satisfied with it, copied and pasted it into a proper word processor, about five pages, single spaced. I received valuable feedback from Julia and Kathleen, with an edgewise word from Brian, here and there, and the result is that I'm no longer confused, and the only frustration I feel is from inevitable delay.
Anyway, it's Christmas afternoon now, and the rest of the family is watching "Scrooge," in the other room. Actually, they're watching bits of the movie, between their own drowsy spells, as the furnuture is exceedingly comfortable, and the TV is too quiet to make any sense of the dialogue or songs. That's one reason I came in here to write you an update: I was falling asleep myself, despite the fact that I got about nine hours last night.
We'll be having dinner here, just the seven of us, before we got to Grandpa and Mickey's for "dessert." The real reason we go is because the majority of the gift exchange of the extended family takes place there. Mickey told me on Friday night that Grandpa has done something, "amazing and unbelievable," so I'm interested to see what it could be.
Update - 12/26/2005
Not enough pictures for an album, so here they are:
Lots of fun.
Why not put them in an album? It may be harder to find them later.
2:27 PM, Dec 28, 2005
Such is the price of coming to my webpage. It all might be completely gone, one day.
4:06 PM, Dec 29, 2005
4:46 PM, Dec 31, 2005