Wednesday, November 29, 2017

T-Day Weekend Wrap Up

Yet another “my favorite holiday” has come and gone, with tachyonic speed. I’m sad, but, paradoxically, not sad.

Sad because I truly relish Thanksgiving, for a variety of reasons. We all head out of town to visit my parents in the Pennsylvanian woodland for 96 hours. I get plenty of relaxation, read a lot, buy a couple of books, eat like a king, do fun things with the little ones, watch some good movies, and even get some work done.

Let’s break that down, shall we, so you can see what I mean.

plenty of relaxation … With the exception of one night (due to Thanksgiving indigestion, no doubt), I caught up on my sleep deficit. Probably averaged 8 hours a night, as opposed to 6. Enjoyed some vivid, awesome dreams, too. I was exiled to the fold-out living room couch due to allegedly snoring, but the bed, blankets, and pillows were extremely comfy.

read a lot … Put away just shy of 150 pages of Dickens’s Copperfield, almost to the half-way point of the 920-page magnum opus. Read a couple chapters more about World War I and some Tolkien stuff, too.

buy a couple of books … Not truly inspired, but I did pick up a hardcover copy of Arthur C. Clarke’s Rama Revealed. Never read that one, but the other Rama books intrigued me deeply in the 90s. My review of Rama is here, incidentally. The other book I bought was a potentially-schlocky The List of Seven, an occult murder mystery that blends fictional with historical figures in London around the time of the Jack the Ripper slayings.

eat like a king … Oh, man did I ever. Thursday Thanksgiving is a given, but – chicken pot pies, homemade cookies, grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken wings, Yuengling beer, turkey stew, shrimp appetizers, eggs and cheese and bacon and taylor ham and …

do fun things with the little ones … Two hours in the indoor pool at the rec center with Patch; shooting a couple games of Horse with Little One; teaching her how to play Chess; a game of Scrabble on the living room floor with both of them; hurling a gigantic inflatable medicine ball thingie to each other in the driveway.

watch some good moviesChristmas Vacation on Thanksgiving night, a tradition; Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas, another newer tradition; Blades of Glory, mainly to show Little One the zany antics of Will Ferrell and the “Iron Lotus.”

even got some work done … Did some studying and got some pre-tax-season work done in my company’s intranet portal in the early morning hours, as well as doing a pair of solo walks for four miles. Plus helped Little One study for her confirmation class.

We also did the Santa breakfast thing (maybe for the last time if you know what I mean), taking photos of the little ones in the Christmas dresses in front of the club’s giant fireplace. And the wife shaved my neck beard, leaving my “no-shave November” scruff in place on the face.

Only thing I didn’t get to do, that I wanted, was attend Latin Mass in town a half-hour away.

Oh, and this was an NFL-free weekend. The parents did watch some college ball Saturday, but we all kept our boycott intact. Normally we’d have the games on Thanksgiving Day in the background, and people would shuffle in and out of the living room to watch. And Sunday afternoon would be long and lazy watching the early and late afternoon games. Not this year.

Why am I sad? Well, now it’s officially Spendmas (see here). The pressure is on to spend, spend, spend for the perfect gifts for the way-too-many people in my ever-expanding group of acquaintances. Along with that is the push to get all the preparatory tax stuff done (though in fairness this, my second, year I am in a much better place than last year). Unpleasant end-of-year tasks at the main job, plus packing everything 2017 away. It’s busy to no end – Christmas concerts, basketball practices kick in full force, a second vacation to Hilton Head in three weeks. I’m already tired.

Why am I not so sad? Well, I got a lot of good reads on the near horizon. Plus our house is being sided! Long an eyesore from flaking paint, we bit the bullet and are having the vinyl siding put up. The house will look nice and will actually be warmer, saving me $ on energy bills this winter. We’re also getting a new front door, replacing the old drafty one and the rickety glass outer door. The resale value will go up and I’ll actually be able to look at my abode with pride.

Thanksgiving! I am thankful for all the above! Looking forward to next year!

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