i promise this is absolutely my last whine for the year. barring some sort of east-coast terror crisis or something in the next couple of days, anyway. the whole trip was a pendulum swinging from major annoyance to bursts of sunshine. i’ll really really appreciate some ordinary smooth contentment for a few days, if fate can manage to work that out for me.
obviously, i didn’t want to go to TX this year, being as how there’s just no way you can look forward to a loved one’s funeral. once i was there, though, things went amazingly well, with a complete dose of civility all around, so that part was good. and we did get to stop at those super fruit stands, so that was good too.
i certainly didn’t want to be hanging out in houston for as long as i did. mom had plans to be off work for the time i was supposed to be in, but of course was working in the days before that. this necessitated puttering around in her house solo for a loooong day or two, and i’ve now discovered at least one way in which i qualify as “old”. i’m set in my ways and cranky when it’s not just like that. little things, like the fact that the computer mouse wasn’t the kind i like, or that the shelf the keyboard sat on was too low for my taste, were annoying enough to prevent me killing the whole day on the internet.
i was so irked the dog wasn’t with me. Xyla would have had a hugely fun time chasing down mom’s fluffy little toy poodles and romping in her huge backyard. instead, i got daily text messages from home detailing the litany of things she’d chewed up for that day.
but then, all of a sudden, right after xmas things got great. a pair of college friends rolled in and spent a couple of nights with me drinking in the tropical humidity on the back porch, all of us telling old war tales and catching up on new ones. mom was off work and we got to spend quality time shopping for amaryllis and having an excellent lunch date. i even got in one-on-one bonding time with 2 of my sibs. so, when it actually was time to leave, i didn’t particularly want to.
of course, that meant my plane was delayed 2 and a half hours. which ended up not sucking at all, since a pair of my buddies were riding the same plane back with me to their place in b’more. we killed some time telling wild tales of family oddities in the bar, and then they saved me a better seat than i would have gotten on my own.
oh, but then that plane landed, and i didn’t get home until after midnight, so the annoyance of the delay caught up with a vengeance. additionally, in my already-tired state, i had to remember to be as nice to poor Chris as possible. see, he’d just spent more than a week – several days longer than originally planned – camping out at my house to take care of our whippet friend. he’d been such a sweetheart, holding down the fort, letting me take care of family stuff without worry, it just wasn’t fair to blame him for being a guy. clearly, leaving Xyla to her own devices for 8+ hours while he’s at work just doesn’t work as well for keeping her from getting bored than our staggered-schedule thing, and she worked on her boredom with her teeth in my stuff. for the most part, the things the dog chewed up in my absence were utterly inconsequential: a spool of thread, various bits of junk mail from the recycling paper bin, an empty cd case, some nuts off the coffee table. but being a guy, Chris only removed the large chunks, leaving most of the evidence scattered hither & yon. basically, i returned to a house lightly dusted throughout with shards of plastic, 4 cm long bits of thread, and nutshells. as a special added bonus, she’d found a dish containing leftover salad dressing, and one side of my couch was sprinkled with pungent honey mustard.
not wanting to catch pieces of plastic or the particular landmines of pointy-edged hazelnut shells in my bare feet, i stayed up until the house was somewhat cleaner. couch cushion covers had to be washed and the rest resolve’d (because i decided carpet cleaner was a better choice for the couch than 409 – please express opinions otherwise if you have them); much vacuuming took place. so, as much as i’d longed for my own comfortable bed containing my own comfortable sweetheart, i got to enjoy it for all of 3 hours before hauling my butt in to work this morning.
i’m halfway through 4 loads of laundry now, and halfway to forgiving the poor dog. hopefully after competing the former, i can get enough sleep & perspective to complete the latter. but good lord it’s great to be home anyway, and good riddance to a bum year.