31 December 2009

New Year's Eve

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year
"Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."
And he replied, "Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way..."

Minnie Louise Haskins, "The Gate of the Year" 1908

Christmas break

Teachers get as excited for this time of year as students do. I've been having a lovely mix of lazy slacking and productive putzing through the Midwestern Snowpocalypse of 2009. Our local snowfall amounts were relatively tame, totalling 12-15" in spurts over three days, enough to make the backyard all purty and provide impetus for a snowfort. There were enough lulls in the storm for most folks to get out and dig in spurts rather than face an insurmountable mountain at the end. We only had one short trip into town for Christmas with my in-laws, then back home to snuggle in for the next round. The real crap came the day after the snow stopped falling, when it thawed just enough to get wet, and the wind blew to refreeze sheets of nasty packed snow and ice onto the roadways. This, of course, was the the day we were scheduled to drive to the cities for a Christmas party with friends. We made the attempt, but turned around after creeping along the sheets of ice until a 4x4 passed us in the opposite lane, then spun out directly behind us across our lane. We stopped by McDonald's on the way home, where they were all too glad to see our Things who work there, as so much of the help had called off due to weather. So, after forgetting to take the day off, then scrambling to cover their shifts at the last minute, they wound up working anyway. They always tell me they want money... The county roads still suck, but the major highways are finally in decent shape.
Tonight is our annual game party for friends and neighbors, and I expect goodtimes all around. It's been another rollercoaster year, with plenty of adventures and the loss of my brother to keep life interesting. We are blessed with relatively good health and steady income for the time being, and count our blessings as we face our challenges. May it be as well for your you and yours.

16 December 2009

Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated

I'm here, all is well, just busy.
I have been keeping my nose to the grindstone and making some progress.
Knowledge Bowl has been fun, but no big wins yet this year. Saturday morning was the last day of firearms deer hunting in our neck of the woods. On my drive around the lake to meet the K-Bowl bus, I saw a hunter in full winter camo and blaze orange trudging back toward his vehicle. About a hundred yards behind him, a deer picked his way along the path in the opposite direction. I swear he was chuckling.
As mentioned previously, we're gearing up for a quiet Christmas at home. My family's big gathering is done, and no-one else can get together until January. Brother's wife #2 is visiting over the weekend, and we'll have some friends visit for a couple days over our annual NYE game party, but otherwise we'll enjoy some quiet time together.
While our December has been mostly tranquil, some of our friends and neighbors have been dealing with illness and death, and we keep them in our hearts.
I guess now I need to get ready for work. Take care!

07 December 2009


My internet at home has been down for 36 hours.
I think of a million things to look up or people to contact, then remember.
I am an addict!
Thank goodness for datsphones...