I'm back. Yes, you heard me. I have returned. What's that you say? You didn't miss me? Oh well. I'm here to write regardless.
I hope each of you had a Thanksgiving weekend that was filled with family, friends and good food. I know I sure did. The parents and I went to Richmond, VA to my mother's sister's house, as has been the annual tradition since the last of my grandparents passed away. My mom's oldest sister is now the matriarch of the family, and as such sees fit to prepare a palatable meal at least once a year; a bonafide culinary delight.
We all crowd around a table that must be 50 feet long to accomodate all of the aunts, uncles, cousins, spouses and such that show up. Tradition dictates that we discuss the events of the year about to come to a close and plans for the year that is about to begin. A quick summary of my year provided mental bullet points of both positives and negatives. Positive bullet points included trips to the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, San Francisco, and of course Pebble Beach Golf Links. Another siginificant positive happening was meeting a wonderful young woman to spend a great deal of my time with falling in love, all while solving the problems of the world in which we live. I love you Doodle. There was also skydiving. How could I forget skydiving. One word: Wow.
Of course, with 365 days in a calender year, they all can't be bright copper kettels and warm woolen mittens (Thank you, Julie Andrews.). Negative happenings always find a way to intersperse themselves into at least a few of our days. One particular negative happening stands out from this past year. I had a brief encounter with loneliness and depression. This can, however, be looked at in a positive light, as it drove me to spent time discussing life with a therapist, which in turn made me a better Patrick. There were other negatives, but all too minor to waste time mentioning here.
While on the drive to Richmond Thursday morning my father -the preacher (Yes, I'm the son of a preacher man.) - informed my mother and I that he would be marrying my cousin Scott on Friday while we were there. He had just found this out on very short notice, so for most of the family this was basically considered a shotgun wedding of sorts. We had a nice little ceremony with about 20 people from both families on Friday afternoon. It was about time for Scott, he's 39. There's a bun in the oven too. That may have a tiny bit to do with this short, albeit logical decision.
Christmas is on the way. As I type this there are 24 shopping days left until the big day. I can't wait. I'm like a kid at Christmas. I sneak and peel back the tape on the presents to take a peek at what's inside. I get up before the sun and wake up the rest of the family to open presents and make breakfast. I love seeing the reactions on people's faces when they open presents. I love the decorating, and I love the music. I'm sure most of the rest of you feel similarly. However, let's not forget the real reason for the season: the birth of Jesus Christ.
Going to Winston-Salem with the girlfriend this weekend to help her mother decorate for Christmas. It should be an interesting time.
Expect a post on "The Gloved One" soon, hopefully before the weekend is over.
Take care of yourselves, and each other. I stole that from Jerry Springer!