Over the Holidays

I am somewhat glad they are done.  2011 is here with its promise of unknown surprises.  I do not make  resolutions.  I do not like the idea of making a promise, staying good to it for a few weeks (if that), and then letting it fall to the back burner as the year throws its first hurdle at me.  So, I do not make resolutions.  Sure, there are a few goals and a couple hopes that I will strive to reach, but nothing major.

Christmas was rather hectic.

First, I was pet-sitting for some friends.  I have done this before and it is the same thing each time.  Their German Shephard-Corgi mix does not like me for the first two days and finally warms up to me by the third.  This includes her growling, barking rather loudly, and refusing to come near me.  The first night of pet-sitting was Christmas Eve.  The dogs wanted to go outside in the backyard, so I let them out.  I had been over earlier to feed them and walk them, so I had hoped the reluctant dog would not be an issue with going outside.  She was.  She went out fine.  Getting her back in was another matter.  She refused.  And she was barking loudly.  It was not extremely late, but late enough that I was sure the neighbors did not want to hear her.  I finally went outside and away from the door in hopes she would give a wide berth, but go in.  No, she ran to the corner of the yard.  I had the leash with me by now and was intending to corner her, put the leash on, and get her inside.  She is a smart dog, though.  She ran past me to the other side of the yard.  And vanished.

I still do not know how she got out.  I called to her in hopes of getting some idea where she went.  I heard a couple jingles from her collar and then nothing.  I went through the house to the front door in hopes that she was waiting on the porch.  Nope.  So, I went out with the leash in hopes of getting her to come.  I found her over by my car.  I sighed in relief at this.  I knew she had not gone far.  She was not known for wandering off.  She trotted away from me and into the neighbor’s driveway.  I followed and watched her squeeze into a gap in the fences.  She was back in her yard.  I went back through the house and opened the back door again.  She came in with no problems, but avoided me for the most of the evening.  She knew I was not happy with her.

I sent a note explaining the incident to my friends, but did not see the need to call.  The dog was safely inside, she had not gone far, and was in good health, though drenched from the cold rain.

Christmas Day was a long one.  I was woken up by the  dogs wanting out at 0400.  I grudgingly got up and took them for a walk.  I had no intention of tempting either dog with a repeat of the night before at such an early hour.  They cooperated beautifully and I tried to get back to sleep.

I was at my parents’ house by 0800.  We were to meet up with my brother’s girlfriend’s family.  It was the first time I had seen her father.  I have briefly seen her mother and sister on occasion.  We followed the instructions my brother gave us to the street.  When we were on the right street, and I commented, “When in doubt, look for the Firebird.” Sure enough.  My brother’s car is hard to miss.

Breakfast was very good.  I got a bag full of bubble bath.  I am not sure how I am going to use it all, since I do not take baths very often.  It was a nice gesture, though.  Mom and Dad got some good chocolates and my other brother got a Twilight hat.  I still am not sure what he sees in following Twilight.  I have not been able to convince myself to read the last three books of that series.  I cannot remember what they got my youngest brother.  He seemed content in it, though.  That is all that matters.

Next, we went back to the family home and opened up the rest of the gifts.  Mom misplaced two of Dad’s.  Dad had not checked the batteries on one of Mom’s gifts.  One brother continued his obnoxious wrapping theme toward the other brother.  This year, it was bright sparkling paper.  He has been harassing his older brother about liking sparkly stuff all year long.  Last year, the wrapping paper and bow were the brightest pink the two of us could find.  All the gifts were enjoyed and exclaimed over, though.  I have no complaints.

I went back over the house I was watching to feed and walk the dogs.  I had no idea how long I would be gone, so making sure they had a chance to go outside was a necessity.

Lastly, we went to my grandparents’ house for dinner.  This promised to be interesting, and it was.  My grandmother fixated on whether or not to get a chair for my brother’s girlfriend.  She insisted she was fine.  Then the offer was repeatedly given for her to sit between my grandfather and father.  Not very appropriate.  My grandmother has taken to writing the dinner menu on the fridge to keep herself on track.  It is only helpful to a point.  For example, she did not remember that we were to have a green bean casserole, not plain green beans.  Grandpa wandered in a one point and corrected her on that.  She did not remember that they have a large turkey platter and was wondering what to put the turkey on.  She could not remember that there was more ice cream in the downstairs freezer.  She did not understand the difference between the fireplace mantle and the TV set.

She was looking for a couple cups to pour coffee in and Grandpa suggested that two cups they received for Christmas be used.  They were on the TV set in the living room.  She went out there and stared at the fireplace mantle.  I thought someone was going to have to go out and assist her.  It was a little alarming to see that she was forgetting such things.

She got my brothers mixed up again.  One helped her clean up a soda spill and she later asked the other if he had helped her, because she wanted to give in thanks for doing a good job.  And she fixated on whether or not my chair was too close to the window behind me.  I assurred her I was taking precautions to avoid putting the chair through the window, but she would not let it go.

Dinner was enjoyable, though.  My grandmother did not interrupt the conversation as much as she has in the past, so it flowed easier.  Dessert was very good.  I enjoy chocolate pie.

It was a fairly good evening, minus my dad setting the car alarm off twice, while sitting in the car.  I told him with much annoyance that he needed to keep track of where he put his fingers on that keychain.  One brother also had to ask where his present was as we were leaving.  Everyone else got presents via the internet, or received money via the mail, so we did not think about it.  I was not thrilled at my brother’s poor timing, because it upset my grandmother.  I doubt that is a mood she needs to be in just before bed.  Apparently they sent a card out around the same time as the one they sent to my parents.  I have my doubts on that, especially if my grandmother was the one who did the writing or sending, but we will get it fixed.

The rest of the weekend was quiet.  I was happy.  Christmas Day was busy enough to last a few days.

New Year’s was spent quietly at my parents’ house.  We briefly acknowledged the new year with cider and went back to what we were doing.  Today, Dad is taking down the Christmas tree in between phone calls from various relatives.

I look forward to the new year.  The new opportunities hold a great deal of promise for me and my family.  I hope it does the same for everyone.


About emeree

I am an Air Force veteran. I served as a Security Forces troop for nearly seven years and reached the rank of Staff Sergeant before separating in 2008. My tours of duty were in England and Oklahoma. I live in the Seattle area, which is where I grew up. I used my GI Bill and earned a degree from the University of Washington. I currently work in downtown Seattle and experience all the adventure that comes with that.
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