To Eleventy and Beyond

Two weeks and last year since I sat down to compose an entry.  Half my offspring have come and gone (north then south)  mysteriously in the night.  Said goodbye to one of the best years of my life with some trepidation, concerned that 2011 can’t possibly exceed it.

After trimming the tree on Thursday the 23rd, I spent nearly all of Friday the 24th (Christmas Eve) preparing a family tradition — giving the gift of sticky buns to various friends.   I, of course, modify the recipe a bit (see previous link) and don’t bake them.  Rather, Rachelle and I deliver them with instructions on how to refrigerate, thaw, rise and bake them so our friends can enjoy hot out of the oven buns in all their sticky sweet goodness.

I asked, but did not insist, if anyone wanted to attend Christmas Eve services.  My inquiry met with less enthusiasm than I’d hope, so we spent the evening watching DVDs from Netflix (the Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Price of Persia).  Oddly, we did not and have not yet watched the Muppet Christmas Carol, a Moss Family tradition going back a decade or more.  Perhaps Rachelle, Terry and I will watch it this evening.

Christmas morning, I took my time waking, since I knew my main courses for Christmas dinner (scheduled for one o’clock) wouldn’t take more than a couple of hours to bake).  Rachelle was next to awaken and by eleven o’clock couldn’t contain herself and insisted that grandpa arrive early (since I refused to let her distribute gifts until he arrived).  Once grandpa arrived, with his delicious pasta cucumber salad, Royna played Santa with Rachelle as her elf-like assistant.

The Christmas dinner menu consisted of a fresh green salad with my home made dressing (an off shoot of the dressing grandpa uses for his pasta salad), said pasta salad, a boneless turkey breast, a spiral cut ham, mashed potatoes (because Terry and I forgot to bake the potatoes), green bean casserole and fresh hot sticky buns for pseudo-dessert.

We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, conversing and even played a game of Catchphrase.  Grandpa returned home, everyone took a nap and I read a book (no surprise there).

The strangest and saddest event was Derek and Royna’s sudden departure around 9:00 p.m. that evening.  They had carpooled with friends from Texas the previous Sunday and now they wanted to hit the road back south – overnight!  The catch was Derek and Royna needed a ride to the UMKC campus (just a couple of blocks southeast of where I work five days a week in the Plaza Library building near the Country Club Plaza).  I agreed to transport them and they quickly packed.  Being a mother, I was concerned about an overnight return trip to Dallas and insisted that Derek text message me at 6:00 a.m. so I wouldn’t worry.  Their return trip was uneventful, he rememered to text me and Derek and Royna were safely home by 7:00 a.m.

Sunday the 26th, I filled up both Pontiacs and saved a dollar per gallon because I had earned over one thousand points at Dillons during the month of December.  I knew I’d be driving to work four days this week since my vanpool was on hiatus between Christmas and New Year’s Day (Hallmark closes during that week).  I don’t miss having to drive in traffic or fight for a parking space (at least the one I want to get) even though I arrive at work very early.

Monday and Tuesday swept by boringly but Wednesday brought a visit from Terry’s sister Bonnie.  She came to visit after dropping her daughter Katie off to visit friends.  We enjoyed her visit, and dinner at Famous Dave’s at the Legends.  Terry and Rachelle also met her the next day for lunch at Azul Tequila in Lansing.  Bonnie retrieved her daughter Thursday afternoon for the return trip home to the Cheney area.

Thursday evening, Terry, Rachelle and I caught a showing of the True Grit remake starring Jeff Bridges at Rooster Cogburn and Matt Damon as Texas Ranger Leboeuf and Barry Pepper and Lucky Ned Pepper.  Hailee Stanfeld gave an outstanding performance as Mattie Ross.   I highly recommend this movie, even though I’m not entirely sure it’s better than the original.  Watch either or both … you can’t keep a good story down.

Friday, New Year’s Eve, arrived.  The final day of twenty ten.  The only day that last week of the year I didn’t have to drive to Misery (er, Missouri) to work.  Rachelle intended to spend the evening with friends.  Terry and I thought about finding something at a local bar to participate in, but nothing appealed.  So, Terry invited Sean over and I took the dogs upstairs to relax, read and perhaps play a few hours with friends on Aardwolf, an old-fashioned text-based MUD.  Not surprisingly, I fell asleep shortly after ten o’clock, only to be startled awake by the boom of fireworks, dogs barking and my daughter text messaging.  I eventually returned to my dreams.

Early morning, New Year’s Day, twenty eleven, I’m startled awake, again, by the sound of hail stones dancing on my roof.  Did I just sleep through three months of winter and arrive to a Kansas spring thunderstorm?

Spent most of the morning reading a book, playing more Aardwolf and waiting for Rachelle to return home.  Later in the afternoon, Terry, Rachelle and I travelled to the Legends (twice in as many days) to watch the latest Narnia flick: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  We had to watch it in 3D (and pay a premium matinee ticket price for the privilege) but the movie was excellently rendered.  Again, you can’t keep a good story down.

Today, the second of January, two thousand and eleven, dawns crisply cold and clear.  I’m castigating myself for not dragging out the telescope to view Mercury and Venus this morning.  I’ve taken too long to write this blog post and missed the opportunity.  I spy a gleam of dawn to the east.

Have I resolved to change or achieve anything new as the year starts fresh?  Perhaps.  I have a few ideas that I’m still brewing and stewing about; just not ready to codify them publicly via this blog.

I’ll leave you with this thought for the day: various translations of Psalm 90:12

Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom. (NLT)

Teach us how short our lives really are so that we may be wise. (NCV)

Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well! (MSG)

Peace and may all your years, new and old, be happy!

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