I have been on vacation for the past week. This is my first week for the 2011/2012 contract year. I took off from last Wednesday through today (and am due one day for Thanksgiving). Tomorrow I go back to the office. It has been a nice time, and though I can't say I'm really ready to go back to work, I'm not dreading it like many times either.
We headed back home (to Buda) for Thanksgiving, and this was also our "Christmas" with my parents and my sister and her family. We haven't been together with my sister and her two boys for several years. In fact, I think this may have been the first holiday together since she got a divorce. Jane, Carrie, Anna, and I were at my parents from Wednesday until Saturday (Drew didn't get to come due to work). Isaac came by himself for Thursday and Friday. Deb, her boys, and their respective girlfriends came down from Minnesota Wednesday through Friday. So we were able to have Thanksgiving dinner all together, and we also opened Christmas presents between us and my parents (my family didn't exchange our presents, but I think Deb's family did). Here is a pic that my nephew Kevin's girlfriend took of all of us.
We were a little worried about sleeping arrangements, as we had not had that many people at my parents house for a long time - and when we did used to have that many we lived in Buda too. Fortunately, some friends of my parents have this beautiful home in the country that has four bedrooms, two baths, and it's own laundry/kitchen/living room in the basement. They were also gone, so we actually had the whole house to ourselves. So Jane and I stayed out there, along with my sister's boys and their girlfriends. My sister and Carrie and Anna stayed at my parents house. Deb's boys are both adults so we didn't ask about sleeping arrangements. I figured that was between them and my sister. Jane and I just stayed in our room and we didn't ask any questions. I thought it worked out pretty well. This pic is from the entryway to the basement. The people who live there used to raise buffalo, and we were greeted by this stuffed buffalo head when we walked in the door. There were also several buffalo and cattle hides displayed throughout the house. We felt like we were staying at the Ponderosa or Southfork or something. It was nice.
While we were in Buda we also went to Sheffield (the neighboring town) and checked out the pub that some friends of ours have opened. They also had a reunion of sorts with the band they used to have some 20-30 years ago that we used to go watch play every weekend. It is two brothers, their sister, and the drummer was one of my better friends that I used to work with. The pub looked great. They have done a lot of work to it, and they also opened up the room next door as a "music room." It was pretty awesome. And the band sounded fantastic. They played some old Windjam tunes, as well as some bluesy type covers (Hendrix, SRV, Joplin, etc.). They were kind enough to play my favorite song of all time - an original they wrote called "Sad Song." They even mentioned me when they did it. Very nice. I also got to chat with some friends I hadn't seen in a long time. And, yes, I spoke with the owner of the pub, and leader of the band, about the possibility of using the music room for a church gathering spot. It was an interesting conversation to say the least, but... you know... just dreamin'. Anyway, we had a very good time. Unfortunately Carrie and Isaac didn't get to go. Two of Jane's brothers did show up later on. It was a very nice time. Stuff like that really, really, really makes me homesick though. I feel like it's not often that I go somewhere where people are actually glad to see me. It felt good to be around friends.
Otherwise, the vacation has mostly just been sleeping in and working around the house. It has been nice to not have to set an alarm clock. Sunday we went to Anderson and took son Isaac out for lunch. Yesterday we tackled cleaning up the room in the basement where we plopped all the boxes when we moved. It is an L-shaped room, and we put a curtain up around the corner and will use that as a storage room. The room that has the cupboards and giant table thing is now completely cleaned out. That was quite a chore. Today Jane is putting up some Christmas decorations and I am taking care of some odds and ends around the house. This afternoon we hope to go do some Christmas shopping.
So... that's about it. It has been a nice relaxing vacation. Just the way I like it. Tomorrow is back to reality. We're also supposed to get our first snowfall this afternoon. Something like 1-3 inches. No big deal (hopefully).
Peace out; and in.