I used my first of two Sunday Sabbaticals last Sunday. I have also used one week of vacation this year so far. So I have three weeks vacation left, and one more SS (Sunday Sabbaticals are two Sundays where I can be gone for the weekend even though I worked through the week).
We were planning to use this SS to go to Nashville, TN to see Jason & The Scorchers and hang with some of our reckless country soup friends. We had a hotel room booked and our tickets for the JATS show, but... at the last minute we decided to cancel. It was more money than we should be spending (and we may be needing that money pretty soon), and to be perfectly honest, we just weren't in the mood. It was a rough week - maybe one of the roughest since I have been a pastor. So instead we went back home and spent New Year's Eve at Brothers Pub listening to another old band from our past and hanging with some other good friends. We also picked up our pool table from my cousins.
We arrived back home in Illinois on Friday afternoon. We drove in the rain the entire way, but it almost had a calming influence. I was able to forget about most of our problems and relax a little. Friday night we went to Brothers and saw some of my former classmates. Although, it was all girls. We also saw some other old friends there that we hadn't seen in years. Saturday morning we went to Peru to pick up the rental truck to haul the pool table. Then we drove to Brimfield and back to get the pool table. After that we made the mistake of watching the Illini football AND basketball games (since my parents have cable tv). The football team actually won their bowl game, but it was ugly. The basketball team lost. Saturday night my parents went out to the country club, so we ordered a Casey's pizza, then went out to Mark and Christine for a bit, then headed back over to Brothers and brought in the New Year with old friends and some family members who were there. We got up early Sunday morning and left at 8:30 central time. We wanted to leave early because the weather was supposed to get bad. We got home around 3 pm our time and waited for Drew Carrie to come over and help unload the pool table. And that was that.
I don't know if I'll get around to writing a review of 2011 or not, but if not, let's just say that it was a year of extremes. It started off the greatest - with our first grandchild being born - but aside from that it was one of the more difficult years we have had. I expect 2012 to involve quite a bit of change.