It’s Sunday night and I’m not ready to end the weekend. It was way too short and tomorrow morning starts five more days of hell. Can you tell I’m burnt out on my job? I’m also a bit disappointed about my survey – specifically, the lack of activity over the weekend. To date, 48 have completed it, nine have consented but not taken it, and four said they wanted to take it but haven’t returned consent forms. I have to get 67 people – I need to shake more trees and see who falls out. I hoped to get 117, but looks like that number will have to remain a fantasy if I'm to finish before age 95.
Yesterday, I took Erin and Emily to Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky for another arts workshop – this one was about architecture. Transylvania is a very old place – it was founded in 1780 and is the 16th oldest university in the U.S. It has gigantic old trees on campus and some old buildings – it’s small but lovely, and in a pretty part of town surrounded by really old, very large Victorian houses. Lexington is about three weeks behind us as far as weather goes – some of their trees still have lots of leaves.
|old restored building with gigantic columns|
|magnificent old maple - at least 400 years old|
I dropped the girls at their workshop and set off to start Christmas shopping. What a ridiculous prospect! I’m not in the mood to start and nothing looked appealing. Still, the stores were full of people getting it done. No doubt Someone’s mother and sisters have already bought and wrapped gifts, but Someone’s wife (me) just can’t find any holiday spirit until the holiday is near and I feel pressured to get presents for people. Why is that? I love Christmas, but shopping is a drag.
Anyway, Chewy (our dog before Gracie) was my last ditch effort to make Christmas special for the girls (who were maybe ages 11, 3, and 3 then). I had been traveling a lot for work and (as usual) hadn’t got much of anything ready for Christmas; it was less than a week away. Someone was ticked with me for putting off the shopping and the house looking like Scrooge lived there (no tree or decorations up yet). I got home from the airport; it was quite late on Friday night. I was tired, he was mad, and we had an ugly argument. I got up early the next morning, determined to make Christmas happen, and went straight to the mall with no idea what to buy anyone. Of course the twins were little and easy – any toys would be fine. Someone and Sarah were much harder to shop for.
Sarah only wanted a horse so of course she was going to be disappointed with anything I bought. I found a few things for Someone – we’ve never been much in the habit of exchanging extravagant gifts. I walked past the pet store and they had mutt puppies in a pen out front – cute and only $25, but we hadn’t talked about getting a dog. I walked past them and wandered the mall. I bought a few things for Sarah, but nothing was exciting. Terribly depressed because I knew none of the gifts were anything special, I saw the puppies again and decided to get one. They had only one female left, so I took her.
“What’s that?” he asked.
“It’s a puppy.” I replied.
“What’s it doing here?” he questioned.
“It’s sleeping.” I answered.
“No, why is it here?” (he was getting short and snappy at that point).
“It’s a present for the kids, and for you. Merry Christmas.” I said cheerfully.He was anything but delighted and even questioned my sanity. I had no excuses - I offered that it was perhaps a lapse of good judgment, but more that nothing else seemed good enough. But seeing that the kids were excited and delighted, he accepted that we now had a dog. What a good sport! Eventually (it took a few years) Someone and Chewy became very good pals. Chewy was a great family dog, but sadly she died of lung cancer in November, 2009. We still miss her.
|Sarah with Chewy|