Saturday, November 24, 2007
Over the River and Through the Everglades
Hello, Blends, and thanks for your patience over the holiday with my perfunctory postage. It was a bit of a whirlwind, but it was also totally worth the drive. And, as is usual in my solipsistic universe, the Gods-O-Irony(tm) were fully awake and active on Wednesday. The plan was that Mrs. Marius and I would go to work, and leave as soon as humanly possible to begin the drive south. Things at the school were quite quiet, and as I had the COTA in tow (she had no school on Wed.) I was able to depart my place of employment around noon. I prepared my goodly vessel for its voyage, giving her all the needed fluids and vapors to make the trip a success, and arrived at our domicile around 1:30. I quickly packed my stuff, loaded the car, and settled in to await my lovely bride.
At this point it is necessary to point out that one of the primary reasons that we have been in some financial distress of late is that her waitressing job was providing her with very few hours. Normally if she were scheduled to work 10-5, she'd be lucky to stay til 1:30 before being sent home. Now, for those of you who have tangled with the aforementioned capricious deities, you might see what's coming. We figured that she would be done with work by 3 at the absolute latest, and planned for an optimal launch window of 3:30, getting us to West Palm Beach by dinner time. Alas, since we wanted her to be cut early, she was there until 4:15. That doesn't seem like much of a problem, except that would put our departure, after she came home and got cleaned up, right in the midst of the evening rush. So rather than leave town at 2 miles per hour, we decided to wait til 6. The drive down was uneventful, although I am totally sick of SUV driving idiots who don't know how to drive the damned things! They lumber into traffic and accelerate at the same pace that snails screw, and just generally make a nuisance of themselves. But I digress.
We arrived at the In-Law's without incident, and I proceeded to relax. We chatted, I read, and then crashed. Thanksgiving morning I slept in and loved it. I always sleep really well at my In-Law's, and I chalk it up to a combination of a really comfortable bed in the guest room, and the fact that I can relinquish command while I'm there. I love my family, but they aren't the best at turning things off, or putting things away, or cleaning things up, so if I don't keep the reminders going the place gets out of hand rather quickly. My MIL is very good at taking care of things at her house, so I get to relax. So, anyway, we spent a chill morning doing lots of nothing while my wife and her mother plotted their strategy for Black Friday. Black Friday, for those of you lucky enough to not live in the US, is the busiest, and most insidious, shopping day of the year. It's the Friday after Thanksgiving, and many stores have major sales that start as early as midnight on Thursday night, and many women consider it as big a challenge as any wild boar hunt. I usually stay as far away from any place of purveyance as possible on that day, since the unwary shopper can easily lose life or limb should they drop their guard for even a moment.
So once the battle plan was formed, I bundled wife and kid into my well rested car and off we went to visit my 'rents. It was a nice visit, and one with a magical moment in it. Many years ago I became the daddy of a little black kitten named Ripley. She is a bit of a weird cat. Her mom contracted some sort of virus during her gestation, the result of which is that Ripley seems to be perpetually drunk. She staggers, and stumbles, but is otherwise ok. Well, except for the fact that she has never been an overly affectionate animal. She lived with me for about a year, then I moved in with my friends K&T and their two cats. Unfortunately Ripley simply would not tolerate the other two, and I ended up having to send her to live with my folks. Nowadays whenever I go visit, if she comes out at all, she will sniff me and tolerate a few scratches on her head before she runs off to hide in the bedroom. Thursday was no different...so I thought. At one point Ripley come out of the bedroom, and slowly came over to me. I let her sniff my hand, and then to my utter surprise she rubbed her cheek against my fingers and let me pet her for a good five minutes. It was almost like she was forgiving me after all these years. It was very sweet.
After a very nice visit with the folks and critters we went back to the In-Law's. Dinner was awesome. Turkey, cornbread stuffing, sweet potato and green bean casseroles, and salad. We picked up chicken nuggets for the COA since she announced that she doesn't like turkey...a fussier eating child you won't find...and she ate without having to be told too often. Later, after I had passed out on the couch for a bit, we played SCRABBLE, and in a universal upset I won! I would like to point out that my Father-in-Law is a newspaper editor, so a SCRABBLE victory is hard won(quinces and jiving both on triple letter scores, thank you very much).
Friday morning Mrs. Marius and MIL sallied forth to brave the throngs, and I did as little as possible. We met for lunch at a lovely new Mediterranean restaurant...nothing beats cous cous and good hummus...and then wifey and I headed home. The COA stayed with her grandparents til tomorrow, and we spent a quiet evening eating the care package of leftovers MIL made us and watching the tube. Even though there was a lot of driving over the last two and a half days, there was also a lot of much needed resting. Tomorrow I have to drive half-way back to rendezvous with the MIL and pick up the young'n, then it's back to the grind on Monday.
And there was much rejoicing. :-)