Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Christmas break!

My well-deserved four-day break comes to a crashing end at approximately 8:15 this morning.

Due to my consistent hard work and much pleading, my boss was kind enough to grant me an extra day off from work Friday, which gave me that long stretch away to relax, enjoy Christmas with the family, count my calories, and watch the rain.

Here were the highlights!

Friday, slept in past 7 a.m.! Since I typically get up between 5 and 6 on work days, this was indeed a blessing.

I did my remaining Christmas shopping that morning. I only had to take care of my mother and daughter and after much consideration, I went to my bank and exchanged some money to give the perfect Christmas gift: cash.

No long lines or worries about gosh, will they like my Christmas gift? I did place those gifts in Christmas envelopes. The family did me right for Christmas, although Trish the Wife had already thoughtfully presented my present earlier so she could enjoy my gift to her, which she had picked out and received about three weeks ago.

We had Christmas at my mother’s house that night. Food was good and the only regret was forgetting to bring my camera, which was pointed out several times by the wife as in, “I can’t believe you forgot your camera!” Unfortunately, it was the start of a trend.

I am trying to remember what I did on Saturday. I did sleep in again, then, uh, watched some football while the wife was at her mother’s baking goodies for Sunday’s Christmas festivities. I read and let the dogs, Molly and Dodger, in and out approximately 50 times.

Molly would announce her wish to go outside by standing at the door and barking. I would let her out and coax Dodger to follow. If I chose to go outside with them, which I did several times, they were happy.

If I decided to stay inside and watch a crucial football play on a game which I was watching because there wasn’t anything else on, they went outside and before I could plop my rear back down, they would scratch to come back in.

Molly comes in without a problem. Dodger stands at the door and glances back and forth between me and the door, not really sure if he can make it in before the door slams on him, even though I am holding it with a foot or other body part.

Sunday was Christmas Day and that meant a trip to the in-laws. All the way across…town. Yes! No travel for Craigman, thank goodness. Another excellent meal, but some person again forgot to bring his camera to document all the festivities.

The food was ready when we got there, another bonus. But as I was elbowing my way past the small children to the front of the food line, the wife put me on fill the glasses with ice patrol. I filled like eight cups with ice and brought them back into the kitchen, only to discover she only wanted cups for us.

Fortunately, the line was small and plenty of food remained. After again eating a balanced meal, I made my way into the family room and was soon appointed play partner with Parker, who got a new bike from Santa and wanted somebody to help.

I was pretty good the first four times I got to help him ride the bike. Parker is three and decided it was more fun to slam on the breaks while I tried to push him. I thought it was funny the first three or four times he did this, but at about 30 or so, grew a little irritated.

Parker actually got going pretty good about the fifth time he dragged me outside and left me wondering what I was missing on the History Channel. He had training wheels on the bike, so I wasn’t all that worried. At least until Parker tried to turn and the training wheels failed.

Fortunately, he fell about the speed of a turtle. He looked up at me, as if to scold me for not protecting him, or to wonder what kind of fit he should throw. I checked for blood and found none, and acted like it was no big deal and got him back on the bike to distract him.

He was fine. Parker did run over his sister later on, but that was her fault. Not Parker’s. Or mine. I thought we were going to have to perform emergency stitches on her, but the only casualty was a small tear in the knee of her hose things.

And then, there was Monday. It was raining and not really excited about going anywhere. We did have a gift card for my favorite eating establishment in Fort Smith, along with one for a book store. Sadly, the wife had a gift card for a clothing store and wanted to go there first.

I survived, barely. Then we went to eat! Not many cars in the parking lot! We were behind like one group and they got seated instantly. Then, the receptionist said it would be a few minutes that all there waiters had tables.

I looked around and saw approximately eight tables occupied. So, we sat. And sat some more. Other people filed in, obviously not aware of the waiter shortfall. The receptionist disappeared and the waiting area soon filled with people.

An older worker soon arrived and took control of the madness. Two, count ‘em two, tables got their food before we did, even though our waiter took our order first! If we hadn’t had wings and bread to tide us over, there could have been a scene!

Our food finally arrived. Mine was not up to its usual greatness. They totally messed up Trish’s grub. But did send it back for correction.

We used a gift card and paid with a large denomination bill. Our host/waiter, returned several minutes later and asked if we had smaller denominations as he could not break it. Seriously.

We paid the balance with a debit card so we could escape. Made another quick stop and returned home, where Molly and Dodger were waiting to go outside and come back in repeatedly.

And the break was over.

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