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Thursday, January 06, 2005

 
Endings and Beginnings
Well, I'm back from vacation, and it's time to apologize for the extended absence. I went home to North Carolina for two weeks, the longest time I've managed since I graduated from undergraduate school, and didn't even take my laptop out of its bag. I was living in kind of a bubble of the minimum amount of contact with the outside world of technology or people outside my family, and given that I now feel much better, I think I needed that.

Vacation was wonderful. I got to see almost everyone in my family, aunts, uncles, cousins, the works. I got to see my cousin Adam and his new wife Tez, from the Czech republic, for the first time since they got married in a very small ceremony that none of us more extended relatives managed to attend. I got to see my cousin Michael and his wife Becky's two kids, who are as adorable as ever. Courtney is now three, and shows signs of being either an entertainer or a genealogist. Hunter is 10 months, and he was generally being baby-adorable and let me hold him a lot. Awwww. And of course, I saw all my other aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins.

The only people missing were my aunt and uncle from Chicago, which was something of a cloud over the holiday for my dad's side of the family. My aunt Janice entered the hospital just a few days before Christmas with, as it turned out, colon cancer. She will have to have chemotherapy, but right now she is in a rehabilitation center to recover from her initial surgery, and my grandparents keep reporting that she is still sounding cheerful. Fortunately for my uncle, the hospital is only two blocks from their house.

On my mother's side, this was the first Christmas without Granddaddy, but it seemed to go well. Grandma miraculously didn't let her house get too chaotic, even though she had 7 people and a dog staying with her.

Beyond visiting with people, (and eating,) I read. Lots and lots of books. I finally got around to reading John McWhorter's Word on the Street, which was of course very interesting, and I'll probably get around to talking about it later. Then I stopped trying to be scholarly and turned to speed-reading my way through my parents' accumulated mysteries that I hadn't caught up on. For all that I still do not approve of Robert Parker's vendetta against the proper use of the question mark, the man does write quick and interesting plots. I also enjoyed a good dose of Stuart Woods' writing, which is both longer and without annoying lacks of punctuation. At one point during vacation, I was up to 2 books a day. It was exactly the sort of vacation I wanted.

Now, though, it is time to start the new semester. It will be different, as decisions have been made and plans put into motion, but more on that later. I wish whoever is out there a good new year.

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