For the benefit of those lucky people that haven't heard much of the past month straight from me (I tend to ramble), let me break it down.
Thanksgiving was spent in Gburg. The aftermath was spent in full-bellied shame.
I came back to work and started to get the tingly excitement of the pre-Christmas time that makes it feel even better to work with kids at school. (Wish my kids could actually talk about Christmastime or winter break, but I'm pretty sure they were still psyched.)
Matt and I were geared up for a super-festive weekend, attending my work's Christmas party and then going immediately to his. I had signed up and purchased the ingredients for the fabulous Crinkle cookies I would bring to Basic's & Life Skills (the classrooms i work in) for a smaller celebration before the break.
The night before Rutland (and most of the surrounding areas, including well, everywhere I ever go) got coated with beautiful, shiny, evil, ice and trees and telephone polls blocked our escape (should we have wanted to go out that morning and make one). I'm still fuming from the reaction of Matt's employers after he couldn't make it to work during this STATEWIDE EMERGENCY!!!!! It was colder than the abandoned, heat-free condo that's for sure. I just wanted to pull that crank right through the cell and scream "Sure he can come in to work, let's just throw on the ol' cross country skiis. In fact, why doesn't he just borrow Santa's freakin sled!!" Personal time, my ass...but I digress.
We spent almost a week without electricity or heat, and I've never felt more welcome since I moved up here than when we received so many offers to come stay or help out. We spent the nights of darkness with those who had power (or a good generator) like Matt O's in Marlboro, Auntie Maurine's, and at Matt's parents. Since we got the power back, it's gone out only once for an hour or so, but every time someone bumps a light switch or a plug, or sits on the remote, I feel a twingey little panic that it's all happening again. Don't get me wrong, it was manageable. But I was more freaked out than I let on.
The biggest disaster of the Ice Storm '08 was Kirsten's house and the serious damage caused by the pipes. I can't even imagine the endless successions of freak outs I would have if it had been my home, so kudos for being so strong, Kirsten!
Christmas with Matt's family was just what I needed to get me back in the spirit of things. The big family fiesta was cancelled because of the next weekend's 16'' of snow. My first Christmas time away from home (or Pennsylvania) was a little surreal, so having at least a little get together definitely got me feeling more jolly. I felt terrible that the storm limited my shopping time (and replacing groceries so we could eat limited my shopping budget) and all I had for Matt's family were the small presents of Bath & Body works and homemade cocoa I got pre-ice storm or PIS, if you will. A rundown on Xmas pressies will come later.
The ice storm and subsequent snow storm the following week closed down schools for almost 2 weeks, which was followed by winter break for 2 weeks. I hated being out of work when I didn't have a job and wonderful kidlets to miss in the first place.
Christmas in Gburg was a little lonely without my sister and her family on the actual Christmas day. My mother and I went to my grandparents for a quiet day. On the 26th, my sis, Bob, and Maddie drove with Dad to Thomasville to Mamu's (my Dad's mom- dont ask about the name....but it's Meg's fault.) I hadn't seen Maddie for a month and a half and she was HUGE and talking way more than in November. It was great seeing my Dad, but prolonged exposure to Thomasville leads to brain leakage and occasional day dreams of pretending to be asleep. On the 27th, my mom's side of the family had the big Christmas where my cousins, grandparents, great aunt's children (and their children) all come and do the Christmas dinner and present thing.So, like 20 some people. Big news! My cousin Mallory is expecting, all beit a little ahead of schedule, and Matt and I will be heading back down for her wedding at the end of January.
I spent the next few days with Mom and Pennsylvania peeps. Early on the 30th, Mom went in for knee surgery and after I saw her safe recovery, I drove from Gburg to my sister's in Southern New Jersey. Had a fantastic dinner with Dad, Meg, Bob, Maddie, and Max (their lab) and then left at 7pm to drive back up to Rutland.
Last night we went to East Boston to Jeff & Sarah's annual NYE party. This is my second year and it was even better than last year- and I'm leaving it at that.
Well, folks, if you made it through all of this, get up and get yourself a piece of left over (possibly discounted) Christmas candy. Perhaps blogging more than once a month would be a good resolution.