Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: This Year Was Not Boring

I've started the year-end review of records and see that there's a reason why I haven't kept up with some projects and pastimes: and feel frazzled. Here's a brief recap.

Head-On Crash and Sprained Bodies

In January, my wife and #3 daughter were in a head-on car accident just outside Osakis, about 10 miles up the road. They were headed south, another car blew through a stop sign (according to the police report) at the end of an Interstate off-ramp, made wide, fast right turn into my family's van. Snow on the road didn't help.

Happily, the folks in the other car weren't hurt.

My wife and #3 daughter came out with whiplash, what I'll call 'sprained bodies,' and - in the case of my daughter - a broken wrist. That was a bit rough, since #3 daughter is a writer and guitarist. My wife was able to climb a flight of stairs by the end of the month.

Daughter's Wedding

As soon as my wife was able to move around, she started getting things ready for #2 daughter's wedding. That happened in September. And involved making the wedding dress. Those things take more attention than hemming sheets. Happily, my wife is a better seamstress than she lets on - and isn't the sort of person to let a head-on collision stop her.

#2 daughter made the veil, and September 5th she married my new son-in-law.

Thought I Might Lose a Son-In-Law

Then her new husband got "dreadfully sick" as my family's Christmas letter put it. He wasn't able to eat for about a week. What made it scarier was that doctors could tell that he was sick - but couldn't figure out why. Eventually, we celebrated his eating a large chuck of watermelon.

My Father Died

Then my father's health started deteriorating faster.

About a week after I knew that, God willing, I'd keep my new son-in-law for a few more years, at least, my father died.

He's been cremated, as was my mother. Their ashes were mixed, then put in two urns. I buried one in the Red River Valley of the North, near my mother's birthplace,the other in northern Illinois, near my father's. Actually, #3 daughter and her husband, and quite a few other people did most of the work - but at least I was there.

Other Than That - - -

Aside from that, though, not much has happened.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day, 2009

Merry Christmas!

There's more to this day than snow, mistletoe, and "Jingle Bell Rock" More in: There's quite a bit of snow, though. And more coming down.

We've heard from #2 daughter and her husband. He says my wife is his favorite mother-in-law. She insisted that those two get a snowmobile.

They live in the Red River Valley of the North, on the North Dakota side. Some towns are closed down up there, riding out the storm.

The church in town, near their home, wasn't one of the ones that had canceled Christmas Eve Mass - and they made it in, thanks to the snowmobile. They went into the ditch a few times, I understand, and had to get off and walk the snowmobile at least once - but apart from that, the trip was uneventful.

Where roads were parallel with the wind, the going was smooth. Roads at right angles to the wind were drifted in. I'm told that riding over those was a bit like racing over a very choppy lake.

Nothing that exciting happened here. We live in town, so the plow crew has been by - several times - keeping the streets open. My son's cleared the driveway and, I think, sidewalk. At the rate the snow's coming, a plow will probably be by at least once more. Which will put another rampart at the end of the driveway.

Oh, well.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Snow, Bicycles, Software and Waiting

I'm waiting for software to finish testing a picture I'm trying to get ready for tomorrow. It's a slow process, involving one of the more maddening aspects of the 3D software I use.

But, it's given me time to think. Also, finish Stapleton's "Star Maker" - which relates to another blog. (Drifting at the Edge of Time and Space, mostly) Which I'll be writing about, another day, in that blog.

It's about 4 in the afternoon here, the sun's getting low in the southwest, and the software is still cranking away. There's snow on the ground - barely enough for snowmobiles.

It's been quite a year for this family: a head-on collision - everybody survived, thank God; one daughter married; my father died. I've missed something - no matter.

I was out, almost an hour ago, picking up a prescription, and noticed that a few high schoolers - or maybe junior high students - had used bicycles instead of cars. When I was in high school, back in the sixties, a few kids drove but most walked or used bicycles. Times change. So, apparently, does the amount of disposable income. Riding a bicycle doesn't significantly increase food intake - but gasoline costs money.

Oh, well.

I see the software's almost finished one aspect of the test. Time to see what it's up to now.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas"

I remember when Yogi Yorgesson's "I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas" was allowed on the radio.

Happily, the extended family I married into isn't as dysfunctional as Yogi's apparently was.

On the other hand, I see I've let this blog go unupdated. That's a word my spellchecker says doesn't exist: but you know what I mean, so it stays.

My father-in-law will be over for supper in a few minutes. Barring the unexpected, of course. I'm looking forward to that - but it means that I've a bit less time to get tasks done.

The good news is that I printed off enough of the Christmas letter - and most of the address labels. Then I ran out of label stock.

Like the song says, "I yust go nuts at Christmas."

Friday, December 4, 2009

Still in Mourning?

The holiday season has never been a particularly good for me.

Don't get me wrong: I enjoy the holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. But, as my wife said once, I get a bit crazy around this season. And, this is the season when I'm most likely to come down with some bug.

A few years ago, I discovered what may be a large part of the explanation: my mother had the major stoke during the Christmas season, when I was in 7th grade. I don't remember the incident, at all, but the odds are that it affected me: and at some level I probably remember in general terms when it happened.

So, this year my wife and #3 daughter were involved in a head-on collision. They both survived, but my daughter's wrist is still healing - and I insist on being hopeful that she'll regain her skill on the guitar.

Then #2 daughter got married, and my father died. The last happened toward the end of September.

I've been dragging myself to the task of getting some must-do tasks done, but don't need to look at my records to know that I've been less productive than usual. And, I may be coming down with something. Again. Or, what I had a month ago is still with me.

And, this week, I realized that I'm probably still "in mourning" over the death of my father. As I've said before, he's a hard act to follow, and I miss him. A lot.

But, God willing, I've probably still got a few decades left.

And, apparently, I'm getting back to - normal?

As evidence, I submit that I am about 2.56 gigabytes of space on the C drive, having backed up a few photos. That may not seem like much, but it took an act of will for me to get going on that little project. And, resolve a technical issue I've had for a few months with one of the backup devices.
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