I started the week with my Auntie Margaret day. Carolyn and I picked her up, hit Job Lot (it takes a LONG time to shop with a blind lady – Love you Auntie Margaret!) and then, starving, went to Wood River Inn for lunch. I wasn’t up for my usual fried belly clam plate so we got some as an appetizer to split and all had non-fried food for our main course. Then we went to the Hack & Livery. They were out of grapefruit peels – GASP! – so we were in and out in a flash and then dropped Auntie Margaret off so we could head home for packing.
While we had foregone much of our usual shopping, I still had three stockings worth of presents plus my Job Lot treasures to fit in the smaller suitcase I had left in the attic this past summer. I do have to say, I’m a fantastic packer. Leaving out just a few items that could wait until my next trip, I sandwiched it all in and brought my jam packed suitcase and bulging carry on downstairs. Now I could relax until leaving early the next morning for the airport.
Here’s a scenario you never want to hear on a plane. “Hello ladies and gentlemen. You may have noticed that we’ve been circling. That’s because the flaps on one of the wings have twisted and so we will not be able to use flaps while landing. This means we’ll be coming in hard and fast and will only have the use of the brakes on the wheels, which will put a lot of pressure and them and they may burst into flames. We don’t want you to worry. There will be fire trucks on the tarmac but they’re only a precaution. We’ve done this kind of landing before without a problem so don’t worry.” Yeah, right! This was on my flight from Detroit to Omaha. We did come in fast and we could smell burning rubber but the tires survived the landing and I was never happier to get off a plane and get home.
I had been gone for the entire Christmas blizzard and I had parked strategically in the parking lot – facing out, end space (both intentional) and just happened to be on the northwest corner of the parking lot so my car had been scraped clean by the wind. I basically got in the car and drove out of my spot, sliding past cars that were completely encased in snow. I had also called my snow blower dude to clear my driveway while I was gone so was able to drive into the garage without incident. It was a good day!
Unfortunately the cats were miffed by being housebound for so long so I had a few messes to clean up. When I went to flush some cat poop down the toilet, it was completely clogged. Given a couple of hours, the water would go down but no amount of plunging did the trick. So, the first thing I did on my first morning at home was call the plumber to come snake my toilet. I briefly considered going to the hardware store and buying a snake to try myself but, thankfully, thought better of it. Jake, who worked on my ill-fated bathroom redo, came right away and got it unclogged. Had I not been so desperate for him to leave so I could use the toilet, I would have had him check the drip in the basement but it was the last thing on my mind at that time and so is still dripping. Like my father said when I bought my house, “Congratulations. You’ll be poor for the rest of your life.”
The rest of the week went by in the blur. While I had a huge to do list, I barely made a dent in it until the weekend. I spent the better part of three days sitting in the sun, knitting and watching dvd’s, happy to be cozy inside and only looking at the piles of snow. After sufficient rejuvenation, I got busy on the weekend and slammed through most of the short-term stuff my list. All in all, it was a nice week from beginning to end. The very best thing about working in higher ed, except maybe the butt loads of vacation, is the week off between Christmas and New Year’s. It’s a fabulous way to start the new year and 2010 is going to be a happy one.