It seems in some ways I am writing a few days behind my thoughts.
For instance, the last entry was conceived of several days before it came to fruition, and again, this entry reflects thoughts from earlier in the week.
Maybe its better that way, you know? That way, I don’t write stupid, pointless dribble in here, but rather, well intentioned, thought through ideas and who knows, maybe even feelings.
Anyway, Christmas morning I slept in for the first time in a couple of days. It defies logic when you actually think about it. I’ll get up unnecessarily early to go drink coffee and read, or even the unspeakable opening shift at Starbucks Dallas; but come Christmas morning when there are presents to be opened and general merriment to be had, I tend to hit the snooze on my phone/alarm clock repeatedly. It’s been this way for several years, somewhat coinciding with the maturation process and the inevitable life long stage of not really asking for anything super significant for Christmas. But due to an unfortunate incident on a rainy Friday a couple of weeks ago*, I had been iPodless for several weeks, including an excruciatingly long day at the airport. Thanks to Christen though in that case for: a) taking me to the airport, b) waiting patiently while I sorted out flight details** and then c) staying and talking to me at length while we waited for my flight. Before digressing further into the life and times of my airport experiences (the 14 trip home not the longest mind you***), back to Christmas.
So Christmas morning, doing the usual languishing on the futon, but gradually emerging from a not so strenuous slumber; and I began to have rather intense feelings of gratitude. This is prior to opening any presents mind you, but due to my properly attuned faculties of smelling and hearing. I overhead the soft Christmas music playing downstairs in the den (a Christmas morning necessity) as well as my parents talking in my absence, not so much about what they got me or anything like that, but you could just tell they were somewhat excited about Christmas. Right about then, the smell of delicious orange glazed cinnamon rolls wafted up the stairs and found a home in my nasal passages. Maybe here on paper (digital paper I suppose) it doesn’t sound that enticing, but put all together after a long semester away, a long trip home, and a long day of work on Christmas eve, it was a very comforting feeling. Not at all for the first time, but I could really feel my parents love for me and a love in return was kindled, as well as the feeling of intense gratitude mentioned just earlier this very paragraph.
Getting up to open presents, I found everything was just as it should be, the music, the food, the eggnog, the coffee, the dog, the parents, the tree, the lighting, oh and the presents. Prior to the loss of the beloved iPod (see an earlier entry), I had asked for some books (since I don’t read enough, nor have enough books to read ever) CD’s, sweaters, and a tea maker (because everybody needs a pitcher of iced green tea in their fridge). I was delighted to find all that, as well as the new iPod. I had somewhat expected to have the rest of the list slighted in order to replace the iPod, which would have been fine, but to get the other somewhat insignificant items in addition to said iPod was very pleasant indeed.
I feel in some ways I cannot say thank you enough for what I got for Christmas, but in some ways I already did earlier this year. Having written both of my parents a letter for Mother’s and Father’s Day respectively, I in some ways cannot outdo the quality of that gift. Not that I am anything special (other than to my parents) but when you tell your parents how you really feel about them and thank them for everything you’ve done in raising you, there is almost nothing more left to say. In many ways I realized upon deciding to go to seminary this past August instead of taking off a semester, I knew I would not be coming back to live at home again, unless I can make it through 6-7 years of graduate school and still remain single, which is not impossible, but I have a slight feeling that is not in my cards. I mean I will play the hand I’m dealt, but just looking at the cards on the table and waiting for the river, I have my suspicions. Also, my analogy probably just failed at this point because I do not know my poker terms very well.
One last thought before moving on, and by moving on I mean I have reading to do. Because isn’t that what breaks are for? To do all that reading you don’t have time for during the semester, right? I’m staying fairly on track with my reading list, I should be up to 7 by the end of today, which puts me right on schedule to finish close to 14 before settling back into Dallas. It may seem aggressive, but in many ways, it was only towards the end of the semester that I really started to get focused and thereby more productive. Looking at it now though, to get into this entails a discussion of calling, references to one of the books, if not more, that I’ve read since break, and in light of that, I’m just going to make it another forthcoming entry. Stay tuned for details.
* My car was violated for the first time while I was turning in a paper and my iPod, GPS, and other various items were stolen (aviators, DVD from Blockbuster). Luckily, my camera was not found in my backseat, and apparently my CD player is impervious to theft because it was still firmly imbedded in my dashboard. More an inconvenience and annoyance, it taught me the value of hiding my things more carefully, and made me less dependent on said iPod.
**My original flight was scheduled for 650am, so we arrived at the airport at 530am, only to find my Dad’s name print out on the boarding pass. Unfortunately, we have different first names, or it would be all good. So a few phone calls later, some fancy maneuvering, and I was rebooked for a later, more direct flight (the original one had a three and a half hour layover in Cincinnati). However, it was not until 115pm, and it was currently 7am, two days before Christmas, at the DFW airport. Surveying the options, I decided to hang around the airport, rather than going home to an apartment I had already bid farewell to and risk falling asleep…or worse. So in a sense, I had my layover first, then the lengthy flight. I got home at 8pm that evening.
***The longest was a flight back from Buenos Aires (Bway-nos Eye–res) which was delayed due to mechanical difficulties (not something all that comforting before a 9 hours international flight) So after arriving at the airport in the afternoon on a Saturday for international check in of a rather large group, and finally getting on the plane, we sat there for close to an hour, or maybe even two before actually leaving. This would have been no big deal, however, in Atlanta (of all places) we did not have two hours between flights to work with. So we arrived in Atlanta the next morning, only to miss our connection to JFK. If this had just been me, it probably could have been solved rather quickly; but it was not just me. It was me, and 40 other people who needed to be rebooked collectively on a flight to New York. Needless to say, we spent the day in the Atlanta airport. Several things came of this. First, I became immediately all too familiar with the Atlanta airport (which has continued to this day since that seems to be the only place I connect through back and forth from DFW); second, I had Starbucks for the first time because we got our meal vouchers (worth $7) after we had eaten lunch. So, a Venti Extra Mocha, Extra Chips Double Chocolate Chip Cream Frappuccino it was. Third, and last, I experienced sleeping in the airport, after waking up from my sugar induced slumber next to an almost empty Starbucks cup. Unfortunately for this footnote, that would not be the last time I slept on the floor before making it back. Not long after waking, it was time to board, and luckily, this flight made it off without any delays. We arrived in New York late afternoon/early evening, which put us right at the 24 point in transit. We then loaded up the buses for 4 hour drive back to the obscure Adirondack Mountains where the school was located. While I remember it being daylight on the drive back, it was also April, and so I think it was close to 7-8pm when we left. Fatigue comes at you fast at this point, so somewhere south of Albany on the absolute most inane part of I-87, I started drifting off to sleep. So did Lindsay next to me apparently, as I was told later of her sleeping on me (we’ve been friends ever since). However, when we got back to campus, I found myself face down in the floor of the bus, asleep there for who knows how long (well it could not have been more than two hours or so given my departure point into dreamland). So overall, a lot more excitement in this particular airport experience, which clocks in around 28 hours or so (margin of error +/-2hrs). Also, I left my camera on the bus, due to my grogginess in the unloading process. Oh, and my girlfriend at the time had broken up with me in the airport on our way out of New York, but that’s another story for another time and another place.