Christmas Dream

We did make it back safe to Alabama and without any incident, unlike last year (sickness, snowstorm).  In fact, the drive was completed in near record time (12 hours) as we only stopped briefly for breakfast at McDonald’s at about the halfway point (in Kentucky) when Jet and Ben woke up at 7:00am.  Jet and Ben both fell back asleep and didn’t wake up until we were in Birmingham or only 1 hour from home.  Lots of sun, though, and it has been in the mid-60’s every day here.  That softens the blow from leaving family and friends behind in Milwaukee.

So what will I remember most from our Christmas trip this year?  Well, besides all of the sickness that everyone else seemed to have which ruined getting together much, the snow and cold would have to take the cake.  After all, first impressions can say so much.  When we arrived in Milwaukee, we stopped at Oakland Gyros by the airport and were greeted by mounds of snow on the islands in the road and streets, courtesy of the 15 inches of snow the day before that were not plowed that well.  It was only until we hit the side streets by Dad’s and Kristin’s house did we know what poor plowing was, or seemingly lack of plowing altogether.  There was quite a bit of snow to slither through on those side streets and in many cases, only enough room for one car to pass through the street.  And then stepping out of the car for the first time at Dad’s house and the plow had recently gone through leaving a huge snow bank to traverse (and fall into) while bringing each bag of luggage into the house.  What a Wisconsin welcome!  The kicker was waking up the next morning to warm-up the car so that we could have breakfast at Kristin’s house, only when I started up the car, it gave a weak “chug, chug, chug, chug” before finally starting, as if to say, it was 70 degrees 24 hours ago, and now this!?!  When the car did start up, the temperature gauge said -6 degrees.  Yikes!  And with that killer wind, -30 wind chills.  And with the extra foot of snow over the next 24 hours, what a Wisconsin welcome that was indeed.  I spent every day that first week in Milwaukee shoveling snow, most memorably at Sandy’s house when it was so cold and windy that my eyelids would freeze shut when I closed them.  Then by the end of the week after Christmas, it was 50 degrees, foggy and rainy, go figure.

Well, it was great having a chance to see everyone again, including Chris and Gina.  I hope everyone has enjoyed their thin mints by now.  And thank you very much Dad for coping with us in your house again for another week+ and everyone else for being such gracious guests and so friendly with food.  If you can believe it, I gained another 10 pounds over the stay, so that is as good of an indicator as any that we were taken care of well.  I am now nearly 20 pounds heavier than when we returned from Thailand only 4 months ago.  Looks like I will be making some changes down here to get back into shape.

Now that we are in Alabama, we have been catching up with the neighbors and doing some after-Christmas shopping at the stores to pick up some great deals.  We set-up our new 42″ TV yesterday (Tuesday) but we are not sold just yet on the “crispness” of the picture.  Perhaps that is because our cable company (Cable One) only offers a handful of channels in HD.

We are going to be quite busy over the next few days.  Today (New Year’s Eve) we have agreed to host a party from 5:00pm – ??? where we have some of our neighbors and friends coming over for snacks, homemade pizza, drinks, and dessert to celebrate the New Year.  For New Year’s Day (tomorrow), we will be heading out to the Thai temple in Atlanta for a celebration (and lots of Thai food).  On Friday, we were planning to visit some friends up in Jacksonville and come back for the Alabama game.  On Sunday, we will be heading out to Savannah, Georgia for the whole week for a conference that I have.  The spring semester begins a week from tomorrow too, so we really do have a lot on our hands the week ahead.  But it should be good to stay busy and get back into a new routine.


3 Responses to “Christmas Dream”

  1. lou Says:

    Are you going to be serving Spotted Cow as a beverage tonight? I like the pictures. We were sad to see you go. It stinks that the sickness had to travel around the family while your were here. There are lots of things we did not get a chance to do. But for sure they will be put on the priority list for next year. Esp. susi and sking
    Have a happy new year.
    PS. Jenny that story about dad and your birthday call is pretty funny!

  2. Chris Says:

    Happy New Year everybody! We had a great time visiting, as always, but even better when we can get everyone together at the same time. I hadn’t seen you in quite a while Andy, Janette and Aunt Sue. Christmas Eve was a great suprise, thanks Andy. Jenny, I know how Dad gets those days mixed up because he does it with me too. Whatcha gonna do? I also succumbed to the stomach bug, which I was kind enough to then hand off to Gina. We had dinner that Saturday night at the Weissgerber Gasthaus, which was nice, but I wasn’t feeling quite right. We then started back for Omaha and made it to the Wisconsin border before the radio was saying there were reports of black ice and 1-3″ of snow coming. We pulled off the highway and there was all the ice! It was not the best night of sleep, which all of you who have had this bug can attest, which makes me very thankful that while we did enjoy our stay with Matt and Sandy very much, I didn’t have this bug at their house. Anyway, have a safe holiday all!

  3. sandy Says:

    Just glad to see you guys made it home alright. By the way that Dad story Jenny told was my falt! Dad was right I was wrong on correcting him. I will have to tell him next time I see him. I hope you had a happy new year. New years eve was pretty quite in the city. I love the pictures! Today we are supose to get slet/rain mix and some snow tomorrow. How fun!

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