(I've changed the name from "Rants" given that I can't really rant about many things that frustrate me here, at least not without getting into some sort of trouble. As such, you'll have to wait for the book.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Christmas 2014

Happy New Year.

I should warn you in advance that this posting may include a number of photos of kids. If you are annoyed by such things you would be well advised to go no further.

I suppose it applies to anyone. People who are into things tend to inundate others with them. Photos. Stories. On and on and on. It’s hard to imagine that others may not be quite as enthusiastic. So I usually try to temper it a bit. But it’s what dads do I guess.

It’s been since mid-November that I posted something. I probably have even fewer readers. It’s ok though. As I often say, this is as much about me recording what I do for myself as it is for others. People can come and look if they wish but I don’t push it on anyone.

So…where was I? Last time I posted I was in the midst of a string of trips. Rwanda. NY. DC. NY. Istanbul. Rwanda.  Then, after a couple weeks of respite, it was back to the airport to return to the US for the holidays. I do enjoy being different places but I just don’t enjoy the getting there. With two small girls it adds even more of a twist. Thankfully we were armed with an iPad – the essential tool for maintaining a semblance of order above 30,000 ft.

We arrived in Minneapolis and spent the night there with our friend Kathy – something we’ve done over the past few years. It’s wonderful to see her and I suppose it gives us a day to acclimate to the time zone and weather before arriving in Louisville. Minnesota didn’t disappoint and welcomed us with cold and snow, much less than last year but snow nonetheless.
last minute shopping
The next day we enjoyed the short flight to Louisville and the holidays were off and running. We’d fortunately done quite a bit of shopping online (I did far more than I normally do) and it took some of the pressure off of ruining the down time by hanging out in shops. Some of it is not bad though and malls tend to be good places for kids to run around, particularly those raised in the tropics.
Matthew & Kiran
I of course tended to emails from time to time. It’s far less stressful for me to peck at my emails for an hour or so every day than to try to pretend that I don’t care what is going on and/or live in the awareness that the electronic to dos are quietly spinning out of control in my inbox. It’s not for everyone but it works for me.

unwrapping frenzy
We spent our time hanging out and catching up with each other, ate a lot, went to church, sang caroles, ate some more, got some vaccinations, etc. You get the picture. 

pretty cute elf I would say
The family seemed to be doing well in spite of some health challenges. It’s an escapable reality that we’re all getting older and that means things will go wrong. Including with me. We’re not really sure why but the day after Christmas I started getting these nasty headaches. I should say headache since it has been a constant and occasionally piercing pain since it started and has never really gone away. We have yet to figure out what’s causing it. In my life from time to time I’ve heard about people that live with chronic pain. Now I’m getting a taste of what it’s like. Two and a half weeks and counting. Not much compared to what others have gone through and I’m hopeful it will run its course or we’ll figure out what it is and stop it. Thanks to the pain killers for keeping me functional.

On the 27th we caught out flight from Louisville to Boise. The latter had snow to welcome us. My brother and sister braved the cold and late night hours to pick us up. We loaded up and headed to our hotel. Since children arrived on the scene we have been more inclined to use a hotel during our visits. We are now a force to be reckoned with and parking it on someone’s couch is no longer an option. We’re numerous. We’re loud. And we make big messes.

return of the cake pops
In looking back I think it was 1994, the last winter that I did not ski in Idaho. It’s relatively impressive given that I have lived nearly a decade in Africa. The only reason I didn’t in ’94 is because I spent the holidays in Italy – the only time I’ve ever spent them away from family. Otherwise my streak would go back to the 1970’s. 

don't they look cute
I was in jeopardy of it not happening this year due to a number of reasons/obstacles but at the eleventh hour, my niece and her friend Rob joined me in an impromptu trip for a few hours to a local ski area. I have to say, it was great. We weren’t there long and it’s not a very impressive place but just being up on the mountain was wonderful.

that cute elf made her way to Idaho

Otherwise we spent our time eating, watching (American) football, making cake pops and catching up with each other.

Soon it was time to saddle up and head home. From the door of my sister’s condo to our door in Bujumbura we endured thirty-seven hours of travel – and that is with no mishaps. Just loads of moving walkways, security checks, diaper changes, baggage carts, snacks, safety briefings, spilled milk, etc. etc.

As quickly as it began, it was all over. It’s always too short and it moves very fast. But it’s worth it. Always good to be with family.

“To move freely you must be deeply rooted.”
-Bella Lewitsky, dancer (1916-2004)

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