Wednesday, January 08, 2003

We have returned to our Windswept Rancho. The chicas greeted me with their usual enthusiasm and warmth. The cats were holding a grudge; several hours passed before they forgave me enough to let me nuzzle them thoroughly. Grandma and Grandpa stayed in town and kept everything in order. They gave us the update on the mostly quiet holidays. Apparently the action centered around the Santa Ana winds that ripped across town in the last few days. Minor damage is obvious all over the yard. We did lose two trees. Poor little carrotwood simply snapped, and another was lifted out of the ground. And the chicas' home was blown 6 inches off its foundation. We have experienced many powerful winds since we have lived here, but this one must have been the most potent of all.

I am glad those winds weren't around to greet our plane as we flew home. Flying is adventure filled enough, as far as I am concerned. There is nothing significant to report about this last flight, but I didn't like it . Does anyone remember that flight attendants would suggest passengers grab their ankles in the event of an emergency landing? They don't do that any more. No room. All the security procedures were no problem. Sure it takes a lot of extra time, but it's not painful or harrowing. Painful was the voice of the woman in line with us; she felt compelled to bitch about everything. In some ways I was sorry to see her go, because her litany of complaints was entertaining. She was a one woman act in the theater of the absurd. NASA might want to seek her out, since the universe supposedly revolves around her.

This morning we managed to get ourselves to the community center for Max's gymnastics class. (I think I must be physically here, but mentally still in Hawaii, because driving felt odd and somehow abstract. Not ideal, so I will refrain from driving for the remainder of the day.) He was still wearing the aloha shirt Geoff picked up for him at the airport in Honolulu. Though it's been a month since he was last in his class, he jumped right in and had a good time. Next week we all have new classes to attend. I still haven't told the boys what I have them signed up for. This could get difficult, since I have enrolled them in some unexpected programs.

It's strange to take account of all the changes that have taken place, and also to realize how little is different from before we left. Holly and Rich and Nicholas have a new kitty. He is an even more sleek Chango-like kitten, named Timmy. Anne has a new bicycle for Lava-Man, and they're living in a hotel as their home is rescued from the cottage cheese ceiling. Up the street, the neighbors are putting up a very long fence. It rained a bit today, and the chicas layed eggs. Our Christmas tree is parched and balding. The boys are in ecstasy over all their Christmas gifts. I don't know what to fix for dinner, and there is a ton of unpacking to do. I am happy. I like the feel of my bed and the smell of the rosemary in the yard, and I am grateful for the infinite little things that are my privilege to endure or enjoy.

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