And just in time for the new year...
Just got back late last night from the holidays in Hartford. I so enjoyed seeing my family! Somehow we all stayed under the same roof for the week. There were eight of us altogether, overlapping much of the time. No one got a lot of sleep. Also somehow, even in the midst of all the snow and airport closings, no one was delayed more than an hour or so, either coming or going. (I say that now, but I'm thinking my mom may have had to stay overnight in Dallas last night, en route to El Paso, because of delays in flying out of Hartford.)
The highlight was seeing my two nieces and nephew. My nieces - 19 and 16 - likely would prefer little if anything written about them here, on this blog, while my nephew - 2, in from Chicago - doesn't seem to mind that at all when I write about him. (That, though, could have something to do with the fact that he doesn't read yet.) It was especially nice to see the three of them hang out together. The 16-year-old in particular had this gentle way of keeping track of the toddler without impacting his spirit - anticipating where he'd be, and when, and then corralling him in to better choices. I don't think he noticed any restraints whatsoever. Watching my nephew kept reminding us all of my nieces at that age, and we kept telling them stories of what it was like when they were young. There's the zipper story, the tutu story... Not to be shared here, though. I wouldn't want to embarrass them... And then we came up with new stories to share with my nephew years from now, when he's their age. Like how he was told he had to stop running through the blinds on the sliding glass door because he could break them, so he kissed them instead (apparently to demonstrate his lack of malice). Or how much he loved his ABC's. He does really love them. And my nieces! So remarkable. They are such kind people, with such good hearts. My younger niece is a math whiz - truly is. Once we were talking about creativity, and I said how creativity isn't limited to just writing, but can be in things like math and engineering. She nodded, fully aware of what I meant. She's a great writer too - don't get me wrong - but I think her passion lies with the math. My older niece will be (I know this) a writer by profession. This week, she shared something with me that she'd written. It drew me in. I've thought about it often, these past couple of days. She helped me, too, in working through an additional piece to the screenplay that I've written - an added facet to my lead male character's personality. She had right-on comments that will make a huge difference in the re-write. Hanging out with them - and my nephew - and the rest of my family - was a perfect way to spend the holiday.
Something cute, on the way out of town. At the gate, there was this sign. When the attendant announced that the flight was ready to board, he said they were getting to board flight such and such, going to Minneapolis, "and then on the North Pole, apparently," he said, his voice trailing off as he read the board. Funny. Or maybe the sign meant that Minneapolis is AKA the North Pole - since there was all that snow in Minneapolis, the day that I left - potentially a big deal, since I flew through Minneapolis on the way to Hartford. Smooth sailing in the end. Lucky for me. (Click the pic to see a bigger image.)