Not the Mayan apocalypse; I already planned on surviving that. But the rest of the holiday, I just wasn't sure.
Let's go back to last Wednesday, the 19th. Things were going fine until I got a call from my mom. She had three things to tell me, and none of them were terribly positive.
The first was that because of the snow Madison was about to get on Thursday, no one was going to be able to pick my Grampa up from the airport here in Milwaukee. OK, no big deal, we can handle that. Mom booked him a hotel room (we don't have a proper guest room, and I doubt Grampa wanted to sleep on our sleeper sofa or the futon) and all we had to do was pick him up when his flight landed on Thursday around 3:50. Sweet. Sad that Grampa would have to spend the night in a hotel in MKE, but at least we could help.
The second was that Mam-maw (my dad's mom) - who is staying with my parents right now - had gotten in on the 15th, but had already been in the hospital. Ugh. She was dehydrated and sick, but fortunately my dad was able to go pick her up that afternoon and take her back to their house. Again, not good that she was sick, but good that she was being released.
The third had no up-side. My aunt's husband (my uncle through marriage) had been in a car accident and had died. That one made my heart ache. My aunt is one of the nicest, sweetest people you could know (a lot like Mom) and to know something so terrible had happened made the world seem wrong. Even worse was when I found articles online about the accident; it wasn't really a car wreck, it was a "freak accident" that killed him. There are so many questions that might never get answered, and I'm afraid the hurt will stick around for a long, long time.
On Thursday, the snow storm hit Madison, but we only got rain here for most of the day. Regardless, Grampa's flight ended up getting canceled, and Mom had to make arrangements for him to stay at the airport in Orlando and to get another flight booked (which meant Mom was on hold for almost an hour and a half). After my lunch break, Hubby asked me to check our basement for flooding, since a coworker of his was having some issues. I ran downstairs to check, didn't find any water, and came back to work, only to find that my internet was out. Poor Hubby spent about 2 hours trying to help me troubleshoot (via text and phone call), but to no avail. He called our provider, but they couldn't get out to the house until 2 PM on Friday. Great. There goes the rest of my work week.
Even better was when the guy came and figure out what had happened. Our internet amplifier is in the basement and, for whatever reason, is hooked up to a light switch in the back room. (See where this is going?) When I had gone down to check on the flooding situation, I had flipped the switch, but when nothing happened, I assumed the bulb was out and I just moved on. Instead, I had essentially turned off our connection. (Insert facepalm here.) Thankfully, it turned out that had been only part of the problem; we also had a cable that had gone bad, and had he not figured that out, I might've gone insane trying to make our internet work on my desktop. Aye yi yi.
On the plus side, I got to spend Friday wrapping presents and finishing up crafts. I watched a couple of movies on demand (Mr. Poppers Penguins was pretty sweet) and cleaned some things up a bit. That cleared up some time on Saturday, which means I had time to make all 3 kinds of cookies I'd set out to bake. I made Oreo truffles, peppermint pinwheels, and meringue cookies with mini M&Ms (they were out of the dark chocolate and mint pieces by the time we went shopping). Unlike last year's meringue cookies, these didn't turn out to be globs of gooey messiness, so that was nice. And the Oreo truffles are kind of like crack (my dad told my family that the first one's free, but the rest are $20 each). And Mom really liked the pinwheels, which made me happy. Saturday evening, K got into town, and that night, she and S came by and we went out for dinner. I love having time with my sisters, and dinner was just what I needed.
Sunday we drove into Madison. Our original plan was to have our traditional dinner and gift exchange with K that night, but instead we went to my uncle's visitation and funeral. It was actually nice to spend some time with my family and it wasn't nearly as uncomfortable as I'd imagined (except for the chairs, which were terribly uncomfortable; Hubby's leg even went numb at one point). We also got to have some awesome Italian food after the service (thank you, Biaggi's!), some of which we got to take home as leftovers. That night, we had a fire in the family room and sat around to enjoy it, just Mom, Dad, Hubby, Mam-maw and I.
Christmas Eve Day meant more cookies! My mom made the traditional sugar cookie dough, and I rolled it out, used the cookie cutters and baked them up. While we let them sit, Hubby and I headed to grab some lunch (more Italian food; I'm not Italian, but I think my taste buds are) and then to the grocery store where K and S were ringing bells for the Salvation Army. Mom gave me $5 to donate (I give my money elsewhere) and we picked up some raisin bread for Mam-maw. When we got home, I made frosting and Hubby and I decorated the sugar cookies. We got to relax for a bit after that, and then eventually we opened presents (before dinner this year; another tradition broken). Hubby got me season 1 of Sherlock on DVD, Dumbo on blu-ray, and a couple other fun things. I also got a puzzle, a beautiful scarf, and we got a ginormous generator. Dad told us the idea was originally for camping, but that the unit he got was a bit bulkier than he anticipated, so we were given the option of keeping it or returning it to Gander Mountain and using the money for other camping stuff. (We're not 100% decided yet, but I think we're leaning toward returning it and getting a new tent and some other things.) Everyone seemed to be happy with their presents, and that's all I could really hope for.
More to come.