Wednesday, November 26, 2014

In Search of Lost Time

I find myself somewhat at loose ends.

We were supposed to head back east to see my family over the Thanksgiving holiday.  We had it all planned out, in fact.  The rabbits had been farmed out to friends.  The chickens were being cared for.  The cats and goldfish were mostly set.  On Tuesday morning I’d carpool over to Mid-Range Campus as usual.  Kim would pick the girls up from school that afternoon and then come get me, and we’d make it to eastern Indiana by the end of the day.  Then we’d spend Wednesday crossing Ohio and Pennsylvania, and there would be family and food at the end of the journey.  What more can you want out of a holiday?

Well, better weather, for one thing.

As someone who grew up in and around Philadelphia, I learned very early that snow was something that happened in January.  Maybe.  A white Christmas was something that happened in books and movies and far off places like, oh, hypothetically speaking, Wisconsin – one of those frozen places that the gods of irony would have me become resident of later in my life because that’s how they earn their paychecks.

And who pays gods, anyway?  With what?  Do they have to pay taxes?  To whom?  What services could they possibly get for them that they couldn’t do themselves?  Where would they cash those checks, and what kinds of things would they spend them on?  Why don’t theologians ask the hard questions like these, that’s what I want to know.

So the idea of snow in November never really occurred to me as a serious possibility.  The idea of a heavy, wet, travel-hazard snowstorm that would cancel our neatly planned out trip was unthinkable.  Until I looked at the weather forecast on Tuesday and suddenly had to revise my definition of unthinkable to “intensely thinkable,” which may or may not be a word but there you have it.  Thinks were thought.  Forecasts were consulted.  More thinks were thought, some of them not very polite at all, really.

We’re home now.  And if central Pennsylvania isn’t covered with a foot of snow by the end of today I will be seriously annoyed.  The gods will have their paychecks docked in that case, because they will owe me.

But here we are, with all kinds of found time. 

Of course there are still things to do.  I’ve got grading and class prep, of course.  Lauren is busy covering the dining room in paper mache, working on a sculpture for her Egypt project.  And so on.

We’ll probably go up to Kim’s family for Thanksgiving, since family and food at the end of a journey are what the holidays are all about, and even if it is a different group of family than the original plan called for it will still be a good time.

In the meantime, we’ll keep ourselves occupied.

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