Just got back from Michigan where I finally got to meet Dark Haired Girl's family up there, after hearing about them for years now. She's so much like her mother, my eyes just kept darting back and forth between the two, catching all sorts of commonalities... from hand gestures to the way they form certain words with their mouths.
So I guess it has been unusually cold up there, and the pond which normally finishes freezing in January was already frozen a good solid 10 inches down, so I played the guinea pig while the kids watched in anticipation, and I put on my skates. I'd never skated on a pond before, only artificial arenas, and I've always always wanted to. It was so amazing, the bumps and irregular curves of the edge of the water... and the little pops and bumps that resonated off my skate frames. I was in heaven.
Only I would be sweating in 25 degree weather
So all the girls (Dark Haired Girl has adoptive sisters as young as her own daughters) and I were out there either skating or scootching around in shoes, and we took chairs and pushed them around ice, giving the back a good sideways shove and sending them spinning across the surface.
And I got to try venison chops which a neighbor brought over to share. Very tender and delicious... not at all what I'd expected. See, I thought we had a lot of deer around here, but up there, they're as thick as mosquitoes. So hunting is a common part of daily life up there, and driving around you can see all these little ramshackle deer stands just larger than phone booths are all over the place. I personally don't think I could bring myself to actually kill one, and I joked that I don't hunt deer with a rifle, I use a cannon. (cannon -- canon -- my camera.... get it? har har.
ANYHOO, wouldn't you know, but just as we get back to Troy, Dark Haired Girl's car pops not just one flat, but later in the evening, the back end starts sliding around as the other
back tire goes flat as a pancake. I mean, both these tires were totally FUCKED
. The steel belt was exposed on the first one, and the entire goddamn tread was about to separate off the other. And to change it, it took Blonde Haired Girl's husband and I about a gallon of penetrant oil and a twenty minutes of beating the rim with wood beams to get it off.
And to think, while we were up there, she and I got lost on the way to her brother's house. There we were in the pitch darkness, totally lost in a network of iced over dirt roads with no houses in sight (but lots of deer), and no cell phone service. If we'd have popped a flat there (and provided we didn't careen off the road) I'd have had to leave her in the car while I hoofed a couple of miles in the middle of winter in Michigan to the nearest farm. And the speed limit up there is a lot higher than down here, so on the highways, we were cruising around 75-80 miles per hour. And we did all that without skipping a beat, and made it back home to Troy just as the tires gave out.
Now, I'm no churchy person, neither do I identify with any particular religion, but you try going through that and not feel like somebody was watching out for you.
It's hard to make plans for new year's eve when you start trying around 7pm that very night, and Blonde Haired Girl's husband Ray had a migraine from the seventh circle of hell, so we walked across the yard to their place and got drunk at her table while Ray agonized on the sofa. After the ball dropped, we went back, and then Dark Haired Girl got this weird idea to start cooking, so we spent the rest of the night goofing around in her kitchen.
I have been on a pretty good track of keeping my new year's resolutions. Last year, as you may recall, I resolved to be out of my mom's house and in my own place by my thirtieth birthday... and as of August 25th, 2008, I was. The fact that I'm back at Mom's notwithstanding, I'd count that in the "kept" column.
The problem is thinking of one for this year. I was thinking maybe piggybacking off of my resolution two years ago to not let my view camera just gather dust (which it has been doing since I finished school), or maybe not letting my enthusiasm for going to the Y to work out fizzle... but I dunno. I'm having trouble thinking of something inspiring. For the most part, I don't really feel the need to make any grandiose declarations.
Aside from the normal day-to-day bumps in the road, things are going pretty well.