I’ve been in Sturgis since Saturday night, and tomorrow’s my last day. I just got off the phone with Meredith—she’s stuck in Shelbyville, IL for a full day more than she wanted to. She was going to get a ride with her sister tomorrow morning, but she left unexpectedly this morning instead. The plan was for her to come to Kalamazoo tomorrow and we’d drive back to Chicago together, but now she won’t be home until Friday. I wish I didn’t have to greet a very lonely Birdie by myself tomorrow, but I’m ready to go home.
This Christmas has been good overall. The best part was being able to spend more time than usual with my grandparents, who are back from Florida for the holidays. Today I played cards with them and my brother, which is fun because they get so worked up about it. Card games bring out an amusing competitive side in my Grandma.
Both sides of the family gathered at my parentsí house this year, on different days of course. The first were the Kings on Sunday afternoon, and that unfortunately went as expected. Little kids ran rampant, new people who have married or adopted in were introduced, my Aunt Cornella had to announce her due date every 15 minutes, and Ike and I hid in his room discussing how long we could stay until people started calling us rude. On the upside, Grandma Rhoda brought cottage potatoes—a deliciously cheesy treat that I haven’t had in years.
Last night all of the Hochstetlers were here and the scene, as expected, was calmer. First we ate, then the gifts, and then a decent length of time was spent just hanging out and talking. It’s a nice change from other years where people on this hyperactive side of the family would take off as soon as the ribbon was cut on the last present.
Lots of pool and some ping-pong were played this weekend. These are the activities of those who are bored, grasping at whatever is available. Time moves slowly in Sturgis, but overall I’ve made it through okay.
The presents I got this year are awesome. Before I had even left Chicago Meredith gave me this super cool, unique, hand painted clock from the 70’s. We’d seen it in an antique store months earlier, and she remembered how much I liked it. My description won’t do it justice, so I’ll post a photo once I get home. Other gifts were: two good magazine subscriptions, a Leatherman, gift cards, shirts, Chomsky, music, books, a huge hard drive, a wireless Ethernet card, the best coffee travel cup on earth, a blanket, socks, an air compressor, and money.
The biggest news though isn’t what I got as a present, but what I bought myself. After years of knowing full well that I should get a new truck, I finally did it. I now own a black 2001 Ford Ranger 4×4 pick-up truck. Stats are: V6, 4.0 liter, power windows/locks, air, cruise control, 6 CD changer, super cab, bed liner, rail guards, fog lights, and keyless entry. It’s nicer than I thought I’d end up getting, but I got my grandpa to go into the dealership and help me get the best possible deal, since he knows the salesman from way back. I got it for under book value, and barely over cost. I’m really happy with it—it makes driving fun again.
# December 25, 2002 11:12 PM