Three Weak Ends

Every year, no matter what job I have, I make every attempt to take the entire week of Thanksgiving off. It costs 3 days of PTO (if the job has it, which my current one does), and I get an entire week off.

You’d think this was great and wonderful and is an entire week of rest and wandering, but you’d be wrong. Invarably, for me, Thanksgiving vacation is really three weekends crammed together.

First weekend is recovery from the work week, trying to be an adult and do adult things. But all the while, I’m having to plan, prep, pack, and get ready for driving to Texarkana to spend time with family.

Second weekend is spent with family, bookended by driving. Lots of driving. So much driving. And the destination is full of all the allergens and inconveniences and reminders of why I left Texarkana. But I get to spend precious time with my family.

Third weekend is recovery from the travel. First order of business is to wash every thread of fabric I took with me to rid of the smoke, dust, pet hair, mold, whatever. And then sit in a daze in my apartment, woozy from the drive, wondering what I was doing before I was interrupted by a cross-state trip. And then trying to do adult things again while preparing for the return to work in the days ahead.

I tell my mother that going to Texarkana is not a vacation. She laughs and shrugs, and says there’s nobody else she can get to fix this-and-that, or help her clean whatever, and so on. But at least we get to talk and do things and plan meals and visit my sister’s family. So there’s that.

But, y’all, I’m tired.

If You Understand, or If You Don’t

Remembering the time in the dorm, late spring 95, on a 3-way call with Pam and Karen having a really good chat and smiling, when I loaded my CD player, put earbud to phone, and played part of Enigma’s “The Dream of the Dolphin”, and they loved it. That was a special moment in time.

I miss those ladies.

If you understand,
Or if you don’t.
If you believe,
Or if you doubt.
Remember the shaman
When he used to say,
“Man is the dream of the dolphin”

Enigma: “The Dream of the Dolphin” (The Cross of Changes, 1993)

I miss knowing Pam is walking on this earth. I hope her family has picked up the pieces and continued walking for her.

As long as someone remembers, we live.

Unshort

There is a Spirit Halloween open in every town. I refuse to believe that there’s a global supply chain shortage. There is only the reticence of retailers to pay what the middle-men are charging, because the price from their suppliers has gone up to reflect reality.

But you can still get your spooky plastic spider skeletons.

Remember: the cause of inflation is the consumer fear that there’s a shortage.

Missing 8

Requiescat In Pace, Jeremy Howze, 1971-2021.

As I was writing my last post a month ago, my eldest cousin Jeremy was hours away from his last breath. He passed that evening from complications due to COVID-19. He leaves behind his wife Shanelle, daughter Paige, and stepson. He is preceded by his father Danny, stepmother Sally, and first wife April. He leaves us all.

He was cantankerous and had a wild streak. Following in his father’s footsteps, he was a great guy to be around, as long as you were in on the joke. He was the asshole joker that we all loved regardless.

I have so much to say, but I just can’t say it. The whole thing was completely avoidable. Completely.

I’ll miss knowing he’s out there giving someone a hard time.

Notes from a Pandemic

Drive like there is a shortage of parts
Travel like there are no rental cars
Eat like the store shelves are thin
Dine out like the staff has no insurance
Conserve as if the grid could fail
Share as if the neighbors have nothing
Exercise as though the ERs are infectious
Mask up as though the ICUs are full
Call like they can’t speak after tonight
Love like they are gone tomorrow