I will be glad when this is over.

This has been a two-week span in which it felt like nothing went right, in which events would seem to fall into place only to spin out, away from my hands, out of my control yet again. Repeat ad infinitum, two weeks and counting.

I thought meltdowns were supposed to be teary, sobbing water fountains.  Instead, it was the hollowness of sitting on my spot on the couch on a Sunday morning and realizing I felt out of my depth, overwhelmed, and unable to exert any kind of control over the situation.

A situation which, Jeff has reminded me, I couldn't have fixed from the start.

* * * * *

Edmund knows, on some level. Blissfully stupid, lovey, bone-headed Edmund may not know anything past "cuddle," "sleep," "eat," and "bite the human that isn't Mom," but he knows all is not well in my world right now.  As a result, I have seventeen pounds' worth of purr and cuddle keeping an eye on me.  What he lacks in brains he makes up for in loyalty.

* * * * *

PHE* happens this week.  It couldn't be better-timed.  Everyone else has had their holiday; it's my turn to have mine.  I have Thursday and Friday off of work thanks to the holidays I covered for co-workers; the first houseguest arrives Thursday afternoon and the last ones leave Monday afternoon.

I made my yearly order of Lebanese pastries tonight from

I know I'll make bagna cauda, roast a turkey, bake a batch or two of cookies and maybe brownies for Jake.

I don't feel it yet.  Right now it feels like machination for the sake of machination. I'm hoping it will be different when they're all here in person.  I recognize that physically I'm well, but emotionally and mentally, I'm close to wrung out, and I could use the warmth of kindred spirits.

They start arriving Thursday, and it's not a moment too soon.  It's days like these -- when the weight of life is crushing the words before they can escape your mouth, and the laughter, when it comes, is brittle to your ears and silences itself before it warms you with joy -- days like these, you need them most.

Though, I suppose, I should vacuum before they get here.

Here's holding on for sunshine.  Or Thursday.  Whichever.

* if you're new and have never encountered this term before, PHE = Pan-Holiday Extravaganza.  In other words, a large chunk of my friends -- my family-of-choice -- descends upon Huntsville for an extended weekend of gaming, chowing, goofing off, chowing, and general geekery.  It started because most of us were from other cities, and as a result we couldn't make time for each other between Thanksgiving and New Year's.  So we celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Festivus, and any other holiday we can justifiably link up -- all in one go, in January.  All of the eating, all of the geeks, none of the drama.


I will miss everyone this year.  Honestly, however, I will miss our early saturday/sunday morning conversations most of all.

I'll miss y'all, too... the phrase "Lebanese pastries" got me wondering if my employer would fire me if I blew off the weekend's conference & wedding and drove to Huntsville. 4x4 got it right, though: it's the conversations and people I'll miss most.

Agreed.  Those are what I love the most -- those late-night, early-morning conversations in random parts of the house ... and they're always about the most amazingly random things, which is half the fun.

I'm wondering how the dynamic will change now that we're using Jason's as the main socialization place this year.

If I had to guess, the conversations and Jasons will trend boisterous, while those at your place will be quieter and, mayhap, more reflective. 

Oh -- and furrier, at your place!

We will not make it this year with Rachel flying home on Saturday, but I send my best wishes and this electronic gift certificate redeemable for a real live hug.