Sunday, December 27, 2015

Family Time

This is an image of my immediate family, taken yesterday afternoon in Jo & Peter's living room in Las Vegas:
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Those are my grandkids, Taivyn (7) and Connor (4), in the front row; and my kids, Ceilee and Jo, in the middle of the back row, flanked by their partners, Sarah and Peter, respectfully. Note the top of the yuletide spruce tree poking out around Peter's neck. It had been many years since we'd all been in the same spot, and it's all the sweeter to have accomplished this at Christmas.

While I'm seated for this portrait (my lower back is still in recovery), it was wonderful being upright at all after spending the previous week in bed. While I had to be careful with my limited energy allowance (back pain can suck up a lot of bandwidth), I was able to enjoy meals and even got in a few board games (a family tradition that runs about as deep as present giving).

Last night I overspent my back budget flying from Las Vegas to Minneapolis on a Delta red eye. I knew the plane would not be crowded when I arrived at McCarran Airport at midnight and there were no attendants at the Delta counter (did I have the wrong airlines?). Fortunately one popped out as I approached and I got my bag checked. This was significant in that schlepping luggage has been a significant contributor to my back fatigue.

But even so, I had to carry my laptop and canvas tote sack through security (have you ever tried tying your shoes with sharp pain in your lower back?), negotiate the monorail system to get to the right concourse, and then walk to the last gate. Fortunately, the plane was only one-third full and it wasn't that hard getting to my seat, or finding space in the overhead storage compartments. 

It was just as bad on the other end where I had to walk the length of the concourse to get to baggage claim in Minneapolis. Not surprisingly, I was ahead of the seasonal "rush" to Duluth—by cleverly visiting in the dead of winter. I was the only passenger for the pre-dawn departure for the van ride north via Skyline Shuttle. By the time Susan collected me at the downtown drop-off point, I was a ragamuffin, hardly able to get out of the vehicle.

Bed never looked so good. And I have 12 gloriously unscheduled days with Susan, where she'll have the (unlooked for) opportunity to parlay her prior teenage experience as a candy striper into playing Florence Nightingale.

It's great to be with loved ones any time, but especially when you're dinged up.

1 comment:

Jan Albright said...

I've been following your holiday (mis)adventures Laird. I'm sorry you had to go through lots of pain! Glad for you that you got to see your kids, and thanks for the pic they were 15 years yunger when we saw them, and glad also to hear that you have12 whole days off with yoursweetheart! Jan Albright