About the only good I can find in it is that it's the end of the holiday season and as such, hopefully things will return to semi-normal. Or at least as close to normal as it ever gets around here.
I've said before that the whole mess from about Halloween (it used to be Thanksgiving but the retailers decided we needed a longer season to shop) straight through to New Years is pretty depressing to me. The days are too short and the nights are too long, people get strange, there's a weird expectation that all the world suddenly becomes wonderful because it's December and you're supposed to be happy dammit. The whole thing wears me out but at least it's over for another year. I wish it wasn't that way sometimes but there it is...
I did get up early today on 1/1/11 for some reason. Chris was still sacked and both kids spent the night at friends houses so it was just me and the four-leggers. It was pitch dark off the porch but I threw the pooches out anyway and nuked some of yesterdays coffee while they made the rounds of the back yard. I like getting up and around in the zero-dark-thirty hour unless I've been out working all night and see it from the other side. It's usually peaceful and watching the light creep in from the east clears my head for the day.
It actually was pretty warm out there this morning considering it's now January so the dogs weren't in a big rush to get back to the door and my toes didn't freeze padding across the deck to unhook them from their run. A quick poke at the fire in the basement and back to my new spot at the table in the kitchen had dawn sneaking up on me out of the fog.
I've decided one of the things I like most about our new place is my current perch by the back door. All the years we lived in Old Drafty, I kind of hung out at the table in the big dining room with a streaky double-hung view toward the road. Here I can see the slope of the back lawn across the deck and watch the world get brighter over the trees on the hill. I'm farther from the highway traffic and facing due north so I don't hear much except the 'fridge kicking on and the water pipes pinging as the boiler warms up. The cat prowls around looking for something to eat or hoping to make a break for it when the screen door opens but other than that, it's mostly very still. In that kind of quiet, I can only hear myself thinking. You never know where it'll go from there.
By now the morning was in full swing and my spouse appeared with an empty frying pan and a pout on her face looking for me to make an omlette. I can do omlettes and it seemed like a good way to get the year underway. I managed to not scramble the eggs and if I got some shell in there, she was kind enough not to mention it. We eventually got moving and tore down the tree, gathered up the Christmas stuff from around the place and stuffed it all in bins to hide till next winter. It's official after that...the Holidays are done.
Now it's back to watching the computer for approaching trains and planning around the crew callers but that's what I know. It's back to the on-call grind until I have some real vacation time in April and I can turn off my cell again. I'll make it I think. And if sometimes I can stop for a while in the morning and look out the back door, I think I'll be alright.