Finally, I have braced myself up to post again.
It's been pretty quiet since the last update. Work, as always, has been busy - so busy, in fact, as to have a most untoward result. My company has what amounts to a "use it or lose it" policy, which last year interacted with the press of work and with my own policy of squirreling away vacation days (lest I should need time and not have it), to such effect that I had to eat my last day and a half of vacation for 2005. (I pause at this point to allow the reader to remark suitably upon my foolishness.)
Thanksgiving and New Year's we spent quietly with my parents; Christmas we spent even more quietly at home - well, as quietly as possible with a 12- and a 7-year-old. The Bride and I have evolved a little system over the years: every so often we get an Edward R. Hamilton
book catalogue, and about two months before Christmas she has me go through the latest and mark the ones that look good; then, when a relative needs a gift suggestion, she gives them one of the titles. This way, she has a handy list of gift ideas; nobody has to worry about what books to get me (which matters because it is nearly absolutely impossible to take any
given book and tell in advance whether or not I would like it); I'm sure of getting the books I want (see preceding parenthesis); and because I mark the catalogue so far in advance, by the time Christmas arrives I've forgotten what I marked, so I'm surprised - there have been Christmases when I have unwrapped a book, looked at it, and said, "I asked for that
This time I got: David McCullough's biography of John Adams; In the Name of Rome: The Men Who Won the Roman Empire
by Adrian Goldsworthy; and Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919
by Stephen Puleo.
Although the Bride and I have pretty much given up Christmas shopping for each other, so that we don’t go bankrupt, an occasional present does get through. This year, she gave me the DVD of The Music Man
(the only real one, with Robert Preston and Shirley Jones: one of the greatest musicals of all time), to replace our tape, which had deteriorated to inaudibility over the years. The Storm Queen gave me a pair of gloves. And the Authoress, bless her, gave me the DVD of Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility
, so I don't have to keep renting it.
The Storm Queen made her First Penance in December, and, though a little nervous in the days leading up to it, got through with flying colors. If there is one thing that I can give my children that I, for whatever reason, didn't have in my childhood, it will be a love for and regular practice of the Sacrament of Penance. I do not want them, as I did, to fear and avoid it, and spend many years without it.
I hope to be able to post a little more frequently in the near future, until I hit a dry spell again. Meanwhile, as always, God bless anyone who's reading this.