see below for details
I do feel that some catching up is in order, however, so disclaiming the previous sentence, here goes (in no particular order).
We had Thanksgiving at home. Our plans to go to Melrose for the week and share the holiday with the kids got derailed by a little reality. We're not in as tip-top shape as we might like, and our aging bodies don't respond well to the toll of travel. When you add dogs to the mix in an environment that requires more care than what they need at home the work level gets ramped up. Then there's the fact that this is the time of year that requires making and maintaining two fireplaces to generate heat in a house that isn't insulated. We love Melrose, but when so much effort is expended to be comfortable over a period of days, the phrase "diminishing returns" enters in. We also would have had limited time with the kids. We are beyond eager to see Kenneth and Trisha, whom we rarely see and haven't seen for a real visit in more than two years. It appeared that we would see Ashley and the boys for a handful of hours. The scale tipped clearly toward remaining home. We did ache not being with our family over the weekend. Just because we made the right decision for us doesn't mean that it didn't come with a cost.
Since we were home we were able to participate in the regular monthly Templar "sweat equity" opportunity of helping to distribute food to elderly poor in a neighboring community. We are always grateful for chances to be useful. With the time at home we are also now busy ripping up carpet in the living room and hallway to replace it with laminate flooring, thanks to a sale that couldn't be refused at
Sadly, the sub-floor is not pretty thanks to Miss McKinlee's bladder habits (and yes, some of our habits, too). We will be applying sealer and some patching to prepare the floor for the new flooring. It's a big job, but we are highly motivated (I mean, the Christmas tree can't go up until the job is done!), and we are trying to pace ourselves physically so that we make daily progress without needing to over-medicate Ken with pain management. And if I may brag here for just a moment--I've gotten quite good at staple removal!
Last week a colleague died, and in reviewing his life and accomplishments in his obit I was taken with the closing line that was clearly written by him: in lieu of memorials please show a kindness to someone in need. Amen to that! This week I'll be giving some time to help rescue efforts for 65 dogs that were retrieved from what looks like a dog fighting and breeding environment. The dogs are being housed about a mile from where we live, which makes it very easy to show up and be put to work. This opportunity appears to be an answer to a prayer, about which I may write tomorrow (if I remember).
In the meantime, I hope your holiday was satisfying. We're enjoying leftovers and soup, and are thankful for what we were, and are, able to do. Here's a prayer to more of the same, all around.