Thanksgiving Relaxation 2012

A much-needed break in the midst of November travails

It has been a long fall semester, indeed.  In many ways (good classes, krav maga, great job, involvement at CEID, great housemates) it has been the best semester of my life, but that doesn’t change the fact that 14 hour days Mon-Thurs for certain and then weekends that match if not exceed that, it has been tiring.  I have worked rather hard to get papers done as early as possible, so I was able to go home guilt-free.  I needed to relax, and that is exactly what happened.  It was again absurdly clear to me how unreasonably blessed I am to have such a wonderful family, and this was demonstrated my first morning back – I experience jaw pain on the left side when I am stressed.  I woke up my first morning at home and my jaw didn’t hurt at all (though of course noticing that made me think about all the stressors I travel amidst, and thus the soreness returned): quite the advertisement for the efficacy of ‘home sweet home.’

Major events while at home:

1) shooting at a private range with my brother and his friends: my brother has a friend whose uncle owns a sawmill, and on that property sits a firing range.  We went and shot everything from my brother’s Remington shotgun, to a .357 Magnum, an AR-15, and several other weapons.  And of course, the best part: a surplus Russian Mosin-Nagant from 1937, which comes standard with the original steel bayonet.  Being 13.5 pounds of wood and steel, and firing steel-core rounds, that weapon had a hell of a kick (my arm and shoulder are seriously bruised after having fired 120 rounds or so).  But, it was a good enough stress reducer, and is so cheap (the Russians made millions of them in the 30’s and 40’s) that my brother and I are each likely going to get one and then go shooting over Christmas!
2) annual Turkey Bowl hockey game: Steven was the senior captain of the high school team, which faced off against the alumni.  For the third time in West Geauga High School’s history, the high school team won against the alumni!! Definitely an exciting Thanksgiving morning, albeit chilly in the hockey rink!
3) Visiting with old friends: from lunch to dinner, from board games to video games, and just chatting about past victories and coming battles in life, it was great to see my friends who were home!
4) Spending time with family and relaxing: as I mentioned above, I needed to spend some time with my wonderful family, and I also needed to just sit and rest (which translates to watching delightful television programming and laughing until one cries).  I looked upon my week at home, and saw that it was good.

The trip back to New Haven was uneventful, although the clouds along the way were very odd (in some cases, like in the gallery below, looks like snow-covered mountain ranges in the far distance!).  Upon arriving home, the obvious took place: Chili’s with the housemates, and then going to get a Christmas decoration… for Icarus’ vivarium.  I even managed to get my damned artificial Christmas tree to work again: the top half was burned out since last year, and I spent 45 minutes replacing bulbs and looking for a missing bulb that would cause that issue.  I got frustrated and decided to just hang the damned ornaments, and lifted the first one to a branch… and apparently knocked a loose bulb into place, as the top half of the tree lit up beautifully!  Truly, *this* is the Christmas miracle.


A gallery of shots ranging from the lovely rented car I drove home, to shooting with my brother and some friends, to the return trip:

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