Christmas Vacation, Day One, Part Two - Arrival

1) The preponderance of young people and Asian-Americans on my first flight yielded to a preponderance of military and travelers in wheelchairs on my second flight. Five or six soldiers in full-on combat fatigues, including one woman, were traveling to LCH, and I counted four travelers in wheelchairs exiting the arriving flight.

1a) The unique moment en route was a passenger seated in the row ahead of me opening his safety card and finding a large smiley face sticker inside it. The flight attendant saw it out of the corner of her eye, did a double take, and came back to exclaim over it. “They should all have those stickers!” she said.

2) Lago di Carlo has exactly one Lyfte driver on duty at midday, but he made to the airport in 11 minutes. After a stop at the gas station, he got me home safe and sound. Retired from professional life, he actually lives not far from my sister, but was in LCH visiting his girlfriend for Christmas.

3) Mother had a bit of lunch ready for me in the midst of a lot of present-wrapping, and we got to catch up briefly on many things before I sank down for a NAP.

4) Rising just in time for the cocktail hour (I really needed that sleep!) I discovered that the cabinet over the freezer contained only a dusty half-empty bottle of dry vermouth, which is a bit wispy for the cocktail hour by my standards. I retired to the big bathtub with a small glass and my annual end-of-year ritual, the final double-issue of The Economist with predictions for the coming year.

5) After a light dinner, I corralled Mother in making a list for our “battle plan” to be ready for Christmas. She has refilled all the tables with papers, so obviously clearing those off will be important. And we started then and there!

6) Unfortunately for my sleep, I checked the news before bed and was appalled to learn of the resignation of Mattis and the President’s rejection of the stopgap government funding bill.

7) Now, after a middling night’s sleep, alarmed at the news of Whitaker clearing himself to oversee the Mueller investigation.

8) Mother’s daily devotional book included her pencilled note “[Insert Name of Younger Nephew Who Must Not Be Tagged Here]’s Birthday.” So I hope we will get to take him and his wife out to dinner this evening.