We picked Dad up from the hospital on Christmas morning, and Rick returned in the early afternoon. So all five of us were home for Christmas. Dad will be wearing a cast on his hand for a while, but the doctor said he thought it looked good at Dad's appointment on Friday morning. He'll have to return Monday for another checkup, but it seems likely that his hand will heal to full function again in the next several weeks.
I spent the past few days visiting. On Friday, the whole family visited Rick and Sarah's new house. They've done a lot of work on it, and while the basement still needs some attention, it's a very pleasant place. Mom and I took a tour of the neighborhood as well. And we all had lunch together at the Mandalay Cafe in College Park. That was a fine meal; it sounds like it's a favorite of Rick and Sarah and Scott.
On Saturday, I went to visit college friends. We exchanged news, and I heard about houses and kids and career plans and such. We all gathered at Will and Liz's home in Towson, and while I made it there without incident, I got lost on the way back. I wandered into some fairly run-down neighborhoods of Baltimore along North Avenue before I found a road I recognized and made my way back. The detour only added about half an hour to the trip, though, so I can't complain too much.
Today, my aunts and uncles came to visit, and we all had lunch and then chatted and ate cookies and sipped coffee. My relatives are fun. They're sharp, pragmatic, silly folk, and I miss visits with them when I'm in Caifornia. In the evening it was just Dad and Mom and I, and we sat and talked for a while more before we dispersed to our solo evening activities.
I've done less fiction reading this week than I thought I might. I spent a lot of time visiting, and playing with the cats, and eating. I spent some time helping chop, saw, and stack wood for the stove. I spent time admiring the woods, and time listening to music, and time playing Tetris (M-x tetris under XEmacs) while thinking about nothing in particular. I saw Return of the King. I extensively edited a technical report that I'm working on, though I've only finished revising a bit under half of it. The total length is about 45 pages right now. And I've read a substantial chunk of Eric Raymond's Art of Unix Programming, which is a far more entertaining work than one might think from the title.
Time flies. I have only one more full day at home; I return to Caifornia on Tuesday. I'll miss leaving the woods when I go. I always do. But it feels like time to return, since right now I'm starting miss my daily work routine.