It's weird how much a quick side trip out of town can throw you off...don't realize you're a slave to routine until something disrupts it, I guess. More likely it's the fact that this trip wasn't like our usual trips...usually if we go out of town, it's to Aiken, where we're used to the drive and the area, the family stress level is fairly average, and the weather's usually pleasant. Not saying I don't like Orlando...it was SO nice to see my Lil Sis in her element, nudging her way into "real life," and getting to gallavant around the Universal parks for a day. I was beaming and proud as she walked for her Masters. It made me teary and got my wheels turning again about school and all the things I want to learn in this life. There were 4 wheelchair folks getting degrees, 2 blind people plus another that needed walking assistance, and 1 posthumous degree at the end. Talk about your reminders about the tenuousness of life.
But it also makes me nutty traveling in foreign territory without a map (that's not a metaphor; I mean having to follow someone's directions when you're unfamiliar with the area makes me crazy). And my dad's condition was a shock. He's started having balance issues, experiencing vertigo at the drop of a hat. It's most likely related to the fact that his carotid artery is 90+% blocked on one side, so his brain's just not getting enough juice. It infuriates me (we're talking white-hot livid angry) that his cardiologist and neurologist are dragging their feet on further medicinal or surgical ways to remedy the sitch (he's already on Plavix), but in the meantime, it's aged him about 10 years in 6 months. He followed us quietly throughout the parks that day, and sat quietly when we went on rides. Now granted, if you look up the word "taciturn" in the dictionary, it shows a picture of the Lyons' brothers, but this was more than that. He's clearly afraid of what's going on with his body, and it's taking the wind out of his sails. Took him getting plastered both nights for him to loosen up. I mentioned it to Mom, and you could tell she agreed; but she won't push him to talk about how he feels usually, because she knows it'll start a fight and why do that to yourself...so I understand why she may not push him. The man brings new meaning to the phrase "closed off."
But I, on the other hand, have been pushing at envelopes since I met Les, so after some thought I sent Dad an email. I asked him several pointed questions about his condition and told him that while I wasn't expecting solid answers from him by any stretch, that I was volunteering myself if he needed backup at any of his appointments, to remember what to ask or what's said (I've got terrific recall for medical terminology for some reason). I don't expect anything to come of it, but at least I've tried. I mean, his behavior was a jaw-dropping shock to me, but I guess that's understandable; it's not like we socialize with my fam all that much, even though we live in the same town.....
So I was thrown off somehow by last weekend's trip, and feel like I'm only now getting back into the groove. Christmas is galloping toward us with a vengance and no bonus in sight...the bastards at my work are waiting til the last second apparently, which is maddening since we need to cover bills with most of today's check. I bailed on KB last night and did something I've been wanting to do since the closet exploded: unearth my bedroom coffee table. We own WAY too many clothes. This is going to be a Goodwill-Keep-Toss weekend, as I begin giving the bedroom and closet a good purge. And I'll go through the Columbia paperwork again and start laying out my planner for the next 4 months. We need 60 days' notice to move out of my complex, which means having housing nailed down by end of February. Rather daunting proposition, but I'm still aiming for it.
As for knitting, it's in a state of flux. Like I said, cape's done, but gotta buy buttons. I'm thinking of frogging Cozy because I can't stand the idea of doing that pattern in Wool Ease. Thinking of stopping the rice stitch wrap and seeing if I can sew it together at the ends for a gaiter, because I just don't have the patience for big projects right now. I'm thinking about hats, mittens, and socks for the near future. I pulled Broadripple and Jaywalker off the web, and I'm starting one of 'em with the Regia that ruthee gave me way back when, because I feel a sock jones coming on big time. And I'll unearth the SSS and see what else is unfinished, now that I can actually step around the coffee table to my stash again.