We are home again.
We arrived home yesterday, about 9:00. This followed a six hour drive across a little-used stretch of road between Lawton and Austin. It's not only faster, it's the scenic route. Unfortunately, we left Lawton late enough in the day that most of the drive wound up occuring in dusk and dark.
Mangum had taken good care of Lucy and Jeff, I think. Nobody is missing a paw or an ear or anything. One telling item: a few minutes after returning, I asked if anybody had seen Jeff, and both Jamie and Doug claimed to have seen him. I looked and looked and no Jeff. Then Jamie opened the door, and the cat was standing outside looking up at the door. He's an inside cat, and is not familiar with temperatures below 70 or above 80. I am sure a ceilingless, chilly world beyond the door came as quite a shock. Who knows what he thought was going on outside.
I also called Mangum, who said to me, "You don't let Lucy jump on the furniture, do you?"
"Oh, heck no," I replied.
"Yeah, I didn't know what to do. In day three, she just started jumping up on the couches and the bed."
"Ah. She is not supposed to do that."
"Yeah, I didn't think so."
"But you didn't stop her."
"I didn't want to yell at her."
And this is why Matt is not allowed to have children.
Doug didn't fly out until this evening, so today we got a little more Doug-time (which is sort of like Peanut Butter Jelly Time), and enjoyed our post-Christmas time. The weather was lovely, and we ate on the porch at Magnolia, then hit Austin Books so Doug could see the wonderment.
A visit with Doug is always good to remind you that you may THINK you have refined taste in Horrifically Bad Media, but Doug is a connosieur. He's done all the legwork for you, and is not afraid to raise your "Eragon" with a VHS copy of "Santa With Muscles" (one of IMDB's 10 worst movies...) or "Monster-A-Go-Go". He also seems to delight particularly in Christmas themed media, both good and miserable (as evidenced by "Santa with Muscles"), always having a few choice items on tap for "after the parents go to bed" viewing. We also were able to take in one of the most mind-blowing half-hours of television EVER PRODUCED with the Invader Zim Christmas episode.
Dropped Doug off at the airport, then headed home, where, half an hour later, Cousin Sue and Unky D made an appearance. I haven't really seen much of Unky D the past few years. He lives in Florida most of the time, and his scheduled Christmas trips to Houston always fall on years when Jamie and I are in Lawton. However, being back in Austin means that when he goes back to Austin to visit Cousin Sue, we DID get to see him this year.
After dinner we came home, I watched an episode of "The Flash", and now I'm winding down from the Holiday merriment. I am ready for a little winding down, but I do feel Christmas was a success this year. We had a very good time at the McB's, experienced no major issues in our travels, and will most likely be enjoying a quiet night on New Year's (as Jamie has dialysis in the morning, which means an early bedtime). Then that's it for another year.
Christmas isn't really over until you're cleaning up the mess on New Year's Day and putting up the lights for another year.
I shall choose to believe that at the heart of it, the season is an opportunity for people to attempt to put their best foot forward and that the spirit of hope at the base of it all isn't always obscured by the money-making nonsense, awful decorations and incessant carols. To those of you who feel Christmas to be a humbug, you get the next 11.5 months of man's inhumanity to man to cherish.