i actually got home monday night, after a quite grueling 32 hour trip. whew! it usually takes about 23 or 24 hours of driving, but this time we were driving a loaded pickup, so we couldn't go as fast, and the roads weren't too great. we spent 4 hours sitting on the side of the road outside of calgary, waiting for either daylight or the salt truck to come along and melt the sheer ice coating the roads, watching a ridiculous number of people drive into the ditch while we sat there (the stupider ones got back out and kept driving!), ranging from cars, pickups and semis.
the cab of a pickup isn't really big enough for two people for that long of a period, and by the time we got home, i was pretty desperate for a shower and space to stretch out. unfortunately, our hot water tank had died that morning, complete with water all over the damn place, so i drove over to my sister's apartment. it was the best shower of my life!
the trip itself was good. these november trips are always pretty brutal, because they're just so damn short, and there are too many relatives to see. i'm really not accustomed anymore to being around people 24/7, i spend a lot of time by myself online or crafting, and i find it really exhausting. i usually base myself at my paternal grandparent's house, and my grandmother tends to forget that i can't always do things, so i end up running up and down stairs all the time just to prevent a fight. the two of them bicker constantly, which drives me batty, and it's pretty much impossible to keep to any semblance of a normal schedule for me. and my maternal grandmother is blind now, so visiting with her means a lot of housekeeping and cooking, whether i have the energy for it or not. when i go out there in the summer, i stay for longer, so there's more ME time, time to just chill and be by myself for a bit, and that helps me handle the rest of the visit a lot better!
but it's lovely to see them all, because as much as they're crazy, they're also my family, and goodhearted people underneath the craziness! and i love going out in the winter, because i miss it so much (damn BC rain!). and they're all getting older, which is scary.
everytime i go out i see changes, especially in my maternal grandmother, who's nearly 80. she's getting more and more confused, repeating herself all the time, but she refuses to even consider putting her name on a list for a retirement home. she lives in her own house in town, she moved in there after my grandfather died in '90 or '91, she has her lifeline (emergency button on a necklace), she gets meals on wheels, and she has homecare three or four times a day, depending on the day. she's incredibly lucky that she lives where she does, where homecare is available so often (in BC, it's more like 2 or 3 times a week!), and where she has friends and family nearby. but we worry, of course.
i did take a bunch of pictures, and my cousins and i sat down with our (matching) cameras and figured out how to do a whole bunch of neat things. (this is the second time we've had matching cameras, both times as total flukes!)
real snowflakes! in BC we really only get snow "grains", which are like frozen raindrops, or big fat chunks of snow. we never get the pretty delicate flakes floating down.
one of my favourite neon signs
and from on the way there
mountains in eastern bc
it's so nice to be home, to see my mom and my babies, to sleep in my own bed. sofie is so happy to see me that everytime i sit down at the computer, she's right up there, sprawled across the keyboard, purring like crazy. it makes it hard to get anything done!
i was stitching like mad while i was away, but mostly for gifts, so i'll hold off on posting them. i did a little bit more last night, while watching america's next top model with my mom (urgh! i hate it when the bitchy ones win!), but that's really the only crafting i've done. i slept most of the day on tuesday, and then yesterday was a really crazy day with errands and then my little brother's convocation (university graduation). i have send outs for the chunky little houses swap on monday, so i need to get my butt moving on that!
i have lots of stuff to catch up on posting though, the fabulous package i received from gingerquilts, the bag i sent her, the crosstitch pieces i was working on before i left, bottlebrush trees from october, lots of stuff! but right now i'm just glad to be home.