Monday, December 22, 2014

Leaving and Cleaving

I am worn out. Told you about not getting home until after nine Thursday night. Was crazy hectic the past four days, with no end in sight. We're finding out what we're doing with hardly any planning or advance notice. Friday I found out at 4 pm that I was taking Matthew 20 miles out to Canton for a 7 pm concert at a coffee shop on the square. Left work at 5:35 and raced home, then battled traffic up to Canton. Arrived at 7:10, but the music wasn't to start until 7:30 (then it didn't start until 7:40). M's music teacher plays electric guitar in the band at Revelation Church in Canton. His wife is the lead singer. She grew up in our neighborhood, and we know her parents. 

A short but good concert. M had a hot chocolate. At coffee shops I often order a bottle of Diet Coke, but I spied several designer colas, so I had a Red Rock (bottled in Atlanta). The barista taking our order exclaimed "excellent choice!" The Red Rock tasted terrible, but I looked cool walking around with the bottle in my hand.

The band was finished before 8:30, so we were home by 9:30. Anna was babysitting. Will was up in Cartersville. Ceil was running around Christmas shopping and getting ready for Saturday. When she got home I took her CRV to get gas.

Saturday morning Ceil got up early and continued cooking and wrapping presents. I cleaned the kitchen and loaded the cars, and took the Civic out for gas while quickly running several other errands. In all the hustle and bustle I realized I hasn't told my sister that we were headed to Macon. Knowing they sleep late I texted instead of called. Finally left for Macon at 11:30. 

Traffic was terrible – in East Cobb, north of downtown, south of downtown, and around Barnesville. Matthew was fussy because he hadn't eaten. Sister was out of sorts because I hadn't called her earlier, because we wouldn't be in Macon on Christmas, because I hadn't told her I was at the hospital last Wednesday. I can't make my wife and kids happy, much less my parents or anyone else. A person can only be responsible for their own happiness. Happiness cannot depend on the actions of others.

Finally I exited the creeping interstate and took highway 23 south through downtown McDonough. More gridlock. A 80 minute trip turned into almost three hours. Will and Mary-Clayton arrived 15 minutes before the rest of us. It was the first time she had met my parents or been to Macon. The visit went very well. Thanks to Mary-Clayton everyone was more relaxed than usual and we had a great time at dinner. Ceil had cooked roast beef, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, rolls, and coconut pie. We also had homemade brownies and five flavors of ice cream. We hated that my sister and brother-in-law missed meeting Mary-Clayton for the first time. Not sure when they'll get the chance again.

We stayed until after 8 pm. Traffic on the way back wasn't as bad. When we got home Ceil turned on another Lifetime Christmas movie. I worked on the computer then went to bed. I haven't been sleeping well lately. Didn't see any of the bowl games.

Sunday morning I was going to the 10 am service with Ceil, Will, and MC but instead had to take M to the 12:30. Before we left I cleaned upstairs and some downstairs and started the laundry. Sunday afternoon I shopped at six stores and grabbed a Hardees burger. Bought Ceil's present. Back home Anna and Emily were baking cookies. Exhausted, I took a nap and missed the Falcons game. Ceil shopped and gave Barney a bath. W and MC were in Cartersville for her sister's dance recital.

At 6:30 we went to our small group Christmas dinner. Lots of fun. A crowd of nineteen. Dinner was pigs-in-a-blanket, baked ham & cheese sandwiches, day old Chickfila tenders, salad, raw vegetables, chip and salsa, cheesecake, cookies, and a delicious chocolate dessert. Played charades and a game to embarrass the dads. My Emmy Award-winning friend who writes music down at Turner will be attending an NBA.TV taping this Tuesday night. Matthew and his three lifelong friends Daniel, John, and Nathan skateboarded. Anna and her four lifelong girlfriends played trivia. Got home after ten and went to bed. Up early Monday for work. Might go to another party tonight. Maybe not - Ceil's got a ton of getting ready to do.

Genesis 2:24
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife.

This verse is repeated in Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7-8, and Ephesians 5:31, so it must be important.

Ceil has been doing superhero work lately getting ready for Christmas. First time in years that she bought and set up and decorated the tree (and the rest of the house). Cooked a meal for the school headmaster whose father-in-law passed away. Made hot chocolate for after the school worship service. Shopping and cooking for parties, get-togethers, and Christmas. After the Thanksgiving weekend she had to take a trip to attend a funeral. She has been going from sunup to midnight. As you know, so often times the overall busyness of the season takes away from being able to experience the true meaning of the holiday.

This will be the first Christmas since Ceil's father passed away. She had a real tough time and this week will be even worse. Her mother isn't able to do much of the stuff getting ready and Ceil hasn't been there to help. People pull at Ceil from every direction. Some aren't understanding what she's going through, selfishly thinking only of themselves. Their mind is made up – no matter how hard I try to explain or how many questions I answer. I am told that I don't care, which hurts and is not true.

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