My Christmas holiday started off at 5AM this morning when my alarm rudely interrupted the vision of Latino strippers dancing in my head. This after being up far too late the night before because of my
typical procrastination. The theme of the week seemed to be procastination - from preparing for my holiday get together to Christmas shopping to getting ready to go to Pennsyltucky. But no fear, to me the holidays wouldn't be the same without all the last minute, panic and anxiety ridden running around. As always, everything got done, but barely. So in any event, I set out this morning at 6AM to begin my journey "home for the holidays."
Since I am STILL having car issues (grrrrr!) and as there is no Shamokin International Airport (LOL) nor trains running through Shamokin (other than coal laden freight trains), my only other option to get home was via bus. Oh good God!!! I had a 7AM departure from Port Authority. I was originally put in the wrong line at the wrong gate. By the time I found out, the line at the gate I was supposed to be in was so long that I risked not making a later bus transfer. So after some imploring, I got moved up in line. I nearly got into a fist fight with the baggage attendant who for some reason chose to get all up in my face at 7AM and was screaming at me about where I put my bag. With very little sleep and no coffee I got right back up in his faced and screamed back at him. I told him he screamed at me again, I was gonna smack him. Amazingly he backed down. I thought this was unfortunately going to set the town for the day. But happily it didn't.
I slept through the NJ portion of the trip. The PA portion was trip down memory lane. The bus took a lot of backroads through the Anthracite coal region, through and past many of the towns where my high school football and basketball teams used to play some of our fiercest rivalries. I haven't been in most of those towns in 20 years. Like Shamokin, they haven't changed much except to get a little more
After 5 1/2 hours (which flew by), the bus rolled into Shamokin, where my pop met me at the bus stop. When we got home my mom made us some brunch. When she went to Mass, I took a much needed nap. After an awesome pork chop dinner (by the way, the longer the space between visits the better the meals get when you do come home), we watched "I am Legend" on DVD (how? I am not sure - they got it from someone). It is an awesome flick that I think I am going to watch again.
After the movie, I helped my mom with her Xmas cookies. These damn cookies are ruining my diet, which people have finally started noticing the results from. But I cannot help myself. Oh well, I can always starve myself in January... LOL.
One day down and six or seven to go. So far so good. Tomorrow involves adventures at the mall and more food. Hope you all are having a great holiday so far.
When I was in Pennsyltucky for Easter, I rummaged through my mom's photo collections. I brought back a bunch of photos that I wanted to scan and print out copies of to have framed for my apartment. These are two that I found of my paternal grandparents Albert Elsworth and Maude Viola. One picture was all cracked, torn an bent. I used my very limited Photoshop skills to try to restore it. I didn't do a great job, but it is better and I think good enough to print and put in a frame.
I will post some more of them as I go through and scan them. I love old family photos, even other peoples. I like seeing history being displayed through real people who are related to me or others that I know.
Visits home to Shamokin, PA have a way of reminding me why I left there in the first place. I tell you, Pennsyltucky has nothing on the Red States when it comes to rednecks. The only thing there is to do in town is hang out at one of the many local bars talking about hunting, NASCAR and high school or Penn State football. Other than that, the only other cultural activity is hitting the local Wal*Mart. Teenage pregnancy, drug use, unemployment and alcoholism are rampant. The place is just rough and I cannot understand why anybody who could get the hell out of Dodge wouldn't do so at the very first opportunity.
I spoke with my mom tonight and she told me that my little nephew won his Cub Scout soapbox derby in a car built my dad. My nephew, who I affectionately call "Peanuthead" because he is just tiny for his age, was getting a little flack from some of his fellow Cub Scouts because his car was so much smaller than some of the others (it was built to fit him). When he was asked why his car was so small, he responded "Because that is how my pap-pap built it for me!" LOL. In any event, he won first place in the Lightweight Division. My mom said he got choked up and cried when he won. Cute little kid!