Merry Christmas 2013

"And so this is Christmas…" I jumped up this morning from a happy dream into a cold sweat. The next few months are going to be tight, how am I going to make it? That's all I could think about. And then it kicked in. The drive. So I put on a pot of extra strong coffee and sat down to fight deep copy versus shallow copy on javascript arrays. Yes, I was working. And the coffee was excellent. Santa hasn't made it here yet. I suppose he is waiting for me to go pick up the kids since I was up half the night. My tree looks like shit, but has character thanks to the cat. And I am OK with this. IMG_20131225_112302_282 After resolving a few bugs, I decided it was time to make the phone calls and text messages and FaceBook messages to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. The work can wait. Well, no, it really can't wait. But, family and friends come first, and long after the kids are worn out this evening and well on their way to dream land, I will be up. Working. But until then, I think that I should really put it down and see how my skills with wrapping paper and tape are this year. Probably not any better than the last 10 years. The kids will be here in a few hours, and although this year is *light* - it will still be a good time. I had a weird, sinking feeling yesterday. This is the first year since the divorce that I have not taken the kids to Orlando for Christmas. With the way Christmas fell on Wednesday and their school holiday schedule, it just didn't make sense. Usually I'm writing this from warmer weather, and it kind of makes me sad. The kiddos understand, but this is our thing. Last year peppered our vacation with 24 hour stomach bugs, but we got through it and made the best of it with trying to find Lego Santas in LegoLand. And then there is the whole waking up on Christmas morning to presents under the tree. It's become a coming over at 3 PM to find presents under the tree. I suppose that it does relieve Santa of some pressure to get here in the middle of the night. He's a busy guy, for sure! Well, maybe it doesn't really matter. I mean, it's Christmas. And what ever we do together is what is important. I'll spend the afternoon and evening with the kids, the dog, the cat. And I'll probably cook a horrible dinner tonight because I don't feel like cooking. But that is OK, we are together. So to all of you out there... Merry Christmas!

Hands

This has been one of those weeks. The kind of week you finish, but aren't proud of. It started well. Plans. Goals. Deadlines. And started to slowly sink as the sinuses reared their ugly head. And not breathing turned into not sleeping. And stuffy head turned into nose bleeds. And those turned into doctors. And I hate going to the doctor (no offense to any of you in the profession). In my misery state, box of tissues, nasal spray, blanket, hot tea, prescriptions I cannot pronounce… I thought I needed someone to take care of me, to comfort me and, well, baby me. I'm a handful when I'm sick, be warned. But then I stepped back in my miserable state and looked down. Down at my hands. These hands that write to you tonight. Someone once asked my if I were to retain only one sense for the rest of my life, what would it be. I used to answer with sight. Visual is still very high on my list, and there are wonders of the world that can only be partially enjoyed without sight. But the more I thought, the more I realized that touch is what I cannot live without. These hands. From holding a child seconds after it's first breath of air to touching a starfish the size of a dinner plate 20 feet under the surface of a vast ocean. Aiming a telescope at Orion's Belt, painting a room. Throwing luggage into the overhead to go find some new place and new friends. Where would I be without my hands? Where would I be. These hands. They pick up toys, they cook dinner. They make wine. They write code. They dial phone numbers. These hands. They walk the dog, they drive, they write. These hands. They help me find the way in the dark, they navigate through touch. These 10 things, 5 attached to each appendage to make my hands. These hands. Touch the stars. With my hands.  

Dream state

I've been having this recurring dream for the last 10 days now. It's really strange. It would be cool to say that it involves an exotic lady half my age, but that's really not the case. It starts out at dusk. I'm at a party of sorts, there's a pool. It's a night where there should be galactic things going on in the skies. So this crowd is standing in the grass looking up at the sky. The one time in a billion years where there is a blue night sky. And the sky lights up. Not like lightning, but strange azure patterns brightening the dark dark, blue sky. Then there were waves. Waves of baby blue light that dance in the darkness. Almost teasing the crowd as they stare up in awe. This lasts for a time and is then followed by more flashes. Different patterns of chaos in the heavens. And then bubbles. Perfectly formed bubbles 10 inches in diameter floating everywhere. And I grabbed one. As soon as I did, I was floating. I heard someone say, "breathe out to descend, in to ascend." I tried this procedure. I was stuck, holding on for dear life on the gutter of some nearby house. Looking down on the *pool* party. Someone threw a rope and pulled me down. I ended up sitting on a tractor, holding on to combat negative gravity. Not knowing if I would float into space or not. Breathing out as much as possible. And then I drove the tractor into the ocean. The squid lined up in a row and stared at me like I was a foreign creature in their world. The eagle rays brushed by, gently caressing my skin. The tide carried me, I swam and breathed water. It felt heavy, but clean. Perfect. I ended up on a beach. Uncharted. Untouched. Someone was there.