The Christmas That Was

Michelle and I loaded the truck Thursday morning after visiting with some friends the night before. The space behind the seats was filled with clothes and presents, and the bed had 3 10 foot rolls of carpet and some more presents. I tied a tarp over it all and wedged it all around, but it only lasted about an hour before ballooning up and owning me. Luckily it didn't rain.

On the way up we drove past Jonesboro and went straight into Atlanta to pick up our diploma frames. Check the Christmas2004 gallery for a few pics of the framed diplomas.

Friday we went to see A Series of Unfortunate Events and National Treasure. Both good. Had to elbow the guy behind me who had kicky legs. Why is there always at least one?

Christmas was nice. We ate a big Thanksgiving-style dinner around noon and Jason stopped by. He recommended for various clips and pics of interest.

Michelle helped baste the turkey and made her rich and bursting with flavor gravy. I lathered all my dishes with it.

After that we went to Mom's house and played a couple rounds of Halo 2 against my Legendary brother. During those bloody rounds I realized that Michelle is, indeed, better at games than me. I thought it might just be Quake III or Mario Kart, but our first turns at Halo 2 proved me wrong. I was slewn here, and then there. 5 kills - Me; 11 kills Michelle (see!?); 19 kills Marc. A lot of fun though, and nobody has these Xboxen in stock, we looked.

I ate some of Mom's artichoke dip, a perennial favorite, and so further pushed the limits of my own stomach's elasticity.

On the way home we grabbed some slushies from the QuickTrip and went home and rested.

Then! we woke up really early and prepared to go shopping. After picking up a paper I got silly and slowly let one half of the truck go off the road a bit, just to run the wheels through some leaves. Problem was, buried under those leaves was a knocked-down road sign. It made a wicked noise and scraped around, I veered some--slowly--to hopefully dislodge it but then found myself caught in mud. The truck stopped moving, and the rear slid a little down into a small ditch.

I got out and in the dark and freezing cold placed all manner of sticks under the wheels to no avail. We ended up walking back to Michelle's parent's house and looked up wreckers. I didn't like the prices and not many were open to begin with. I went back out with Michelle's mom and started digging and working on getting the sign out. You'd think it would be somewhat easy, but the sign had really bent up in a few places and hooked itself around the control arm. A lot of time passed. We worked and tried stuff. I was able to jack the front end up a bit, a little scared since it was on a slight slope, and wiggle the sign out. A great sense of accomplishment washed over me and warmed me. It did nothing to free the truck though. I'm surprised all that metal and scraping didn't hit anything.

Lee and his wife returned from their Christmas shopping just in time to observe my plight. He went home, grabbed his chain and came back. I don't have tow hooks on the front so I was a little worried about how it was going to work, but decided to go ahead and loop the hook into the front frame rail. The chain hung down and it was apparent that during the pull the chain would likely exert a lot of pressure on the plastic lower part of the bumper. I didn't care since it was my only shot. Lee crept forward and I gassed it a little until the truck crawled out. Then I sorta stopped and the chain jerked. I expected to find my bumper on the ground but everything was fine. Only a small nick on the plastic part of the bumper. Pretty amazing.

We were able to do a small amount of shopping after that. Michelle found a nice pair of shoes and we picked up a collage frame for $2.

The drive home was sunny and pleasant. It sucks when it rains or is dark along that path. I was deprived of driving pleasure as Michelle drove the whole way back.