Keith and I went to dinner the other night with our friend, Fr. Ed, who pointed out to me that I haven't updated my blog in quite some time. He is right! So that I don't continue to disappoint, here is my attempt to re-cap my and Keith's non-vacation thus far:
The Perils of Debbie and Keith
Keith and I were quite lucky to get out of Seattle at the end of a storm in Chicago and halfway through one of the craziest storms the Pacific Northwest has seen in awhile. Our flight was on time and very smooth. This trip was off to a great start!
Pretty much as soon as we landed, the snow started coming down in Chicago. Again. Half the people that we were supposed to meet for dinner were unable to make it out. No big deal, we had a great time with everyone we got to see. After dinner (and an hour drive home in the snow) we were beat and fell asleep.
The next morning, Keith and I are excited because all of our friends are coming over. This is great because A) we get to see everyone! and B) they are all coming to help us pack up the house once and for all. It was fabulous! We got the entire house packed up in record time, and moved all of the boxes into the garage to await their journey to Seattle. (This is all good so far....keep reading...it gets better.)
The next day, Keith and I run some errands, and then we are off to meet Fr. Ed for dinner. We are going to go straight to dinner, but I insisted on going home first. It's a good thing we did. I heard a strange sound coming from my fireplace. When I bent down to investigate, I saw water coming out of the electrical socket. Thinking that this can't be a good sign, we call a plumber and then head to dinner with Fr. Ed. Halfway through dinner, Keith left to meet the plumber, and arrived back at dinner an hour later. It was a small pipe burst, we caught it right away, and there is no damage. Hooray! Anyway, we had a fabulous dinner (Thanks Fr. Ed!) as we always enjoy spending time with him.
The next morning, Keith and I wake up to more strange sounds. It sounds like water is running, but there is no water on in the house. I check the water meter, and it's spinning around like crazy! I mention that perhaps we have another burst pipe. Keith can't believe we would have two burst in as many days, but he goes to investigate anyway. A look of horror comes over him as he realizes the only place left to check is the garage...the very place we just put all of our belongings. He opens the door, and there is water everywhere. It is spraying from the pipe. Boxes have been toppled from the force of it. There are 2 inches of standing water on the floor. Keith and I are remarkably calm as we cancel all of our plans for the day, and prepare to go through each and every box to see what we can salvage.
After a very long and exhausting day, we realize that we've managed to save about 75% of our stuff. The best news is that everything that really meant a lot to us...pictures, books...were all spared. In some cases, entire boxes were destroyed, but the one thing in those boxes that meant something was ok! Thank you God for having this happen while we were in town and thank you for not taking everything! It was a good lesson in letting go and not holding onto material things.
The next day is Christmas Eve. Since we missed our dinner with Fr. Britto the night before, he graciously made room in his schedule for us to come meet him this morning. We navigate our way to Evanston through the snow and ice, and have a wonderful meeting with Fr. Britto. Later that day, we meet our family at church for Christmas Eve Mass, which was wonderful!
The next day is Christmas, and it was one of the most non-commercial Christmases I've had! It was great. It was good to see family and friends, and keep the reason for the celebration above all the other stuff.
Today is the day after Christmas. We are excited because we are going down to Florida to spend some time with Keith's family. Keith's family is excited because they haven't seen him in a really long time. Keith's nephew is excited because he gets to celebrate Christmas again when we get there! We get to the airport, check in, etc. only to be told that our flight to PHL is delayed, and we won't make our flight to JAX, so we can either stay overnight in PHL and hope to fly standby in the morning, or stay in Chicago tonight and try the trip again tomorrow. We opt to stay the night in Chicago. Keith's family is sad, and Keith's nephew informs us that it's the ice's fault.
To kill time, I go shopping with my mom. Oh my goodness. I will never go to Woodfield again! At least not the day after Christmas! I cannot get over the consumerism and greed, etc. that I witnessed today. It's hard to believe we are in a recession after seeing the activity today. I also see that any "good Christmas cheer" that people may have had the day before, appeared to have gone missing. It was an absolute jungle. From the parking to the walking to trying to take two steps inside the mall. I've never been a fan of the commercialization of Christmas, but this just solidified it for me. I think next year, I will be making all my gifts and spending the entire day at church. The experience did, however, make me happy that Christ has come, and I wonder what people celebrate at this time of year when they don't take the time to celebrate Christ.
If any of you are still reading this really long post about this really long couple of days, I can only say that through all of the headaches, heartaches and struggles, what comes through for me is the blessings that I have. I have an incredible fiance, an amazing family, and wonderful friends. I have a God who loves me so much that he sent his Son to us to save us. What more could I ask for? Well....maybe a safe flight to Florida tomorrow. :)