three men and a fiat

Giftmas 2010 bbq-3

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and now the rest…

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gotta say, the Mad Bomber hat and the pocket soap for camping are probably two if the things I’m currently the most obsessed with. the soap comes in a little plastic thing like those listerine pocket pack things. except it’s soap. so you take a sheet out, add it to water and presto, liquid soap.

we used to have big family christmases. our aunt and uncle and cousins used to live right by our elementary school, which was all of a two minute walk from my parents’ front door. our grandma and my dad’s cousin lived in edmonton. we’d have relatives from out of province come. then people move, people pass away, and where there were a dozen people, now there’s four. it’s been like that for a long time, so I’m fairly used to a small christmas, with an exception for dinner when we might have two or three people over.

except this year was a first. because of my sister’s work schedule and did our christmas on the 24th. this meant I was free for the 25th. this is the first time ever that I’ve not sat in my parents’ living room opening gifts on the 25th. instead, I drove back down to red deer and ended up at two other christmases. one family, different branches of it.

I’ll admit I was a little overwhelmed in november for castagna night, but that’s mostly because my italian gatherings are now fewer and far between, much as that sucks. but I got over that right quick, cause it’s my italians and they’re the family I’ve made.

stepping into this situation at two houses with new people, I was still pretty much absorbing it well into this morning. It took me a long time in Vancouver to feel I could honestly say I felt like a part of a family. I get fiercely defensive about that sometimes when someone here asks me about it.  it’s odd to suddenly be dropped into surroundings as the new person and everyone is immediately as welcoming and handing you wrapped up boxes. I’m completely appreciative of it and a little awestruck by how quickly aimée’s family has opened their doors and arms, and I do feel welcomed, but it’s a little weird.

there was a moment last night sitting at the second christmas gathering at the second house of the night where I sat back and thought, “i need to walk out a door onto dario’s deck, sit on a chair, crack a beer with him and chad and just mull it over.”

there’s no one here to mull things with. so I have to think about mulling things next time im there. in any case, that thought was still sitting in my head even as we ended up playing Mad Gab and our team totally kicked ass.

in january our chief and I are going to discuss something. it’s a good thing. my direct boss has me working on another good thing. i’ve been presented with an opportunity from another source that’s a good thing. frankly, I’m trying to stay as grounded as I can about it all.

I was talking to my dad last week about my job and how quickly I’ve made a mark at it. I told him about all these things on the plate in front of me and he reminded me again of how lucky I am to be in this situation. I asked him how long it took him to make my salary. he answered that when he retired, he was making 72k a year and it had taken 25 years to get there. I’ve been working a year and a half out of grad school. if two things happen in the first three months of 2011, I’ll be making more than that in under two years of working. it’s strange to think about. in my mind it almost doesnt seem fair to my dad. he spent his entire life working at something, and retiring cause he couldnt stand it any more. through all of that, he (and my mom) made sure my sister and I had everything we needed. suddenly, here I am with the financial and career platter being held out like “here you go, have another helping” without feeling like I’ve even made a dent in what he ever did.

kind of a weird tangent.

i have blue lights on my tree.

I also got a package in the mail for christmas. my mom wanted to know if i’d wait and open it on christmas with the family. my response was, “where is it?” I went and got it, took it downstairs and opened in on the floor in my room away from everyone. sometimes you just need to open those packages on your own. it was an ornament and made me immediately reflective of how far removed you can be from someone, but they always surprise you with little gestures that make you stop in your tracks and realize how much you miss them

this is probably the longest post I’ve done in a long time. it feels good to be sitting here at almost 2am doing this. it’s like tapping back into something you used to do and enjoyed a lot, but slowly let it get away from you.

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