21 December 2011

On the first day of vacation, my true love gave to me

61º weather and the chance to sleep in 'til 2!

(This is not a literal interpretation of the traditional carol. There is no need for deciphering who the "true love" is. Obviously, my showcase of cooking skills didn't work properly!)

I can't believe it's Christmastime. It doesn't really feel like Christmastime (see also: 61
º). One year, I drove home from college with a friend from Minot. We made the 500-mile trip in under 8 hours, and my dad couldn't believe that we weren't speeding. But we weren't; the day was beautiful and we didn't stop to eat.

One year later, that same girl and I spent over 2 hours creeping along an icy I-29 between Fargo and Grand Forks, tallying the number of cars we saw in ditches (there were 17). My parents met us in Grand Forks, and our 4-hour ride home only became more exciting when we hit a snowdrift that knocked off some engine belt. Every light in the van dimmed, and we debated whether it was smarter to turn off the car and hope that it would start again (and, if it wouldn't, to freeze to death on the side of the road 30 miles from home)--or to keep pushing on and hope the vehicle wouldn't stop or explode (the first of which would still cause us to freeze on the side of the road, and the second of which would probably keep us well-heated, if we didn't singe our hair first).

There have been moments this semester when I've thought to myself, "Would it be better if I just turned off this engine for awhile, or should I keep pushing ahead despite the fact that all my lights and belts are wearing thin?" As it turns out, I am not a van (who would've guessed?), and the pushing-through thing works, even though you sometimes get to the end and feel like you've frozen and exploded at the same time.

But you know what? My first semester of teaching is over, and I'm alive! I even still love my life. Fancy that. To celebrate on this first sunny day of vacation, I am going to take this tired body for a spin up the nearby walking path, and then I will fuel up with mandarin oranges, and then I'm going to spend a little quality time in the shop with my mattress and a book or nine. Also, I promise to never, ever make car metaphors ever again; I feel like I'm channeling my brother.

Speaking of brothers: did you know that I have one? Many people don't. He's sort of a mysterious fellow. I love you, Andrew!

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