Counting hours

After today there’s just a half-day or so left in my work year. And, a few short minutes after that, we’ll be undertaking the great traveling adventure. This realization, this countdown, is oddly conflicting. On one hand, “The holiday break is almost here, and I don’t know that I deserve all of this time off.” On the other hand, “It’s here, already?”

Now, clearly, there’s something wrong, woefully wrong, with that first hand. Deserving it is a silly notion. This is a western and, frankly, dumb concept. Time off is part of my deal. I can take it or lose it, and no one is interested in giving it back. What’s more, I’ve earned it, having carefully accumulated days for just such a traveling adventure as this. I think it’s the mentality of accumulating and hoarding those days off for a year that builds that frame of mind.

Anyway, that’s what I was thinking about as I did a little Christmas shopping this evening. Because, ya know, it seemed like the appropriate time. I went to one store Monday and was uninspired. I tried another place yesterday and was interrupted — all for the best, I am sure. But, this evening I knew I would have some success: I started seeing things I wanted.

And so if you don’t want to chip in, or purchase outright, a new bicycle for me, I found stuff for me. And also for others. Things I didn’t buy. This, which looks cool.

We have a five-foot vinyl tunnel and one of the cats absolutely loves it. Sleeps in it. Ambushes you in it. Takes rides in it. That one is a bit more involved and a bit more expensive; it stayed in the store.

So did this. A few weeks ago I found Zoltar. This evening I saw the keyboard Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia played in Big.

I’m holding out for the full-sized piano, and the ability to do this.

There aren’t many movie scenes more charming than that. That’s really what I’m holding out for on my own dancing piano.

Anyway, some shopping done. Laundry done. Packing and holiday travel to follow.

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