barlow_girl and I spent a few days in Alabama visiting her family, including quiltlady and pigthatisbig. Lots of goodness in the trip, even—sometimes especially—in the hard times. I'm really proud of how people are choosing to deal with some truly awful stuff, really struggling with how to be faithful and trust God's power, love, and grace without looking away from what's tough. I picked an interesting time to join the family, and there are times I don't know if anyone quite knows what to make of me. That's pretty normal, though, and especially understandable in recent circumstances. Regardless, I know I'm loved, and anything else can grow along the way. There's much bigger stuff to deal with, anyway.
Coming back was an adventure, as a flight delay resulted in an Amazing Race-style dash to another terminal to make our connection to Seattle as its doors were closing. Seattle itself has been in the throes of winter weather, for which it is always ill-equipped. Since our return, much of my time has felt a lot like that airport dash. Headed to the office Thursday while much of the city (wisely) stayed home. Cranked out a week's worth of work in a day, because Sunday comes weekly no matter what (and this Sunday is chock full of events to boot)—the weather isn't particularly concerned with margin, so it seemed unwise to put anything off to Friday or Saturday (which, at the time, was already spoken for). Sadly, we also had to cancel our communitygroup Thursday evening; we won't gather again until next year.
With all of that done, yesterday was intended to be a day off, with our staff party in the evening. Except that it turned out to be pretty much the opposite—by mid-day, I was in the midst of a flurry of coordination emails and phone calls, trying to patch holes and keep things moving that needed to get done but required others' help (I'd already done what I could do Thursday). Late in the day, my mood was pretty sour when my poor wife returned as an icicle from a long wait for the bus and a long walk home after it dropped her off (she worked from home Thursday and went in by bus Friday). We decided not to risk the roads to go to the party, and while it was almost certainly the wisest course and I probably would have been in rotten spirits had we gone, it felt pretty bad to miss out.
We're missing out more today—a while back, I booked us on the annual Snow Train to Leavenworth. I'd heard about it a year ago but couldn't make it happen, so I counted down the days until I could buy our tickets for this year, keeping it as a surprise for Amy. Seattle is usually gray and mild at Christmastime, so I thought it'd be a great treat to go to the pseudo-Alpine village there and see their tree lighting in the snow. But now that we have plenty of snow here and threat of a storm that could slam us when we try to get home, it'd be unwise to go—we're the only way the church gets opened on Sunday morning, so getting stranded makes a mess that affects many more people than just us.
So while none of it is a big deal at all, and most everything is out of our control and/or the wisest course we can choose, I'm still feeling pretty sad. Woke up to messages about how great the party was last night, with tickets sitting on my desk for the trip we couldn't go on today (non-refundable, natch), and walked out to see the bus that wasn't supposed to be running drive past me, leaving me to walk as planned, but now with the knowledge that I didn't have to. Oh, and I need to get milk on the way home, because we've been out since yesterday. And tomorrow, no matter what the weather does, we'll be making things happen so others can enjoy, because that's what we do.
At least we got to watch Die Hard.