Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hardly A Warm Reception

I went home to Michigan for Christmas. It was my first time back there in the winter in a few years, and man
was it memorable. Did you hear about the massive ice storm that wiped out power for 470,000 people in the upper Midwest last week? Count my mom as one of those people. No power or heat from Saturday, 12/21 around midnight until the morning of Thursday, 12/26, the day after Christmas. How cold was it in her house? The olive oil in the cupboard was frozen. The water in the toilets was frozen solid. Everything was frozen. Luckily she has a sister in the area, and she had plenty of room for us to stay. Believe it or not we were actually lucky. The power was not supposed to come back on for another few days. She was expecting to be out of power and heat for just over a week.

Basically what happened it that is rained, and as it got colder, the rain froze. Then the next day it rained again, and again it froze. Then it snowed. The trees could not handle the weight of the ice, branches cracked and fell, knocking down power lines across huge swaths of multiple states. The tops of trees looked like they had been snapped off by a giant, and large limbs were strewn everywhere. Pretty nasty stuff. Repair crews worked sixteen hour days and came from as far away as North Carolina to help in the effort to get people's homes lit and heated. So basically not your normal Christmas holiday, but one I will not soon forget, and one that certainly makes you thankful for the things that you so often take for granted, like lights that come on and a heater that heats the house.

Prior to that I did enjoy an exciting game at FedEx field on December 22nd. This is my third Cowboys/Redskins game in a row in that stadium, and all three have come down to the wire. There was an overtime game in 2011, a game-ending interception in 2012, and this year a fourth down from the ten touchdown pass to put the game away with one minute left on the clock. Win or lose, I got my money's worth each time I have been there.

Now I am back in Baltimore, getting ready for a New Year's Eve dinner party. I sure did enjoy the holiday in my younger days, but now it doesn't mean a whole lot to me. A relaxing day off tomorrow is something I am looking forward to far more that getting crazy at midnight tonight. But you do what makes you happy. Don't let me slow you down. Just remember, if you're feeling hungover tomorrow, just drink a lot of water. Stay away from the aspirin and ibuprofen. Those are processed by the liver, and seriously, don't you think your liver could use a rest? Drink a lot of water, take a nap, drink more water, and somewhere along the way take a hot shower. You'll survive, and you'll probably do it all again before too long.
Lots of Cowboys fans in there that day.

That's all I have for now. Have a great 2014 everyone. Talk to you then.

From My September Trip-Sierra Brewhouse

From My September Trip-Sierra Brewhouse
This is the top floor of the brewhouse, with buckets of fresh hops about to go into the kettles.