Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Arrivals & Departures

After landing in St. Louis, Dad and I gathered my luggage from the carousel and headed to his house. I was impressed by the area of St. Louis that his house is in. Honestly, it wasn't at all what I was expecting. I guess I had the stereotypical city in mind and then we turned down a tree-lined street with lanterns and Christmas lights. His home sits on a cute corner lot with large trees and within walking distance of a park. He gave me the grand tour and informed me that the back bedroom was mine. It was to be decorated by me and was designated as my place to stay when I visit or should I ever find a need to move there. It was a very nice, and appreciated, gesture. We then stayed up late baking sweet potatoes that we were in charge of for Thanksgiving dinner. We sat up and talked for quite some time. It was really nice to get to just sit and chat with my Dad. We hadn't honestly done that in quite some time. We have our differences, but we are working on them.

The next morning, I arose to the smell of fresh brewed coffee and the sounds of my dad saying, "Bubble, it's time to get up." Bubble. Man I haven't been called that in FOREVER. The story of why I am called Bubble will be for a later date. :) We got around early and began the 2 1/2 hour drive to Quincy, Illinois. We talked the whole way about everything from religion, to college majors, to family. It was a loooong drive though. My ass was asleep by Troy, MO.

Arriving at my Grandparents was different then I remember. Simply because I am a different person than I was when I left. I am older for one, so the little things I once brushed aside mean so much more. As I opened the front door, I was greated by the wonderful smells of a traditional family holiday and the warm hugs from my Grandparents. My Grandpa is what one would call a Marshmallow. He gets all giddy and childlike when he's happy. He pinched my cheeks and gave me a big hug. It's funny how you can't pin point exactly what you miss about a person until they do it. Who would of thought I'd miss him pinching my cheeks. haha! I helped myself to some homemade fudge and a diet coke (I know, what a combo.) and then sat and chatted with my Grandma. Grandpa finished up his noodles and then more family began to trickle in. Christine and Rob, my aunt and uncle, were first. They brought along their pug Coco who instantly stole the show. My animals have NO idea what spoiled really means. ;) Wear Coach collars, they will not, for mommy cannot afford them. My brother was next. He grabbed me in a bear hug and attempted to pick me up off the ground. Dork. But he's my dork and I love him. He gave me a new phone that I am super excited about! I love new gadgets. I'm easily amused. My uncle Mark was the last to arrive. He is by far, one of the funniest people I know, without even trying. He told me that I get prettier every time he sees me. For all of you 'favorite uncle wannabes'...BEAT THAT! Tell me I'm beautiful and you'll be in the running once more. We sat down to a HUGE meal and then half the family fell asleep in the living room floor. Christine and Rob left to visit some more family and the rest of us watched Christmas with the Kranks and then played a good ole fashioned family game of Oh, Hell. I'll have to teach everyone to play that cause it is FUN with a capital F! After the last round, Mark had to leave and meet some friends for the QHS Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament. I didn't go because Dad had to work the next day and we needed to head back to St. Louis by 7. Mike had to leave too, as he had a 3 hour drive ahead of him back to Bloomington. We said our goodbyes and headed out the door into the cold. The drive back was just as long, but once again, filled with good conversation. Dad and I ended up watching Dances with Wolves on television and then called it a night.

Friday was interesting as I had my dad's house all to myself for a looong time. He left for work at 8 and I was there alone until after 5. I wrote a paper for macroeconomics and studied for my impending exam. I also rearranged his living room. Haha! I changed the whole dadgum place to when he walked in the front door he just stood there like WTF? We ordered Imo's Pizza for dinner, which can I just say OMG!! People, we have got to petition to get an Imo's. Best damn pizza in the WORLD. We spent the rest of the evening rearranging some more and hanging pictures, cause girls, this was the ultimate BACHELOR pad. The man has approximately zero decorating skills. He had curtains hung in the living room. Straight from the package. Apparently wrinkles are in this season. ;) JUST KIDDING DAD! The next couple days seemed to kind of run together. We got up Saturday and went shopping, went to lunch, got a cat, hung more curtains. caught that. Dad got a cat. Bubba. He is a 4 month old, neutered male, domestic shorthair, grey tabby with personality to spare. OMG this creature is insane. haha! He is so sweet and cuddly, but has more energy packed into his little body than he knows what to do with. And vocal! OMG is he ever vocal. My dad needed a little friend like that. He needed someone to talk to besides him self. So 'Bub' as he has been coined (get it, Bub, Bubble...) has made himself right at home and I think that both guys are very lucky to have each other. Along with the cat, I also talked my dad into getting a Christmas tree. SCROOGE here, hadn't had a tree in quite some time! I told him he HAD to atleast get a freakin' wreath or else everyone on his new block would know he was Ebenezer. We got out all of his old decorations from his mom and also the ones from when he was married to my mom. There were quite a few unique treasures that my brother and I had made. Frightening. :) The halls are now as decked as they can be. It makes me happy to know that he has some cheer to look at now. It's not healthy to go through Christmas without a little of it in your house and heart. Am I right?

Sunday, Dad and I got up and went to church and then came home and made a second "pretend" Thanksgiving dinner. We roasted a turkey and had sweet potatos. I made a coconut creme pie but forgot it was in the fridge and never ate any! UGH! haha! We went to downtown St. Louis and got pictures of the rubble at the old Busch Stadium. That was pretty cool! It was sad too; I can't even begin to tell you how many times I have been in that stadium. I saw the Cards (of course!), the Oakland A's, the Texas Rangers and countless others. I love a good baseball game! It makes me sad that it won't be there anymore, but at least there will be a new one in its place.

The flight home. Man, that is going to take a little longer to tell. I'm going to close this one for now. It is time to start the car and get it warmed up. I HATE THE COLD! But then again, I say that about the HEAT too. :) Happy day to all.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, I boarded a plane for St. Louis, Missouri. I made it to the airport safely thanks to my dear friends and roommates Edwin and Caitlin. I arrived in plenty of time to sit and read the book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Literally, I read the WHOLE thing. I was sitting in the airport for almost three hours. Honestly, it wasn't that busy. At least not nearly as bad as one would expect for the day before a major family holiday. I sat on the far end of gate C9, in a stream of sunlight, reading my book. It was peaceful and quiet and I was rather enjoying my few moments of solitude. Then, a man in uniform pushed an elderly woman in a wheel chair my way and said, "Here you go ma'am. You can sit next to this nice woman and keep her company." He proceeded to deposit the woman one seat away from me. She was quite possibly the most gruff and abrasive woman I had ever met. She never once acknowledged me or the fact that the nice gentleman had escorted her to a seat. The first thing she did was phone her children to tell them how awful her day had been. How the man who was to drive her to the airport was late and how in her rush to get into the car, she wasn't sure if she had locked her front door. She began shouting, no, YELLING at her son on the phone, asking him if he had tried to call her. This shouting match went on for at least 20-30 minutes and continued up until the moment I boarded the plane. Our flight was overbooked so the airline was taking volunteers to take a later flight. NOPE. No way was I going to sit next to the Spawn of Scrooge for another two hours. What a hateful woman. I smiled at her, hoping that a little cheer would maybe rub off on her, if only for a brief moment. Once again, NOPE. She went immediately back to yelling at every person she could get to answer the phone about how uncaring all the people who didn't answer their phones were. *Sigh* The woman did however create the opportunity for other passengers and I to trade sympathetic and humorous glances.

The airplane was the smallest plane I have ever been on. It also looked like it had the potential of being the oldest plane I had ever been on as well. There was one row of seats on the left side of the aircraft and two on the right side. There was an approximately 14 inch aisle seperating the two. Only one set of overhead compartments were available, so all of the people who had assumed they could take carry-ons, had to go back and have their bags checked at the entrance to the plane. Irritating? Oh, I bet. The flight was fairly uneventful. I finished reading my book (which I wasn't all too impressed with) and then stared out the window for the rest of the trip. It was amazing. I don't think I have ever flown at night before. If I have, I must have slept right through it because this was something I surely wouldn't have forgotten. The cities literally sparkled. A soft golden glow was a haze over each one. As we came over St. Louis, the plane lowered slightly, giving way to the views of tree tops that looked more like fuzzy, green quilts and long ropes of diamonds and rubies on the highways. Rivers and roadways snaked amongst each other. We flew over the remnants of Busch Stadium. It was a giant pit of dust with large machinery moving around inside it. The frame still stood, but the heart was gone. The Arch stood watch over the progress and acted as a beacon for visitors. We landed smoothly and all gathered our belongings. I walked off the plane and down the tunnel to my Dad who was waiting amidst the crowd. I was so ready to be off the plane, not because it was a bad flight, but because I hadn't spent a holiday with my family in five years. St. Louis wasn't home, but just as the Arch is the Gateway to the West, St. Louis was the Gateway to home.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


So today I will be flying home for Thanksgiving.
I have flown by myself before, many times in fact, but I still always get nervous that I am forgetting something. And, I've never flown this close to a holiday before either. I'm sure everything will go fine, I am just a supreme worrywort. I am going to print of my itenerary at work because my printer needs ink and Cait and Ed are sleeping. Don't want to use either of their printers without asking. I'm sure they wouldn't care, but I'll just do it at work. Besides, I was running a wee bit late this morning and wouldn't have stopped to do it anyway. (HOWEVER I will stop to blog because I am going to be in SUCH withdrawals for the next few days!!) I have to work until 12:30 and then it's off to seek the airport. Fun times. BIG thankyou to the great and wonderful Cait for printing off research for my blasted Macro paper and for Mom for taking Cait and I out for a scrumptious dinner! Way to boost the mood girls! :) You rock!

Now I'm going to gather up the boys and get them ready to board at the clinic. I'm gonna miss those little fur balls!!

I wish you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving!!
Love, Liz

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

For Drew

Thankful, Part 2

Drew, I said I wasn't done yet!! Gah! Of COURSE you're on my list of things to be thankful for. In fact, I'll put you first.

* My Drew- I am one of those lucky people, blessed I guess is a better word, that has been graced with a plentiful circle of friends. I have always had an easy time making friends in new places, whether that be school, work, or in random places. :) That's not to say that new places aren't scary as hell until you find that friend who makes your worries melt away. When I was 13, I met just that friend. Drew and I met in band on my first day in my new school. We had a couple other classes together too. He was like no other friend I had ever had. He instantly made me feel safe and protected. We became great friends that have grown over the years into best friends. He is the friend who has traveled the 600+ miles to see me in Oklahoma more than anyone else. More than my father and my brother combined. He has agreed to carry out "the plan" if I asked him to, and I honestly believe that he would do it if that's what I really wanted. I love him more than anything I know in my heart of hearts, that I would not be the person I am today had he not been there. We have been through everything together and I wouldn't trade him for anything in this world. There are just some people that you KNOW you will be friends with for a life time...he is definately one of them.

* My Job- As much as I complain about my job, I am SO lucky to have it. I work with a staff of amazing people and I get do to a job that I love. I work with the public, I get to run an office (and we all know my affinity for office supplies. I drool in Staples.), and get to play with kitties. My boss has given me a scholarship to school, I get paid time off (when I'm allowed to take it, ha!) and have benefits. I am 23 years old and have been allowed the opportunity to start a retirement fund. I am doing things with my life now, that I probably wouldn't be doing had I not started working here 4 years ago. Some of my best friends have come from this job and also, some of my greatest accomplishments. I am thankful to have a respectable job in a town that prides itself on academics and advancement.

* My church- I have never, in all my life, looked forward to going to church as I do now. I enjoy getting up and going with my roommates each Sunday. No matter the topic that day, I always learn something and am always touched in one way or another. The Wednesday group that I attend with Matt has also been a blessing. I never knew how much I was going to enjoy it, or how much I missed something I never knew I was missing. I have sat in that building and been touched more times in the past 2 months than I have in all my life. Now THAT is something to be thankful for.

* My car- I know that some people would consider my SUV 'unneccessary' or 'a gas guzzler', but the baby gets better gas mileage than my old corolla! haha! And the reason that I am thankful for that car, is that it has allowed me to go see family in Illinois, Watonga and El Reno without fear or hesitation. I often postponed trips places because I was concerned my car wouldn't make it or that something would happen. Now, I feel safe putting Reagan's carseat in my vehicle and driving her to see my Grandma, putting my roommates in it and driving to Illinois. I am blessed that I had the opportunity and the means to get the car I wanted.

I need to finish getting ready for work now. So I can drive the car I'm thankful for the job I'm thankful for. :) Have a great day everyone and God Bless.