January 2nd, 2020

abstract butterfly

Year-end Year-begin

On Saturday the 21st I drove my wife to Love Field, so that she could catch a flight to Kansas City. On the way home, I stopped by Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano. I am very fond of this park, which I visit a time or two a year. The hills are barely hills,but there are trees and open spaces.

The morning was cold and foggy. Dozens upon dozens of American Robins and Cedar Waxwings flew from tree to tree. I walked for a good while. Once I felt isolated in a nook of the park, but then other walkers came along and I felt in a crowd. I enjoyed seeing a Harris Sparrow.

Saturday afternoon I went Christmas shopping. There were crowds. As I went into one youth-oriented discount chain store called Five Below,
an adult woman clutched her daughter and emerged in tears. Another shopper commented on how she would be so scared if....I wondered if the toddler daughter nearly fell or nearly disappeared. I was glad things seemed better.

Sunday the 22nd I walked in Shawnee Park in Plano. A lovely Red-Shouldered Hawk landed atop a telephone pole.

On Monday the 23rd, I worked most of the day. Then I drove to Love Field. The B parking lot was completely full. I found a space in the A parking lot. A man in a KMo car picked me up. While we drove to my in-laws, he told me about going to Mass at Christmas. A family gathering was wrapping up as I arrived. I was glad to see my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and their kids, as well as my wife's step-mother. I am fortunate to have in-laws that I like.

Tuesday my wife and I went to visit our niece at her Christmas job at a department store at a mall in Kansas. The pace was not frenetic. Then my wife and I headed across the Missouri border to Burr Oak Woods Nature Preserve in Blue Springs. We walked on the Timbers Trail and the Discovery Trail. Although the weather was fairly warm, snow from weeks before popped up here and there on the ground. We saw a Red-Bellied Woodpecker, a Downy Woodpecker, Black-Capped Chickadees and other birds. On the way home, we drove by Lake Jacomo. A family fished from a pier--virtually the only people we saw at that large lake.

We spent Christmas Eve quietly at my wife's step-mother's home. We watched the Washburn Vespers choir play its 2018 and 2019 programs. My wife and her step-mother knew the ensemble because they had recently heard it perform at my niece's graduation. It played a good concert--my favorite interlude involved the jazz band.

On Christmas morning my wife's sister's family and our college graduate niece came over to eat coffee cake and watch the kids open Christmas presents. That was fun. The kids made out like bandits. We went to my wife's stepmother's sister's home for Christmas dinner. Although neither my wife nor I are these folks' blood relatives, we consider them relations just the same. Perhaps relationship is when you know a bit of someone's story. One of my wife's step-relations divorced since last year. I feel a bit as if his ex-wife's story ended for me several pages too soon, as I did not know her well enough to really know her ,but enjoyed seeing her and hearing of her story.  But who knows? Stories are funny things.

On the day after Christmas we caught the Noon plane home. The Noon plane home never has left at Noon in the history of Christmas. This time a rainstorm in San Diego delayed the flight to which we connected. But we made it home by 4 p.m., and all was well.  On Friday the 27th I worked a solid day, and was glad that I had come back to work.

Saturday the 28th the rains came. I found a two-hour space to walk on the Celebration Pass Trail. I listened to a podcast in which the designer Christian Seriano described parts of his childhood.

Sunday the 29th I walked in Bethany Lakes Park. A Wood Duck showed himself, becoming the 105th and final bird on my Collin County eBird list for 2019. I finished my gift wrapping. I drove to my brother's house, to leave his family their Christmas presents. Later he texted me a picture of his wife and son and son's girlfriend, gifts in hand.

I worked the 30th and 31st and felt good about what I accomplished. I took off January 1. I walked in Glendover Park and then took a very long walk on the Hoblitzelle Park Trail in Plano and along Hedgecoxe. I saw 27 species of bird, including two lovely Red-Shouldered Hawks, one at each park. In the afternoon, we saw the movie "Bombshell", about the Fox News sexual harassment scandal. The movie's mix of a light, ironic tone and truly chilling moments made a great mix. 

Today I took my car in to the Hyundai dealership for routine service. The Huffines dealership provided me with a Lyft ride to and from my office. I am not much for these non-standard transport companies, due to their efforts to skirt safety regulations such as background checks. Still, it worked pretty well, except that each Lyft driver thought my office address was the movie theater 5 minutes away.

I plan to make a 20 item list of resolutions for 2020.


















from Dreamwidth, because two posts of the same text are twice as nice