We're already 11 days into 2009. I used to experience the post-holiday letdown but now I rather enjoy getting all the Christmas stuff put away and having a fresh start. Wife is fortunate in that she is married to a mild anal-retentive who likes order. Therefore, since I usually take off the week between Christmas and New Year's, I pick a day, usually around Dec. 31, and get it all done. I take the tree down, pack up all the decorations and get everything stored until next year. And I kind of clean the house as I go along. When it's all done, everything looks fresh and clean and I like that.
Everyone else in the house seems to mysteriously disappear on that day (go figure) but that's OK. I can usually shame one of the boys into helping me take the boxes back down to the basement and then I can spend the evening just casually mentioning in conversation how everyone enjoys getting all the stuff out, putting up the tree and decorating it, but I seem to be the only one around when it's time to put it away. I get great mileage out of that.
Other miscellenous thoughts this cold Sunday in January:
-- We're all bummed because the Tennessee Titans, after a spectacular season, blew it yesterday in their first playoff game. They turned the ball over at key times and were penalized a gazillion yards and guess what, that loses football games. The boys went in person and stood out in the rain and cold, while Wife and I each took one end of the sectional sofa and a blanket apiece and watched from the comfort of home.
Frankly, although I'm sick over the loss, I need the break from football. From Younger Son playing and starting in August, to making as many Auburn games as we can and following the Titans, we expend a lot of energy on football at this house. And I'm worn out. I'll look in on the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, but with the Titans out of it I won't get nearly as stressed over it. A good thing.
-- After the game Wife and I quickly got dressed and headed downtown for the Symphony last night. Although Nashville is known mainly for country music, we have a superb symphony orchestra here and a take-your-breath-away symphony hall just a couple of years old. When it opened and they began soliciting new patrons, Wife and I decided we are not getting any younger and we would treat ourselves to season tickets to one of the classical series. This is our second season. Our subscription is for seven performances and if for some reason we can't make it, we can exchange them for a pops or another classical concert that might have available seats. We love it.
I was thinking last night as I listened to the gorgeous music of Haydn and Mahler that I wish I knew more about classical muscic. I started taking piano when I started school, and I sang in choirs both at church and school when I was growing up. Even though I lived in a relatively small town, I was exposed to some great music and had some wonderful teachers. But I didn't bother to learn much about the various master artists and their styles and I feel like I still don't really know much about classical music, other than I know I love it.
So, when I am finally able to retire, probably in my 70s if I live that long, and after I have gone back to school and gotten a master's degree in Literature, I am going to go get one in Classical Music. I know those advanced degrees will do me a lot of good at that stage of life.
And all of this thinking has confirmed the old adage that youth is indeed wasted on the young. When I was in school (especially law school) I just wanted to get out so I could get on with life. I got on with life a long time ago and now I want to go back to school. Sad thing is, it doesn't pay very well.
-- Older Son is beginning to talk about moving out. Why, I keep asking Wife, would someone want to move out of a place where he pays no rent, gets free food and can put his clothes outside his bedroom door where the laundry fairies will pick them up and they will magically reappear cleaned and folded? Not to mention having unlimited fellowship with his father?!
Wife tells me it's a normal thing. He will be 23 in a couple of weeks and there is a natural yearning to be more independent.
I guess. But I don't do well with goodbyes, milestones and passages. I know when he moves out this time, he very likely won't be back. It will just be across town and we'll still see him all the time and, I suspect, he will show up for more than an occasional meal. But I can tell he intends to make this separation permanent and I already don't care for the idea.
-- Several hours have passed since I started this and during that time I took Younger Son to a local sporting goods store to buy him some shoes. We walked into the shoe department and sitting right there buying shoes was Keith Urban, with wife Nicole Kidman sitting right there with him. It is not uncommon in this area to occasionally run into the country music stars but (a) I often do not recognize them and (b) I have never seen these two before. I maintained composure and did not bother them but will admit that Younger Son and I lingered a bit over his shoe selection. I also had to give Wife a call, and my old college roommate whose wife is a big Keith Urban fan. He got her on the phone and made me tell her myself.