Winter Solstice 2008

This morning at 0704 hours the Winter Solstice began. This mattered a lot to people 500 years ago. Days and seasons weren’t regulated by clocks and calendars. The sun marked time, and the changing patterns of seasonal sunlight and temperatures indicated planting, harvest, and relocation times. We appreciate the latter of these as we try to adjust our lifestyle to Chasing 75 Degrees.

Shorter days matter to us less now than when we were working full-time. Work and volunteer schedules regulate days, and absent both we unnoticeably adapt to the seasonal changes. Mornings are a little slower, we sleep a little later waiting for sunrise. Nights are a little longer, visiting and reading, so we won’t try to stay in bed much longer. This is one of my favorite seasonal changes, daylight is longer each day for six months.

First time together in four years, Christmas 2008

First time together in four years, Christmas 2008

This afternoon we joined our four children here for a small Christmas celebration. Bryan and Nikki stopped in enroute to her mom’s and dad’s in Cary, so we all had a little visit, opened some presents, and took the family photo. It’s the first time in almost four years we’ve had them together and maybe the second time we can remember having all four children together. It was nice to have them all together, however briefly. Bryan and Nikki took off for Cary, Hannah and Charles for Asheville, and we are left counting our blessings.

Eleven weeks ago we arrived and started enjoying a less mobile (and less consuming) period. Several visits with my mom and siblings, several visits with Deb’s siblings, a couple of small reunions with classmates from high schools, a few visits with other friends have punctuated our time in Kannapolis. Oh, and part-time work kept Jim out of Deb’s hair a little each week.

This can be a relaxing week, if we keep everything in focus just enough. We’re starting to pack for trip to Florida, it’ll take a couple days. Tomorrow we drive Kelsey, Stephen, and Eleanor to drop them off at Stephen’s home in Georgia then we’re returning directly here. We’ll move the Argosy to storage near Salisbury, take a few small things to our storage unit in Charlotte until our next pass through Charlotte, repack the truck and trailer, and we’re ready to head to Florida on Saturday.

And we’ll watch the days get longer and warmer. I like this season.

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