back in our element

We’re back home from our visit to my in-laws’ for Christmas. We went down last Thursday night, we ended up arriving around midnight again. Much like last time we went down there, Theo was happy and wired upon arrival. This time I managed to get him to sleep shortly after 3, and then we did at least get to sleep past 9. But it did make me wonder if we’re going to have to rethink our night traveling in the future.

It was a very pleasant visit over all, if tiring. It was great to be able to share with John’s parents the excitement of Christmas morning with small kids. They are no longer able to travel themselves, so they really look forward to our visits and seeing the kids. John’s dad is no longer able to walk, and doesn’t generally leave the house (or the bedroom, for that matter) except for trips to the dialysis center. (These started a few months ago. Since he isn’t very mobile, he gets transported by ambulance.)

Christmas day, after we’d worked our way through the gifts, I was getting ready to start making our part of the dinner (John’s mom had arranged for some non-vegetarian things for the two of them). I was all set to bake a butternut squash and our Tofurky, and preheated the oven. When I opened the door to stick in my squash, I was greeted by a bright flash and dramatic sparks. At first I thought that something had fallen on the element, but it turns out it was the element itself that was sparking. It was burning white hot, and burning itself right up. This changed my cooking plans somewhat, and after sitting around staring at my thumbs and discussing whether we’d be having a Christmas dinner of scrambled eggs, I decided to push forward. Chef Google provided instructions for microwaving a Tofurky, so that turned out okay. Thank goodness my mother-in-law had already baked the pumpkin pie the day before, because I’m pretty sure you can’t nuke that. (And what is Christmas without pie? I don’t think I even want to know the answer to that question.)

The oven element, the day after Christmas. It snapped while John was looking at it trying to determine whether he could order a replacement one. (It is pretty doubtful, as it seems the oven is about 50 years old.)

We had planned to come home on Monday, as we’d heard the forecast of a storm Sunday night. There ended up being quite a bit of snow down there by Monday morning, maybe around 18 inches, and we decided stay another day (for a variety of reasons).

We hoped to get on the road early on Tuesday. However, it is never a small task to collect all of our stuff when we visit, and this time was compounded by all the detritus of Christmas. While we’d aimed to be on the road by noon, and therefore stand a chance of arriving home before dark, it was almost 2 by the time we pulled out of the driveway. We ran into all sorts of crazy traffic in Connecticut, and didn’t get back home till almost 7, even though we’d made only brief stops. Seeing as we can usually make the trip in well under 4 hours, we were reminded of why we usually opt to get on the road later in the evening.

While the snow appeared to be less deep around home, more like 6 to 8 inches, the driveway was not passable due to snowplow mounding from the road. The kids and I sat in the car up on the road with the hazards flashing, eating our dinner of takeout pasta while John attacked the entrance to the driveway. Once he’d cleared the mound, we drove in, and half slid down the driveway. This was one of those times we were super glad to have all-wheel drive. We then took turns shoveling and staying inside the house with the kids. (Admittedly John did more of the shoveling.)

The kids ended up getting to bed quite late, in spite of our grand plans to get home at a reasonable hour. It seems that, no matter what, we end up feeling like we are adjusting to a different time zone whenever we get back from visiting the in-laws, even though they are on the same coast.

Yay, all-wheel drive!

Our driveway.

I have a backlog of things to post once again, but don’t know when I’ll have much time. I don’t usually end up with more than a few minutes to myself when we’re down at the in-laws’. I had a few sort of holiday-themed things in progress that I didn’t find time to finish. Now Christmas seems so last week. There is no daycare this week for the kids, and even though Phoebe had preschool today, I’m once again not left with much time to be online. I finally managed to upload some project 365 photos to flickr–I hadn’t put any up in over 2 weeks. I’ve now passed the 5 month mark!

4 thoughts on “back in our element

  1. Welcome back!
    Despite all the setbacks, this trip sounded less harrowing than the last one. Hoorah!
    What will John’s parents do about the oven?

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