Saturday, December 25, 2021

Yuletide Presence

Yesterday was a good day.

I started out clear-headed, writing more GoodStuff for the thesis, and then was a bit worn out by the time lunch rolled around. I had a great conversation with Jenna, about all manner of things (including a dramatic rendition of what D&D is and specifically what it was to me in high school, playing second edition with pencils and graph paper and getting kicked out of the high school library because of the D&D moral panic of the 80s), which was a lovely way to avoid the scheduling hassles that we were struggling with, trying to find a time that my energy level would match up with our availability to do Phase Two of the storage unit. At the end of the conversation, she offered to take the Jeep to the storage unit while I was visiting with Vivian, and see how much she could load by herself (it’s helpful that there is a specific list of things to get, all easily identifiable; it’s less helpful that the things on the list for Phase Two are large and possibly require leverage as well as strength). I said yes, and we discussed how to transfer keys and scooters and the logistics of it all, and it was a blessing.

Vivian and I met up at the gym, who shortened the already short hours a bit more than usual, a nod to the variant and staffing issues. The pool would only be open for another half hour, and I asked Vivian what she wanted to do. I know she has been looking forward to both swimming and racquetball, so I was unsurprised when she said yes to swimming for 30 minutes and then racquetball after, though privately I was hoping the post-swimming shower routine wouldn’t take up all the racquetball time — we haven’t played racquetball in a couple months or more. I was pretty surprised when she stopped in front of the locker room and said, “Actually, let’s play racquetball, because i never ever want to get out of the pool and then i spend all the last of our time arguing about it.” She said it conversationally, and I’m impressed by her self awareness and her maturity. We got the gear and headed to the racquetball court and had a great time. She fetched her adventure backpack on the way out, and discussed where we would store it after, since the gym would be closed before our day was over. I like the ownership and understanding she has, and think she is just a great young lady all around.

During lunch Jenna texted that she had gotten everything from Phase Two and would I like her to take it up to the apartment? My heartfelt “yes, thank you so much” could be felt through the city. She was all like “no problem, of course!” I am truly blessed to have the help, and impressed by the physical ability of youth. 

Vivian and I scootered downtown for burgers and pinball, got distracted by the downtown trolley (called the Star Line, which I think is just great) that was available and took a tour of the “loop.”

I want bonus points for not making a single philosophers-and-trolleys comment.

Vivian and I talked during the trip, and she occasionally asked the driver about his job and the trolley itself, and it was neat to see how her mind works, and to watch her so at ease in the world.

When we came out of pinball, the daylight was beginning to fade, making the holiday decorations and lights of downtown particularly lovely.

The vendors had all packed up and gone home, making downtown pedestrian free and perfect for scootering.

We crossed over into Elmwood park, next to the downtown library, and Vivian mentioned that she wants to go the library again, which is excellent since the weather is in fact turning cold, despite the beautiful 60+ degree Christmas that we are having at the moment. We ended our scootering tour by coming back to the loft and stowing the scooters in the Jeep, which had returned and was now empty once again. Vivian waved and called “Merry Christmas” from the car as she rode off with her dad. It was lovely.

Back home, Jenna and I surveyed the Loft with all its new stuff, and discussed how the pieces and parts needed to be put together. She offered to come over today to literally lend a hand, and we nerded out about how silly it might seem that we’re looking forward to putting together furniture on Christmas Day. She has family in town, and is planning on visiting them briefly, but her relationship with them is in an awkward place right now, and she’s looking forward to having plans that involve tea and hardware and just being herself, things I have in abundance.

I had a glass of milk, brushed my teeth, and changed. I was asleep by 7.

I hope you are all having a lovely Christmas Day, and that your hearts and homes are filled with warmth and love.