March 13, 2014

November turns to December

For many people (most perhaps?) December is the beginning of the Holiday Stress Olympics. The closer one gets to the finish line, the higher the stress levels, until they start to take over peoples lives. One only has to look at Black Friday with its fights, shootings, trampling of people, at the big box stores to see what I mean

Years ago, Mrs. Penguin and I gave up on the stress. The kids were older and so we scaled back on the holidays in general, in order to avoid the Himalayan stress levels. When the kids were home, we cooked together, relaxed and enjoyed each others company. Moving to New Mexico necessitated changing our approach but still held the goal of stress free holidays.We miss the kids and talk with them on the holiday but it is not quite the same as being all together. Gives us something to work on.

For the third time in New Mexico we celebrated Thanksgiving with friends. Everyone contributed food and so stress was minimal for everyone (at least I think it was). There was no Black Friday for us and Saturday was spent at the State Park enjoying the atmosphere.

Early December produces its own brand of stress and drama for me. I was taking over as president of the Camera Club and had the headaches of transitioning new people, new roles and new policies and procedures. After a few weeks, this settled down and countdown to Christmas was at hand.

There was the Choral Holiday Concert that our friend Karen participates in and as usual, it was a spirit lifting event. However, for the first time since moving to Las Cruces, missing our kids became an everyday buzzkill. Redditboy was scheduled to come just after the holidays but the thoughts of just hanging out with him and MillieJupiter, cooking, laughing and just enjoying each others company seemed harder this year than in the past couple. So despite the lack of stress, spirits were a bit low. Even with the Camera Club annual holiday get together, things remained a bit off center

To top it all off, I had some minor surgery just before Christmas and the consequences and issues persist to today. Nothing like a little medical mayhem to put a stamp on the holiday package.

Next up, January, medical backflow, camera club updates and such. But until then, a few photographs...

Early in December we went to the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Sanctuary for a little holiday get together. There were luminarias, hot cocoa, singing and just a time away from the stress of the holidays

This was the roaring fire that kept us warm all evening long!