I am delighted to find myself alone with the animals tonight after days of chaos; lovely chaos but I am fond of my solitude. We've had three birthdays to celebrate in among the holiday celebrations and the house has been full and overflowing with people of all ages and volume. Tonight everyone has plans but me. I went running and am now cuddling with the Disreputable cat to the right of my lap, the Parental cat to left and the Disreputable Dog and Parental Dog at my feet snoring slightly. The Parental Dog is a bit worried that the mainstay of her pack is gone. I am finally in my own space well enough to be ready to visit with other old friends who have flocked to the area to visit family over the holidays. Sadly, I am a bit late for some of them but try as I may I am never ready for these reunions when I first arrive, always needing a few days to acclimatize and adjust to being in this space and making it work for me. Not that I haven't been seeing people every day but they've mostly been due to the planning of others, not the ones I must self initiate. I haven't even pulled on my skis yet since every time I plan to do so I seem to get roped into some other task.
I am finding it somewhat disconcerting how everyone else seems to have plans for what I am going to do next. It usually involves moving closer to them. My sister wants me to be close enough to babysit but not close enough to drop in unexpectedly. Another friend hopes I'll be here until April. My Alaska friends are all convinced I will be back shortly and have even started sending me rental notices for Fairbanks and Anchorage and my lower 48 friends are convinced this means I'm leaving the state while my out of country friends are cajoling me to move near them. Only my out of country friends seem to understand that I could end up ANYWHERE. Really, I could. It was breaking news up and down the extended family telephone wires over the week and I know there will be much gossip about it. I am only glad that they have found something else to discuss other then what they see as my old maid-ism. I am generally the black sheep of the family, the person who lives the exciting life that everyone else enjoys talking about but are secretly relieved they don't live.
I have been spending extended time with my niece and nephew. My niece's fondest desire was to have the Disreputable Cat sit on her lap and she finally got her wish. The cat barely fit but she was game and my niece has never sat stiller for anything in her entire life.