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Today was a subdued Christmas.

My Mom has a little tribe of outdoor kittens. Their momma had them here last Spring and left after awhile. Most of the kittens remained behind plus we had a couple of others show up (perhaps helped by someone over the fence into our back yard). A few of them will come in if the weather is bad, but by and large, they have remained outside cats.

This morning, one of them, Tiger, was missing. My Mom was the first to find him… He had been run over sometime between Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. Before we exchanged gifts this morning, my Dad was outside doing the burial thing. Mom was distraught, having been the one who retrieved him from the road. She wrapped him in a couple of her good towels which he was buried with.

Tonight, it’s alternating between rain and sleet. There’s a chance of freezing rain later tonight. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that it doesn’t get cold enough. While I like snow since it’s so rare, there’s no place in my heart for freezing rain which typically brings nothing but downed power lines and falling pines. Two of the kittens, Philbin and Dickens, came in to get out of the mess.

In the evening, my folks and I sat down together to watch the first movie on a set of Ma & Pa Kettle DVD’s that I got them. The first movie in the series is really not about Ma & Pa Kettle, but it was their first appearance as supporting characters. My folks remembered the series from later. None of us had seen the original movie, The Egg & I, starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert. It was actually pretty good, kind of an early Green Acres, but with a lot of the typical plot lines I’ve seen in 1940’s era movies, newlywed couple faces adversity, splits, and then comes back together at the last minute realizing that they are meant for each other. The adversity in this film was that the husband, MacMurray, wanted to be a Chicken farmer. Apparently, even though one barely sees the Kettle family in this movie, they were interesting enough to warrant an additional seven movies to follow.

Despite everything it was a nice Christmas with the family. I’ve got a pile of DVD’s to watch and more reading material (some of which will go on my trip with me). I also got a few odds and ends for the trip and, of course not a surprise, Britrail tickets for use during my time in the UK. And I think the folks liked the gifts we all exchanged. My dad is still playing with the combo fax/copier/scanner/printer we got for him, and my Mom spent hours looking through her little Lulu trade paperback and wishing that she had some veggies, etc. to use to test her new mandoline.

One more day here with the folks, and then it’s back to Atlanta to drop off my car and stuff. Kelly is coming by to pick me up and drop me at the airport. I would have totally taken a drop at a MARTA station, but she indicated she’d rather drop me at the airport. When I get back, I’ll be calling April to pick me up at the Northsprings MARTA. I get back close to the end of the work day. Just in time for rush hour traffic probably – not much I can do but apologize for that one!

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