I’ve been staying at my parents place in Alpharetta, Georgia since the first week of December.
I moved into my first vehicle almost two years ago now. Back then, I had a vague idea of what I was trying to accomplish, and my plans for the future were few and far between. I had no idea I would spend so much time climbing rocks, or that I’d be writing a blog about my crazy ride into the unknown. But one thing I had planned, was giving my mother a Christmas gift that she had been asking for since I moved to Sacramento in October of 2006.
See, when I started working for Union Pacific, I was thrown at the bottom of a seniority roster. That senority roster dictated not only which specific job titles I could hold, but also when I could take my vacation. I learned quickly that being at the bottom meant vacation time around any holidays were out of the question. Understandable. So I waited. Every year, the only vacation time I put in for was Christmas, in hopes that I may get the chance to fly to Atlanta and spend it with family. Multiple times during each year, I listened to Mom talk about how she would love to have everyone home for Christmas one year.
Maybe if I would have stayed with Union Pacific, I’d be flying home this Christmas, but the chance wasn’t in my favor. The chance didn’t seem to be in my favor for years to come, either. That wasn’t the only reason I chose to move on, but it was another to make the list longer. And now, here I am, spending a month with my parents and loving every second of it. The last time we spent an entire month together was when I was in the marines, over a decade ago. Mom and I spend most evenings playing Scrabble while drinking tea. Dad and I sit around some days and make fun of everything under the sun, a pass time that I thoroughly enjoy. I’ve went to church with them a couple of times, and had the privilege of listening to Mom sing Christmas carols in the church choir. I even had the opportunity to spend some time with my brother, meeting up with him and some childhood friends for the First Annual Pierce-Garner Disc Golf Tournament, followed by lunch at Hooters.
It feels really good, man. On one hand, each of my family members have changed drastically, something that I’m not exposed to when seeing them for a week or two every year. In the past, we are just starting to get our personalities synced when the week is up and we part ways. This time, I felt those short weeks paid off. We connected almost instantly, spending much more of our time enjoying each other’s company than fumbling the ball in attempt to get a grasp on it before running with it.
Merry Christmas and all the other festive holidays! I hope everyone gets to be around the ones they love. And as Stephen Stills wrote once, “if you can’t be with the one you love honey, love the one you’re with.”