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December 29th, 2001

I went to South Dakota for a few days to see my extended family. That was fun. I took Tandra, and it was as good as I could possibly have hoped for. She was comfortable and relaxed and it was as much a vacation for her as it was for me. That's exactly what I was hoping for.

My Aunt and Uncle and Cousin seem to be doing well after their son/brother committed suicide about a year and 9 months ago. My grandfather is doing better after back surgery, but is still having a hard time getting around. My grandmother is still my wonderful feisty grandmother, but she's very flustered trying to keep track of all grandpa's medications. We were there Tuesday night and left Wednesday morning for my other Aunt and Uncle's house in Sioux Falls, and then we were back at my grandparents last night and this morning, and just that alone wiped my grandmother out. She was exhausted, even though we did all the cooking and cleaning and everything. It's sad.

My grandfather is a wonderful man. Tandra said "It's very rare that you meet someone who you just love instantly." He told us "There's no use loving someone if you don't tell them." He's full of simple wisdom like that. I think he got a little teary-eyed saying goodbye to me today. That's sweet, but it scares me. He's from that WWII generation. I don't think he'd want to cry in front of anyone if he could help it. It makes me wonder what he was thinking about that made him cry upon saying goodbye to me. I'm scared I might not see him again.

Tandra and I bonded quite a lot over the last few days. We both got to experience one another completely stress-free and happy, and it was wonderful. She's an amazing girl. I'm very in love with her and I'm glad we're moving in together. (That, by the way, will be happening over the next few days, so I may be AWOL while getting the computer and internet service moved over to the new place.) I'm feeling very serious about this relationship, like maybe I might be done looking. I'm thinking she might be it. This thought isn't scary like I thought it would be, either. I'm totally confident and happy about it.

I got a cd-burner which is freakin cool. But I don't have an IDE cable so I can't hook it up until tomorrow. I'm looking forward to being able to burn my own cds again, and being able to back up my data. Excellent.

I hope you all had a good holiday.