Tuesday morning, December 30th, 0430 hours came around very early. In fact it got here at 0423 hours. I had set the alarm for the early hour because Keith's flight left at 0700 hours. Since we live approximately 35 minutes from the airport... well you can fill in the blank there.
Had it really been two weeks already? He and I did have a discussion as to the last time we spent Christmas together. Fifty-three years ago, in San Antonio, TX was the time and place. At the time I had been in the Air Force for about 18 months and he was still in high school. He and mom were waiting to go to Germany to be with our step-dad. A lot has happened since then, but that is for other postings, or not.
Keith arrived in Kansas City about 1900 hours on December 17th. The primary thing we did that day was to come home and let him get settled in. As I look back on the schedule, we did a lot of things.
- 12/18 - Pick up wine, cheese, and some sweet breads. Sounds easy enough, but it did take a few hours and we had to drive into the big city area to get them. I think it was around 70 miles until we got back home. It was on this trip that Keith found just the right Christmas gifts for Maryann (a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream) and me (a bottle of Kahlua).
- 12/19 - An easy day because we stayed home. Maryann did some baking for an upcoming dinner party - a cherry pudding cake (cobbler?) and a wonderful chocolate cake.
- 12/20 - We hosted a wine/cheese tasting party for friends so they could meet my brother. It was a great time. We even had a slide show on the computer showing photos of Keith's art works. He is quite accomplished. Perhaps there will be one or two photos in a future posting.
- 12/21 - The weather was much colder than brisk. Keith lives in El Paso, TX where the temps run around 50-60 at this time of year. Our temps here were around 3 with wind chills below 0. Ouch, that is cold. However, that did not deter us from our schedule. The local players put on a production of Christmas Carol Gone Amuck. (Yes, that is the proper spelling for amuck. The author has a keen sense of humor. You had to be there.) It was hilarious. On the way home we stopped by the High Noon Saloon, a local brew/pub for a beer.
- 12/22 - Keith likes history, the military and weaponry among other things. This day we visited the Frontier Army Museum at Fort Leavenworth. The displays there depict how the fort got started and the part it played in the westward expanion. We also visited DorMail's, a local art gallery, where Keith had some of his paintings on display a few years ago. We showed Meredith the CD with his collection.
- 12/23 - Was another day of staying home. We didn't want to run him too ragged.
- 12/24 - We visited the National World War I Museum. It is worth the trip to Kansas City just to see this museum. It was the third time Maryann and I had visited it. There is always something new to see even when they don't change the displays that much. One of the highlights is the room were there are hand drawn maps depicting the different campaigns. We thought Keith would enjoy this, and he did.
- 12/25 - Yep, you guessed right, Christmas day arrived. Keith joined us in our annual ritual of sitting in the front room, sipping pineapple juice and opening presents. Later in the day we spoke on the phone to our daughters. We also got invited to go play games with friends. They introduced us to a new board game, Apples to Apples. This game is fun to play. We will have to add it to our collection. We also played a rousing round of Trivial Pursuit. Did I mention we also drank some wine? We always do when we spend time with this couple.
- 12/26 - Another day of rest.
- 12/27 - We have a successful artist, Michael Young, who lives in our area. Maryann and I met him at a party given by a friend back in October. At that time I knew I wanted Keith to meet Michael. His art is quite good and he has been able to make a nice living at it. Besides, it never hurts to get artists together, does it? You can see his work here. I did buy his book Houses on Parade. Michael has a great sense of humor. You will discover that when you preview the book on his site. He and Keith had a lot to talk about. Michael had met some of the artists Keith studies. It was a good meeting.
- 12/28 - The visit will come to an end soon and we still had to visit the C. W. Parker Carousel Museum in Leavenworth. It was a place Keith wanted to see once we told him about it. It was the first time we had taken the tour of the museum. It was another good choice. Keith even took some photos of the small, hand carved carousel horses. I'm not sure how his is going to use them or to whom he may show them, but he does have a plan.
- 12/29 - Another day at home. Keith has used these times to become more familiar with his new computer and one particular application - Aperture. He has been commissioned to design a package of corporate identity materials for the Alamo in San Antonio. He is discovering how to use the computer to make the job easier. He has been a very successful graphic artist back in the day when all of the work was done on a drawing board. He is having a great time learning how to do it with the computer.
- 12/30 - Well this is where I began this post. I got Keith to the airport with no difficulties other than he discovered later that he left his sun glasses in the car. He should have them by Friday. It was around lunch time when he called to let us know he was home and to see if we had his sun glasses. The glasses case is black and the upholstery in my car is also black. The case was easy to miss. I almost didn't see it.
Now it is time for me to get back to bed and rest up for the big Rose Bowl game today.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!