It was a bit of a whirlwind visit to my ancestral homeland but in spite of that, there were many interesting twists. I'm still digesting.
I'm happy to report that Cat is alive and well and thriving. Cat didn't fare very well as one of two cats at my niece's home, so he became a permanent resident at my parent's house. Surprising as my father has never shown an affinity for cats. But he's a fine looking fellow with a borderline dog-like personality. Best of all for a couple of older owners, cat doesn't need to be walked or have his poop picked up. And he wisely co-operated and allowed my parents to locate his litter box all the way down in the cellar near the furnace. Cat is fully grown and filling out, and the only danger that lies ahead for him is he may become Fat Cat some day. We tend to over-feed our animals.
The family is looking a little worse for wear. Everyone is in acceptable health, they just look a bit ragged. Pale and in desperate need of some moisturizer and a spa day. I honestly have been feeling very insecure about my own rapidly aging face, but next to these people, I'm gorgeous.
I didn't get to spend very much time with my niece this trip. We made plans to go see Avatar during the afternoon on Christmas Eve. There were only six people including us in the theater during our show time. Granted, it was 3:30pm on Dec 24th in suburban Buffalo, but I'm not seeing Titanic numbers here. I liked the film, but I don't think it's by any stretch a blockbuster. It tries to be too many things (War picture, Love story, Sci-Fi Action) and ends up diluting it's own impact. My niece simply said parts of it were silly and she didn't like the prolonged war and death sequences. If you don't appeal to teenage girls, can you do Titanic numbers? I don't think so.
On Christmas night, I got the strangest, most unexpected present of all. My brother ... hugged me. In the forty (mumble) years that I have been alive, that has never happened. I'm still trying to figure out what it means.