hiatus, ended

Whew. I needed that. So many of you have written about "off" Christmases this year, and while ours was delightful, it was also hectic and filled with body shops and appraisers and rental car hassles.

Right after Christmas, we ditched our trials, grabbed (FINALLY) a rental car, and headed south. We have  a new tradition of meeting Neel's family for a few days after Christmas. Last year was Orlando, and this year we gathered on Isle of Palms, outside of Charleston. Isle of Palms, the place I grew up traveling to for summer vacation, gets my vote every time.

My in-laws are incredibly generous, and we shared a condo with Neel's brother, his wife and their son who's in first grade while Neel's parents had their own condo down the hall and his aunt and uncle were in a building nearby. It gave us a wonderful mix of family time and opportunities to go off and do our own thing. Seeing Neel's dad, after our scare this fall, was extra special. He's in remarkably good shape, and we're all feeling extra-grateful for that. I have plenty to share. Pictures to download and pictures to develop (!), but I thought I'd pop on a teaser here today, a welcome to the new year of sorts. I have no resolutions or "words of the year." I should think about that maybe. But we walked on the beach and wandered around historic Charleston and ate amazing food. Cal cooked dinner for everyone (party of 10!), played a lot of chess and did some shopping of his own. A good time was had by all.

I think I've said it in the past, that for me the new year doesn't really start until Cal heads back to school, and that day has come. I'll work on getting settled in and more reflective, and then I have to decide what the heck to do about 2015! Jeesh.

Oh, and Lucinda Smith? Your comment yesterday made my night! XXOO