I Got Home for Christmas

Last Updated on: 31st December 2022, 05:17 pm

I made it home for Christmas and made it back here! I even made it back here on the day I was supposed to! Phew! This Christmas, that was no small feat.

I headed out to my brother’s place on Christmas Morning, not sure if Uber was going to ding me with a surge price. I was lucky and it didn’t even think about it. It tried to ding Steve as he headed out to his own family stuff, but he closed the app and that seemed to make it think better of that plan. So we both got an Uber that wasn’t crazy expensive.

I forgot how much stuff you have to pack when you have kids. When I showed up at my brother’s, I knew he had a 7-passenger van so I felt a little bad that I didn’t bring Steve because there would have been room after all. Um, about that. When I got into the van in the back row of seats, the rest of the seat I was on was stacked high with luggage of all shapes and sizes! Oh my! There was extra food, pillows, toys, books, and who knows what else? There was definitely only room enough for me.

We had a pretty quiet trip home. The older nephew kept asking if we were there yet and I laughed because I thought of all our long trips. But my brother now understands why I wasn’t keen on travelling on Christmas Eve. We drove by several abandoned cars on the side of the highway. I think we made the right choice.

When we got there, the kids went nuts. They ate dinner, and then tore into their gifts. Everybody seemed pretty happy with their haul.

Sukie was especially thrilled that he got a Dancing cactus toy.

I guess it’s designed for younger kids. They talk to it and it mimics them back. It can also sing songs, but its selection of songs is weird. He saw a video of babies losing their minds at it and desperately wanted the thing. Maybe it was this video?

Now he has it, and I think we all sort of want its batteries to run out. Oh well. I guess this is karma for all those years I had annoying toys.

We had a great time. The kids definitely had a great time running all over the place and playing lots of games. I think my poor parents are exhausted. We had lots of delicious food and chatted a bunch.

Then I started getting ominous messages from Via Rail. It started with the news that Via Rail had cancelled all their trains on Boxing Day. Hmmm. I was supposed to be on the train on the 27th headed back. Would they start cancelling trains on the 27th? We started jumping into planning mode because if I couldn’t get back on the 27th, I might have been home longer than I had ever planned because my dad had medical appointments and the rest of the people able to drive me wouldn’t be at the house much longer.

Then I got an email from Via Rail saying that I should expect delays on the train due to high congestion and train schedule changes, but it never said what those delays would look like, or whether the start time was delayed. It did offer me an opportunity to cancel my trip, and it also wanted me to click a link acknowledging receipt of this message, which was kind of weird. I guess they didn’t want to hear a lot of “I didn’t know!” all day long. So we just kept looking and hoping for a good update.

There’s something I have to figure out. I signed up to the Via Train Alert Service so I would know about major scheduling changes. But for the last two trains I have taken, the alerts never came. In the case of my train at Thanksgiving, I thought maybe they amended their policy and the alerts only go off if there are delays. But I had delays for my most recent train and I never heard a peep. I even checked my spam folder. I wonder what’s up and how I can fix it. I really appreciate that service.

We got to the station and everything was running on time. They put two trains together that were going the same direction and just covered all their stops. But as we went, we were more and more delayed. I think we ended up being delayed by about 2 hours, but we got home so I won’t complain. Plus people were really nice and took care of us. I felt sorry for them. As we went, they got more and more apologetic. I also felt sorry for anyone who was headed to Sarnia. I don’t think they were supposed to get in until 11:30 or so that night.

Even with all the struggles, I’m glad I made it home. It was a good, memorable Christmas.

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1 Comment

  1. That cactus seems like a solid contender in this year’s annoying toy contest, but I’m not sure it beats Seppa’s new saxoflute. Imagine a recorder that’s only capable of making its squeakiest sounds at full volume. That’s basically what you’ve got, especially in the hands of a small, exuberant child. It’s also not so much an instrument as it is a spit reservoir. It can hold a surprising amount of liquid, according to some surprise preliminary research. I’m not sure what troop of fools thought that was a good idea, but someone really ought to give us…er…those idiots the what for. If I go back to my sister’s house and find that the thing has mysteriously vanished, there’s about a 0 percent chance of me dying of shock.

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