December 24th, 2009 thru January 1st, 2010
Photos are posted here:
For the last few months I have not posted any updates or photos. My little side business, http://www.hesstrucks.net/ keeps me very busy from early November through the first week of January. It literally becomes a second full time job which doesn't give me much opportunity to get out much.
However, we did get away from Spartanburg for Christmas and New Years to spend a little time with our families.
For the first time in over 10 years, I would not be spending Christmas in Virginia with my family. This year would be my first Christmas with Amy's family. So on Christmas Eve we headed on up to Rutherfordton, NC to spend a few days with Amy's parents. Amy's sister, brother-in-law, and two nieces were up for a visit as well.
There was still a surprising amount of snow on the ground from a heavy snowstorm the previous weekend, but the Christmas forecast was for just cold weather and heavy rain. The guys kept warm in the shop by firing up the giant wood stove and grill to cook up some steaks for Christmas Eve dinner. Some adult beverages might also have helped keeping us warm and toasty.
While my family tends to stay up late on Christmas Eve, opening up presents, playing cards, and enjoying each other's company; Amy's family doesn't open any presents until Christmas morning and we all hit the sack early. A heavy rain fell all night long.
Christmas morning we had a nice breakfast, opened up a bunch of presents and then headed on to Amy's Grandma's house for Christmas Lunch.
Amy's Family on Christmas Day
Amy's Grandma's house is along the Broad River in Rutherford County. The heavy rains on top of still a good amount of snow lead to Amy's Grandma receiving an automated phone call warning of possible evacuations due to possible flooding along the Broad River.
Nobody seemed to concerned since over the last 70 or so years the river has never made it all the way up to the house. However, it got me curious to see how high the river had gotten. Plus the fact that between the fireplace and woodstove, it was about 95 degrees inside, I just had to get some fresh air. So as soon as the rain let up to just a light drizzle, I dragged Amy out into the wet snow and mud!
Amy going for a walk through the wet snow and mud
The river was definitely overflowing it's banks, but it was nowhere near getting close to the house. I can't imagine what kind of storms it would take to raise the river that high. The house sits a good ways up the hill, so I figure the waters would need to rise another 30-40 feet before the house was threatened.
Since we didn't get to see my family for Christmas, we decided to head up for New Year's to spend some time with them. We spent the first night at my parent's house in Spotsylvania, VA before heading up to my sister's for New Year's Eve.
We arrived in Sterling, VA to about 2 inches of fresh snow.
Amy and my nephew Conner
My nephew Conner plays Bass Guitar in a Rock Band called the A+ Dropouts.
The four band members are only 12 years old, but they are actually good enough to get some paying gigs. They had a New Year's Eve performance in Annapolis, MD and I was excited to get to see them perform.
My Virginia Tech Hokies were also playing in their Bowl Game the same evening, but through the magic of DVR and the fact that Conner's band was the earliest of several bands performing, I would get to see both.
Annapolis, MD is a neat little place. While the band set up, Amy and I went exploring around town. The cold weather and light drizzle did not stop us from checking out this neat little waterfront town.
Annapolis, MD Waterfront
I wasn't sure what to expect from a group of 12 year old musicians, but most of the time the A+ Dropouts sounded really good! The people that were doing the sound mixing left a lot to be desired, and there were some rough sounding spots, but I thoroughly enjoyed the performance.
The A+ Dropouts - My newphew Conner on Bass Guitar
For a group of 12-year olds, they have a lot of potential. I'll be looking forward to seeing them again in the future as the more they practice and play together the better they will get!
The A+ Dropouts
After the performance, we headed on back to Sterling and started up the Hokie Game about an hour behind. Being able to zap through all the commercials, we were caught up to live time by the 4th quarter and watch my Hokies Dominate Tennessee by a score of 37-14
Amy was in bed before midnight, and I came up to join her to watch the ball drop. However, I could not get the TV in the guest room to work. It probably had something to do with the giant size wine glasses that my sister kept re-filling! So we didn't get to see the ball drop and instead ended up celebrating the start of 2010 with just a midnight kiss and snuggle!
For New Year's Day, my whole family gathered at my Brother Bill's house in South Riding, VA for a late lunch/early dinner. And to open up the last of the Christmas presents.
My Family on New Year's Day
A great way to start the New Year
Photos are posted here: