The History Channel had a lot of shows from the Pacific front of World War II today. That would be because today is the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. As I hear it, my parents’ neighbor, Mr. Carden, was at Pearl Harbor when that happened.

I stopped working about 15 minutes early today so Michael and I could hang some Christmas lights while there was still light outside. Amanda and I had bought these little clips that attach onto shingles and pinch lights to hold them up when we bought some lights from Target a few days ago, and they worked really well. I put those up while Michael followed behind with the lights. We were both walking on the front porch railing, but I noticed that towards the driveway side of the house, the posts holding the railing up were not all thoroughly attached and the railing was making a creaking sound, so we got up on the roof, which was actually much easier.

Michael was uncomfortable up there I think, but I kind of like being on roofs. Mooo! jumped out the window and walked around with us. Michael worried about her the entire time, but I knew she’d be fine.

The lights look nice, except that we didn’t have enough of the hanging snowflakes to make it all the way across the roof line. Amanda called and stopped by Target to pick up another box or two of them, but they only had one box left. It turned out that that one box actually had the wrong thing in it, so we need to take it back tomorrow. Since there aren’t any of the hanging snowflakes left, we’re going to get some little hanging spheres to round out the gap.

Before Amanda got home, Michael and I also ran some lights up the stairs railing. When Amanda got home she tacked our stockings (plus a backwards one we got for Bruce last year and two small ones she picked up for each cat) on the stairs facing the living room. Except for the small issue with the hanging lights I mentioned, we’re all decked out for Christmas now!

Around 7:15 we headed over to the Lumina Station Port City Java to meet up with our small group. Elliot and Melissa Clark had canceled on our meeting because Melissa is sick and they figured walking around Airlie Gardens in the cold (which is what we were doing tonight) was not the best thing for her. Ben and Jessica Lambeth were already there when we got to the PCJ and we only had to wait a few minutes for Rob Peterson, his brother and Kristen Barriner to show up.  Kristen had called a few minutes before and asked about getting something to eat before we went to Airlie, but since it was already about 7:30 and Airlie Gardens was only open until 9:00, the rest of us wanted to go ahead and go.  So they grabbed something to eat on the way over to PCJ, grabbed some coffee there and we headed out, Ben and Jessica riding with me and Amanda.

It was a little cold out there, though not unbearable.  Jessica had already packed her hats, gloves and scarves, so Amanda brought some extra warming clothes along for her.  Amanda color coordinated Jessica very well.  We meandered around out there for a while.  It was pretty, but I expected there to be more lights and decorations than what they had.  It was nice to just get out and hang out with everyone though.

After that, Rob, his brother in Kristen went back to the hospital to see Rob’s dad, who is recovering well from his back surgery.  Amanda, Ben, Jessica and I went out looking for food.  It took us a few minutes to find a place that was open at 9:00, but we ended up going to Two Guys Grill.  Ironically, we all met at that same shopping center (it’s not really a shopping center- it’s got Two Guys Grill and a Subway) the first day we had our Jetta, which was also one of the very first small group meetings we had.  We sat around and ate and reminisced.  We had our waitress take a picture, which Amanda and I printed up and put in a frame to give to Jessica for her birthday, which is Saturday, when we got home.  Our waitress was very mellow.  “No problemsss.”  Amanda, Ben and I liked her.

When we finished eating we drove back to Lumina Station to drop off Ben and Jessica.  Amanda and I got out of the car and gave them hugs.  Amanda was a bit teary, but the Lambeths assured us they’ll be back often, maybe once a month or so, and more than that in the nearer future until their house is actually sold.  (The last buyer backed out, but they’ve already got another offer.)

As we were driving back I told Amanda it didn’t feel like they were really leaving, but as I’m writing this now I miss them more.  I’ll see Ben today after he gets off work- he’s coming by to pick up Jessica’s picture.  I want to say that it’s the end of this and that, but I guess it’s really not.  Either way, we’re going to really miss those guys.

Zach Dotsey