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December 16, 2002: Whirlwind and wet

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I am writing this, barely awake after a four-hour long session of the most fun AD&D game I've played in a long time. Richard's a good game master, and the group is all just as warped as he and I, so we spent a lot of time with our heads down on the table, laughing hysterically. It probably helped that we were ingesting great quantities of cookies and fudge, and not nearly enough caffeine.

They all just left, and the house is strangely quiet once again. The quiet is even more pronounced when compared to last night. It stormed, harder than anything we've experienced since we moved to this town. We've known for quite a while that we're smack in the middle of a wind tunnel, but last night the wind roared so fiercely and the rain pounded so hard that I couldn't sleep. It sounded like it was going to come through the roof and walls; as if any minute the windows would burst apart and the rain would come in. There was nowhere in the house to escape the noise, and by 4am I finally resorted to using a pair of earplugs to at least try to get some sleep, even though I usually cannot sleep with earplugs in.

We woke up to bright sun shining, even amid the occasional sprinkle, and gusts of wind creating ripples across the brand new lake in our backyard. The poor birdfeeder fell over and was swimming in the water, along with one of our lawn chairs. My father reported that sections of I-80 were flooded, and that when they woke up, all the trashcans in the neighborhood were singing sailing songs as they floated merrily around in the lake that had miraculously sprung up in front of their house.

Despite the fierceness of the wind, the dragon on the roof has not budged. If I was even the slightest bit worried about him falling off before, I know now that he's on for good. The weather reports indicate that the storm may be back in the days ahead, but perhaps with not so much force. A friend in Sacramento lost a tree, and the power flickered on and off briefly this morning, but otherwise there was surprisingly little damage. With the strength of these winds (apparently the paper reported speeds of up to 100 mph) I would have expected much, much more.

We printed out all the Christmas letters and signed all the cards and sealed them up and then drove them off to the post office to put them all into the mail. One box of presents for relatives later, we were completely done. I've packed up most of the cookies and put them in the freezer so they'll survive until next week to be doled out to friends and neighbors and family. There are still a few presents arriving to be wrapped. But otherwise, we are completely ready for Christmas. I have never in my life been this prepared for a major holiday before. I am still waiting to figure out whatever it is that I've obviously forgotten to do.

Tis the season for Holidailies!

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