This is the first Thanksgiving in some 30 years that I spent without Laura.  She’s away with Bethany and her Mom at a Rideout family reunion in Phoenix.  We miss her!  My parents took care of me and the boys – God knows we’d probably starve otherwise!  Only five more days to fend for myself.

The day started with the annual Grace Church Thanksgiving Service, this year next door at Mt. Zion AME.  (We’ve been out of our sanctuary since September due to damage from the 8/23 earthquake, which caused the clerestory walls to separate and be judged as potentially unstable.)  We had a small choir today, 15 compared to our normal 30, but sounded good.  It was nice to sing from the front of the church instead of the rear balcony, as we have been over at St. Mary’s the last couple months.  Church politics in the “Episcopal” Diocese of SC have been really irritating lately, so it was good to have a quiet, positive service.

The next few weeks are one of our busy seasons at Grace.  Advent Lessons and Carols are Sunday night at St. Matthew’s Church.  I really look forward to singing with Scott Bennett playing a full-size organ again.

We got to my parent’s house in Mt. Pleasant around noon, armed with Dunkin’ Donuts.  I for one am pleased that some businesses choose to be open this year on Thanksgiving.  Mom prepared a great feast, even appropriately sized for the 6 of us (Mom, Dad, Grandma H, Alex, Ben, me).  Mom usually cooks for 20, even when it’s just the 3 of them!

We watched football, CofC Basketball (lost to UCF in the Bahamas), and then Dirty Harry.  A fine holiday film, you might think!   I needed my boys to understand the reference “You’ve got to be asking yourself, ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do you, Punk?”

I finally gave in to Ben’s frequent calls to return home (which started on the steps before we entered the house at 12!)  I’ve been catching up with a much more prolific friend (see Limeguy’s blog), and realized what a slacker I’ve been here.  I usually rely on Facebook and an occasional Foursquare post to communicate, and haven’t had much to say.  Sorry.

There have been lots of things going on here in beautiful Charleston.  You should come and visit sometime.  Before we kick out those cruise ships ruining the view near the waterfront on the peninsula.  (I really like seeing them.)

I’ve been taking my second course at the College of Charleston, Object-Oriented Programming with Java.  The last time I programmed full-time was nearly 20 years ago, back before most of this technology existed. I’m finally getting to a place where I don’t feel like a complete idiot with the language – just a rank amateur.  Hopefully I’ll feel a touch more accomplished after I finish coding the windows for my semester project by Tuesday night, and pass the final on Thursday.

Fortunately, my load at the College is starting to lighten a little.  We hired on a new supervisor for me, and a new account administrator as well.  Both are working out well, allowing me to breathe a bit.  They even pledged to take the inevitable support calls this weekend – first time in years!

I have plenty swirling around my little head thanks to work, school, the kids, figuring out how to get through the next few days, church politics, continuing inner conflict about internet piracy, etc.  Since I probably lost you in the first paragraph or so, I’ll save that for another time.

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