Coming to you live from Richmond, Virginia!

First things first, check out more of the Tales of the Merchant’s Friend. Wrote the latest entry earlier this afternoon during a rare couple of hours to myself.

We didn’t actually get to VA until early Monday morning, delayed two days by the kids being so sick, particularly India whose nasty litte bug (thankfully not the flu!) led to a bad ear infection, to go with the constant throwing up, the last such episode at 10pm Sunday night in a Denny’s somewhere in Maryland off I-95, seconds after our food got to the table. How exhausted were we? We cleaned everything up, changed India’s clothes and kept right on eating. Fun!

They’re both considerably better now and Salomé and I seem to have fought off the worst of it ourselves so now we’re just chilling at my mother’s house. Nice place, a good thing since they’ll go to their graves poor and still paying for it. The American Dream! :-/

Went to the store last night (Wal-Mart, et al, thrive in these suburban areas like evil cockroaches with the keys to the only refrigerator on a deserted island) and driving around brought back memories of two years ago when we moved down here, hopeful for a new start, and the unexpected 10 months of hell that followed.

With our delayed arrival, we’ll now be spending New Year’s Eve down here, which will be extremely weird as we got the hell out of dodge just before the holidays last year.

I feel rather out of touch here – the lack of broadband access doesn’t help, not to mention the emails and phone calls I haven’t returned yet! – but at the same time I recognize the little seductions of the suburbs. It is nice here and, of all the houses they’ve had in my lifetime, this one, ironically, is probably my favorite. Reminds me a little of Yorktown as it has some sense of being an actual neighborhood as opposed to a pre-planned, cookie cutter subdivision. Which it is. It just feels a little different. Certainly wouldn’t want to live here, though.

Being here instead of at home, tomorrow night’s going to feel a bit anti-climactic. The fact that we’ll end the year in the same place the disastrous 2002 kicked off should put a hopeful spin on the new year, though.

We’ve come a long way, in so many respects, it’ll almost be like putting the final demons of 2002 to rest.

Happy New Year and best wishes to all! Peace.

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