I’m on the road with my immediate family to visit the extended family.  My bride is apparently going to carry on an all-night TalkFest marathon with my stepmom, so I’m passing time until their iced coffee buzz wears off and we can go to bed (it’s nearly 2 AM back home, or something like that.  I’m old.  I need my sleep.).

Editor’s note: you’re 34 years old.  You can probably go night-night by yourself.

So here are some observations on Day One back in the homeland.  Many of them probably will not make sense.  Like I said, it’s late.

  • You can keep an 11 and 12 year old busy on a ten hour car ride if you have season five of Monk on DVD.  (Seriously, the guy who came up with the “license plate game” couldn’t have had kids.)
  • You can watch an otherwise-calm married couple slowly go nuts if their six year old watches Alvin and the Chipmunks.  At least four times.  At full volume.  While he sings along.  And rewinds at all the really annoying parts.  (Oh wait…the entire movie is annoying.)
  • Ten hour car rides are a great time to fall in love with your wife all over again.  Or learn to hate her guts.  Fortunately, I did the first one.
  • Tennessee home cooking is still the best when it’s not cooked at home.  We hit one of our old restaurant haunts tonight.  I’m still miserable.
  • I made a kid at the salad bar cry.  No kidding.  Like, run-back-to-his-mama-and-bury-his-head-in-her-belly cry.  The little punk was trying to touch my bacon bits.
  • Mmmmmm…bacon bits.
  • My older brother had a heart attack on Saturday night.  Or at least that was the rumor that was going around after a misunderstood text message was received.  He was very surprised to hear about it.
  • The same older brother has learned to make iced coffee.  He is now my new best friend.
  • My nieces and nephews continue to spend their time injecting growth hormones straight into their bloodstream.  They are all taller than me.  
  • My youngest nephew has this mop hair thing going on, which he tops with one of those jaunty little snap-down chauffeur caps.  It’s a fashion statement of some sort, but the kid loves Jesus, so I don’t really give a rip about his hair.  Although I think it’s weird that I haven’t seen his eyes since I got here.
  • My oldest nephew thinks my Sanuks are cool.  I think it’s cool that a 19 year old thinks his fossilized uncle is cool.  Oh wait…he thinks my shoes are cool, not me.
  • My dad and step-Sandra’s cat is slowly taking over the house.  I want to see a copy of the will, because I’m pretty sure I’ve been replaced.