So, most of you don’t know the “real” author, Karen R. Kincel. Well, I have a “real” job on top of being a writer. I am a technical writer/business analyst, and I consult with companies who pay me to help them. Currently, I travel from Kansas City to West Des Moines, Iowa every Sunday night and return home to Kansas City on Friday evening – every week. That’s 3 hours one way. My car gets a lot of miles!
It can be tough on my family and me. My two grown boys live in my house, and take care of all the day to day stuff like taking the dog for walks, feeding the cats (and occasionally cleaning the litter box), shopping for their groceries, cleaning, while going to college and looking for work in this age of unemployment. I am home less than 48 hours a week, and I get really lonely for my family, both 2 legged creatures and the dog and two cats I love. My friends who so generously let me rent a room from them in Iowa have it tough, too. They have their own lives and their families, and sometimes it’s difficult to shuffle bedrooms to make everyone fit. None of us have a lot of privacy, although we try to give each other space.
So this year, I’ve been pretty bummed out that I’ll be on the road after opening gifts on Christmas Day, traveling back to Iowa to work the next two days (this company doesn’t allow remote work). To top it off, my laptop decided that right before the holidays it was a good idea to die. Writing books isn’t easy on a smartphone and I don’t suggest trying it. Last night I told my oldest son I had a surprise for his brother and him, and he said he had a surprise for me. Neither of us like giving hints, so we left it at that.
Today, I left Iowa early for an interview with a company in Kansas City, trying to get back to working within 100 miles of home. I came home, changed into something presentable instead of road gear, and zipped off to the interview, leaving my youngest son sleeping like he does all day. I went to the interview, and upon returning to my car I noticed I had missed calls and a couple of texts.
Son’s text: Mom, why are your bags here?
Me: I had them shipped.
Other son calls as I’m preparing a text to the first one.
Son: Mom, where are you?
Me: On the road, like usual.
Son: Why is your stuff here?
Me: That was my surprise. I’m home early! I’ll be there in five minutes.
I get home and both sons and one’s girlfriend are here waiting. After some small talk, my son says, “How about pizza for dinner? Would you mind ordering it online?”
Ummm my computer died. Hello?
“Can’t you use your work computer? Mine isn’t working right on the network.”
I open my laptop case and voila! A new laptop! What a great early Christmas gift!
Happy holidays to you and yours. May you have the best family ever, and may they surprise you by doing something really nice for you this season.