Friday, December 26, 2008

The Most Wonderful

For me, the best thing in the world is spending quality time with my family, and the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays are our traditional gathering times. Mrs Death and I joined my mom, my brother, and several family friends yesterday for a big Christmas dinner — the largest crowd we've had here for many years. Sadly, our young 'un was absent, but we hope to remedy that in February. It turned out to be a beautiful, reasonably warm day, which is my second favorite kind of Christmas. We swapped some nice gifts and gave a lot of thanks for having the opportunity to do so, since so many people — many that we know personally — are in very dire straits at the moment. Though 2008 in general has thrown some fairly nasty challenges our way, for now, we're still doing okay, so we made a little extra effort to share what good fortune we could this year.

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas, though, without some serious geocaching. Late yesterday afternoon, Mrs Death and I headed up to Rocky Mount, VA, about 30 miles up the road from Mom's, and went traipsing through parks and woods, snagging some really cool caches and taking in some picturesque locations. One of them was a memorial for WWII and Korean War veterans, which was a tranquil corner of an attractive little park. At one of the YMCA parks, the terrain was a bit much for Mrs Death, so I went out into the dark, very silent woods for a two-stage multi that would have made for a good Halloween night trek.

And speaking of...our final location for the night was a place called Piedmont Mill. Out in the sticks of Franklin County, this was the site of a grist mill built in 1870 and added to in 1922. Here they made a brand of flour called "Happy Maid," which was also the name of the cache. A creepy, creepy old place at night, portions of the original buildings still stand. The cache was located on an old trestle bridge that goes over the nearby river, and we spent a good while exploring the area — which is very near the fictional setting of so much of my scary fiction. It was an excellent end to a fun and meaningful day.

I hope all of you celebrated, in whatever way happens to be your own.
Damned Rodan at the Bridge
Mrs. Death at the Bridge
A spooky place

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