Saturday, January 14, 2012

Revolving doors

"Where's all the snow?" Master Ian had just come in on the train from Ft. Geo. Meade and was anxious to have a traditional, if a tad bit early, upstate NY Christmas. "There hasn't been snow all month out here," remarked Mrs. Hall sadly, though Mr. Hall's happiness at that deficit was barely contained.

Ian barreled through the door of the Hall and threw down three or four of the most massive
duffel bags Mrs. H. had ever seen. Within minutes, most of it was spread out around the house. Killer came over to greet him, and he skritched her head. "I have to be back by the 2oth," he said. "I'm shipping out to Japan right away!" Mrs. Hall sighed. Another baby flying away, she sniffed.

The Hall was decorated early in anticipation of Ian's arrival, but it was doubtful he ever noticed.
It took all of the span of thirty minutes or so for him to communicate with his friends that he was back in town, and before you could utter the phrase "massively multi player online role-playing game", the working clutter and attendant paraphernalia necessary to connect the players with the rest of the universe appeared and swallowed up the room. Friends came and went throughout the night, and when Mrs. H. came down to breakfast the next morning she surveyed the damage and fed the remaining survivors.
During the days when he couldn't muster a team, Ian relaxed by working on his battle re-creation models. Painting them accurately consumed him, and the hours sped by peacefully. (In fact, while at school at Ft. Meade, Ian and his interest in his models was the subject of a student's feature film. He was interviewed and videotaped working and talking about his hobby for about three minutes.)

Just before he was to leave, they chose a day to be "Christmas" that week, and bright and early in the morning, Ian arose to a plump stuffed stocking and goodies waiting for him under the tree. There was lots of candy and holiday food and fun; but before you know it, it was time for him to go.
Mrs. Hall thought she would only have a quick moment at the train station to say good bye, but as luck would have it, a change in his orders necessitated a snap decision, and the little band took off together on the road. Master Ian, after a brisk six hour drive, piloted by a surprized but ever ready Mr. Hall, was deposited on the steps of his base in Maryland. Hugs and handshakes all around and he was off. Next episode: Chris-mas!

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