Back from an Oxford-Anniston trip pretty early today. Couldn’t ever generate a breakfast/brunch plan, and unsuitable weather ruled out the trip to Cheaha Mountain I thought I might take.
Last night Tina, her friend Shea, a slew of Abernathys, Karin, and I enjoyed dinner at Mellow Mushroom before Tina, Shea, Karin and I went to Cheaha Brewing Company, built inside the old L&N train station at 12th and Walnut in Anniston. It’s a pretty cool place. I’m proud of Anniston for sustaining it (and there was a sizable crowd). I enjoyed a few IPAs against a backdrop of The Gypsy Begonias, who were quite good.
I’m told (not by Karin) that calling her “my oldest friend” sounds unbecoming, even though I know what I mean and she does too. I mean I’ve had a continual friendship with her longer than any other person in my life. She’s awesome. We have similar affections and peeves, as well as comparable intelligence levels and disregard for excessive conversational niceties, so it can be pretty rough-and-tumble with us. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Karin is one of the only people in my life who can and will slam it back over the net to me, over and over.
So it’s always a good trip when I see Karin. And Shea seems very good for Tina, who was fun and mischievous as always. I was considering on the drive back, however, that I may have infused the trip with excessive expectations. Several more people sounded promising to come out and never did, which was disappointing. I stayed in Oxford last night specifically to eliminate my same-night drive back and extend the evening. If I’d known how it was going to go, I wouldn’t have bothered with a room. I could have been home by 1 last night and not missed Megan singing in church this morning.
Part of it is folks have Christmas plans already. Part of it was the weather. I get all that. The larger thing I really reflected on for the first time, though, is that I’ve been away long enough to assign significant novelty to any return trip. That’s not something I necessarily share with the crowd at large, you know? You and I can enjoy seeing each other, even as one of us makes too much of it to himself. That’s on me.
That was irritation last night. It’s personal growth today.