Barbara snuggled beneath the bearskin blanket as snow fell in giant flakes outside the picture window. She breathed on the glass, drew a doodle in the mist, and watched it disappear. The evening grew darker and the flakes came with a fury she had not seen in many years. She glanced at the calendar: if her calculations were correct, a new year was dawning on Earth. She touched a spot on the window and a screen appeared. When the red light stopped blinking, she began:It\’s been 450 years there. Hard to believe that in space-time, I\’ve only been gone 16 years. I think I look the same but you\’re …She stopped as the tears fell freely. She\’d been the only one selected from her family and friends to go. It was a combination of heath, stamina, and fitness for the journey the officials said. Before she could think on it too deeply, the screen beeped.\’Hey great-great-great-gramma!\’She wiped her tears and looked up to see a smiling face. \’Hello, darling,\’ she answered. \’Hold on one moment!\’ She dashed to the kitchen and returned with a tall glass of chocolate milk with a straw.The little girl on the screen held up a similar glass. \’I thought you might have forgotten.\’\’How could I forget our New Year\’s tradition?\’ Barbara and the child smiled and blew milk bubbles together to celebrate the dawn of another year. Together.
I\’ve been on a break from work. Sort of.My primary gig took a pause as of the 22nd of December and won\’t get going again until the 5th of January. This gave me a chance to let my arm rest as I\’d had a repetitive motion injury. I spend all day on the computer and add that to the repeated motion of going to the gym and well, yeah. Ouch. I spent a good bit of time on my loveseat under a fleece throw as I caught up on a number of television series episodes and movies. I still did my other usual stuff like house chores though — one day, I posted a \’guess what I was drinking whilst washing dishes and I\’ll write you into a story\’ comment on social media. My friend and colleague, Dr. Barbara Randolph, guessed hot chocolate with a candy cane in it, which was closest to a glass of chocolate milk with a straw in it.And there you have it!