After I got dressed we packed up and headed to Rome. Mom had gotten Chinese from our favorite place, which is open tomorrow. We gobbled lunch and then headed to Boonville to visit Mary, Grandpa's widow, but not before Noia beat me up. They played cards while I did crosswords and heckled. Then Uncle Doug and CJ arrived and I took many pictures. He's a cute little (well, not-so-little) guy, is walking, and says some understandable words.
We came home and got the traditional Christmas Eve dinner made. Mom played koledy, Andy, Dave, Julie, Mom, Pamela, Uncle Doug and I had a quiet little dinner; quite a contrast from when we had the whole family there for Christmas Eve in October. Uncle Doug brought over the tape player and the tape with Grandpa's voice. I had thought the sound had disappeared completely, but it turns out it just doesn't play at the correct speed. The tape player recorded at two speeds; normal and half-speed, the first for music and the second which would work well with voice. The first part is taped at normal time, so the voices are a bit high-pitched and fast in normal time, but in half-speed it's very slow. The other two were apparently taped at half-speed, and for some reason the tape player has them going at something which sounds too fast at half-speed and like something from "Alvin and the Chipmunks on Jolt" in normal. Andy thinks if we MP3 it he may be able to slow all three snippets down. I consider this a good reason not to rush to finish the photo part of the CD, since we won't be able to do anything with the tape until we get home.
Afterward we went to visit some childhood friends whose mother died very suddenly (as in, they discovered the cancer and within two weeks she was gone) a few days ago. It was a bit weird, since I lost contact with them in 1989 or so (Pamela remained in touch, however, and they still live in the same house), and the two were still more or less children. Even though the youngest, the daughter, who is all grown up and now has a son of her own, still looked like the person I remembered, if the son hadn't recognized me I would have had no idea who to say "hi" to. It's so hard to find words for the circumstances. I hope I didn't accidentally do or say anything insensitive. Anyway, we exchanged e-mail addresses and I gave the daughter my livejournal address, so maybe we'll be able to regain contact.
Pamela and Dave went back to Syracuse. Since this will be their first year in their new house, we decided to let them share it with each other. We'll head up tomorrow sometime after the Chinese place opens -- we won't eat it tomorrow, but it will beat the socks off of anything the airline deigns to feed us on Friday. I suppose I should go now and try to get to sleep before anyone tries to come down the chimney.