Work at the rental branch this past week has gone well. We had a real busy last Monday (12 December), due mostly to the car repair facilities calling us for loaner vehicles for their customers. It was a bit stressful, but we got it done. The rest of this week has gone well, though the cooler weather did have its challenges (such as scraping ice off of car windows and salting the pavement). We're doing good, though.
My Portuguese Language: Beginning II class ended Wednesday night (14 December) at St. Louis Community College-Meramec (http://www.stlcc.edu/MC/). We learned some more pronouns, and we were treated to Brazilian delicacies by our instructor, Elizabeth Bittencourt, from the Viva Brasil Association of St. Louis (http://www.e.vivabrasilstl.org/home). I enjoyed this class, and plan to sign up for Beginning III after the first of the year.
Off work on Thursday, I spent the morning visiting my colleagues at other branches. My travels took me to three in Illinois (O'Fallon, Highland, and Glen Carbon), plus one in Florissant, Missouri. I chatted briefly with the people I knew who were there (including Meggie at Highland, Leah at Glen Carbon, and Dan at Florissant), and they greatly appreciated the holiday newsletters I gave them and the cookies I gave their whole staffs. It was great to see them, and to see how they and their branches were doing, and to help their morale just a bit.
That night was party time for members of the Missouri Aviation Historical Society (https://moavhist.org/). Instead of the regular meeting, the society's members and guests had a Christmas party at Creve Coeur Airport (http://www.crevecoeurairport.com/), which featured a catered dinner with a custom decorated cake. It was nice having time with other society members and their guests.
The weather went bad Friday afternoon (16 December), as temperatures dipped well below freezing and freezing rain fell, which caused roads to get slick. Pavements were like skating rinks, and roads were parking lots at times. We at the rental branch did get our customers taken care of, and we were able to leave not too long after closing time. Things were brighter there earlier in the day, as it was ugly sweater day at the company. I wore one I made the day before, using a kit I bought at Target. Also, two of my colleagues were saluted by Enterprise Car Sales (https://www.enterprisecarsales.com/) for recently referring customers to them, with the subsequent customer purchases meaning my colleagues get a bit more cash in their paychecks.
Right after work, I dashed off--as best I could under the road conditions--to River City Casino (https://www.rivercity.com/). Melissa Etheridge (http://www.melissaetheridge.com/) was in concert there, with my brother Brian Delaney on drums. I met my mom and our friends and neighbors, Rick and Diane Holtz, at the casino, and we then went to the Events Center for the show. (Brian left us tickets at the Will Call desk.) It was a wonderful concert, with Etheridge playing a mix of Christmas-themed songs, music from her latest album, MEmphis Rock and Soul, and some of her hits. There were a few empty seats, mostly likely due to the weather and traffic conditions. Mom, the Holtzes, and I had a great time, and we got to chat with Brian for a bit after the show, before he joined the rest of the group to head to their next tour stop.
Late yesterday morning, I drove to the PetSmart (http://www.petsmart.com/) in Sunset Hills, where Needy Paws Rescue (http://www.needypaws.org/) was holding a Stuff The Bus For Pups dog care product drive. My friend and Enterprise colleague Brittany Mohrman was there with the group, and we were very happy to see each other. (Mohrman, under her maiden name Becker, was a management trainee at the Ellisville branch three years ago; she's now in corporate human resources.) I bought about $50 of merchandise on the group's wish list--including a dog bed, rawhide bones, a collar and a leash--which I donated to Needy Paws Rescue. Mohrman greatly appreciated my gesture and I told her I was very happy to help her group out.
I did a bit of Christmas shopping at several stores after that, but did not find anything I was looking for. Not much shopping time left until Christmas.
The weather got worse that afternoon, with more sleet coming down. I stayed at home rather than chance the weather and streets to attend a Christmas party in south St. Louis, which was cancelled anyway. The overnight weather, which included a dusting of snow, also caused Calvary Presbyterian Church (http://calvarypresbyterianchurch.org/) to call off this morning's service.