I expect to be writing more about Macworld and San Francisco in the next few days, as I unpack, but at the moment my attention is fully occupied by the things I found upon arriving home.
I opened the front door and there, on the rug in the foyer, was a Beanie Baby walrus. The cats, it turned out, had taken half a dozen Beanie Babies out of a basket on an upstairs dresser and brought them downstairs. One of the tabbies had been sitting in the front window when I arrived home, and the other appeared soon after. I had to hunt for Sheba, the deaf white cat, and found her curled up in a cabinet in the bathroom; she'd unspooled a roll of paper towels, created a nest of sorts, and was sleeping in it.
The cats seem perfectly happy, even though this was the longest I've ever left them with catsitters. A friend who has a pet-sitting business had come by every evening for a couple of hours, and neighbors with whom I exchange cat-sitting services had popped in each morning to give the cats some wet food and make sure nothing had been demolished. The system seems to have worked -- perhaps because it's winter, so they aren't as interested in getting outside when the weather is cold and wet.
There was an immense heap of mail waiting for me. I'd cancelled the P-I for the duration of the trip (no, I was not the straw the broke the camel's back), but Wall Street Journals had piled up. And there were some wonderful letters from friends responding to Christmas cards and gifts. There were also some checks from clients -- nearly as wonderful!
It's so good to be home!