Monday, November 27, 2006

Still home. Still fine.

I teased Mom mercilessly last year after receiving the family Christmas letter. It was all correct and quite nicely written. But each paragraph started the exact same way.

"[Dad] is fine. [Insert details about what Dad is doing and his health.]

Katie is fine. [Insert relevant details about how I am, in fact, fine.]

[Brother] is fine. [Wedding recap, stuff about work, etc.]

I am fine. [A few details.]

[Little One] is perfect. [Extensive paragraph about Little One's accomplishments, preferences and overall... well, perfection.]

Merry Christmas!"

When Aunt asked if Mom would be sending a Christmas letter again this year, I giggled and Mom shook her head at me.

"What?" Aunt said. "I liked your Christmas letter!"

"Let me sum it up for you." I said, trying to choke back laughter. "We're all fine."

Though I offered to write one of my own - it would probably include copious dialogue and descriptions of how cute my animals are and how sad it is that I remain single - Mom said she'd just send cards. So I addressed envelopes for her last night after spending the day decorating, then wrapping presents. (So many presents - I'm so tired of putting paper around gifts.)

The house looks wonderful - very festive. The garland and lights over the living room window even look good, though I got hysterical when Mom and Dad tried to put them up. They kept falling down and apparently my intense laughter wasn't so helpful in the process.

But everything is pretty much done. Gifts wrapped, house decorated, leftovers eaten, gutters clean.

"I'm already showered." Mom noted yesterday afternoon when Dad said he was going to clean the gutters.

"Crap." I muttered, then I stated more loudly, "I can help, Dad. I haven't taken a shower yet."

So we assembled this strange device from the ShopVac - the blower part, 2 straight tubes, one curved tube and one little nozzle.

"It's supposed to blow 200 mph with this little thing on the end!" Dad stated proudly as I looked dubiously at his tall concoction that was supposed to blow all the dirt and guck out of the gutters.

He taught me how to use it - rest the curved part along the outside of the gutter, tuck the nozzle in (but not too far - it gets caught) and blow in one direction, but not toward the roof, but not too far out either. Go with the wind or you get really dirty (that warning didn't work when I turned a corner - I got very dirty as a result. Then I coughed while listening to him tell me how I should have listened when he told me about the wind.)

He did most of it, only letting me take a few turns while I fed the extension cords around the house. I did get to use the ladder to get the big clumps out of the way. That was surprisingly fun.

"Ow. I got some in my eye!" I called after the wind blew on one of my trips to the top of the house. (The wind is my freaking nemesis when cleaning the gutters, apparently.)

I paused a moment, blinking and crying, trying to dislodge gutter ick. Dad wasn't very patient.

"Well," he called up, "get down so I can finish it then."

"Not very nice." I pouted as he offered his advice on how to get it out. On his way up the ladder to finish the job.

Today we had Little One again so we weren't nearly as productive. But Mom did teach me to make a baby bonnet out of a hanky while Little One napped. I needed a baby gift for a former colleague and wanted to send a blanket and bonnet. So I had Mom get to work on that.

"Then you stitch this here." She said patiently, gently attaching the tiny flower to the front of the bonnet where she'd folded the hanky together. She put on the ribbons next, then handed it to me.

"You can order hankies online." She informed. I just looked at her for a moment before returning my attention to the pretty lace around the bonnet. It even comes with a sweet little poem - I love giving hanky bonnets for baby gifts.

"You're not going to make them are you?" She sighed. I shook my head.

"You're just going to keep asking me to do them?" She asked.

"Yes." I said, and smiled.

"OK. Well, then when I die, you should order the hankies online. And remember how to stitch those 3 places."

"Sounds good!" I said, then thanked her with a kiss on her head. "But you're fine."

We all are.

And I head home tomorrow.


Joy said...

Have a safe trip home. :)

Anonymous said...

your mom is so cute!

and hanky bonnets. that is the BEST idea!

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