I’m back in Seattle, and I have no idea where to begin the task of catching up on the internet goings-on while I was out of town. I think the best I can do is start from scratch, saying, “I’m here again, and if I’ve missed anything important, please pass it along.”
Anyway. Due to today’s Big Melt I was able to move my car to a spot that won’t get me ticketed; I did some grocery shopping and cleaned house a little; I wrote and rewrote, and I removed a fat chunk of text that I decided I didn’t like; I called Bill Schafer and he totally saved my life (long story); and basically, I’ve just done some decompressing.
I spend a lot of time by myself these days, working from home while my husband is at the office — and even when it’s the two of us, things are typically quiet; so spending a week back at the family homestead would have been exhausting even without the travel headaches that began and concluded the holiday. My family is large, and loud, and it gets louder every year — partly because my grandmother, mother, and aunts are all getting hard-of-hearing … and every one of them is intensely nosey.
Me, to Tricia: Is that the sweater I gave you?
Tricia: Yeah, I wear it all the time.
Mom, overhears: What?
Me: Nothing. I was just asking about her sweater.
Mom: Didnâ€™t you give her that sweater?
Me: Yes. She says she wears it all the time.
Mom: You know, she wears that thing all the time.
Aunt Wanda, overhears: Who?
Aunt Wanda: What about that sweater?
Me: I gave it to her. She wears it all the time.
Aunt Wanda: Oh, you gave her that?
Me: Yes. Before I moved to Seattle.
Aunt Wanda: I swear, she wears that thing all the time.
Aunt Marlene, overhears: What does she wear all the time?
Me: That sweater. The one she’s wearing now.
Aunt Marlene: Didn’t you give that to her?
Grandma, overhears: Who wears it all the time?
Me: Tricia. That sweater. I gave it to her.
Grandma: Where’d she get it?
Me: I gave it to her. Before we moved to Seattle.
[:: ad infinitum ::]
These conversations are all shouted at top volume, usually while the television is turned up all the way in the background. It’s a little overwhelming, repeating yourself incessantly and sharing a household with a sister, a brother-in-law, seven cousins (plus one spouse and one toddler), two aunts, one great aunt, my mom, and one grandma. Some of the older cousins (including the one with a toddler) booked hotel rooms nearby, but mostly everyone hung around grandma’s place and it was a nonstop riot of coming, going, last-minute Christmas shopping, and waiting for a bathroom.
But it was a lot of fun, and I took a lot of pictures, which I’m still working on getting uploaded. When I’m done, I’ll post a link to the set; and you can go look at them if you want … or don’t, yanno. Whatever.
For now, I’m going to post this and get myself some supper. But before I go, I’ll post the only dry-blogging entry I managed to write while I was in Florida. It’s short but sweet, and I’ll put it behind a jump.
Itâ€™s a week before Christmas, and itâ€™s 78 degrees. The doors are open to let the lazy, low-key wind meander through the house. In the back yard, all three orange trees smell like candy. The sky is warm and dry, and I can go barefoot if I want to. Like I always used to.
Itâ€™s such a relief to be warm and comfortable without having to fight for it.