"After the Fall"
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GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST
7 December 2005
You haven't asked how the living room project is going, which is just as well (does that answer your question?) Oh, it will be ok for the cousins on Saturday; it just means I'll have a heart attack on Friday. Nothing new.
I actually have been doing some organizing. Took some stuff off to the SPCA thrift store, packed up some boxes that Walt has taken upstairs. I figure if I can get all the furniture in place, even with all the junk on it, it will make me feel more like clearing off the flat surfaces.
Today I was packing up a couple of other boxes for the move to the hinterland and made the fatal mistake: I stopped to read.
You see, I kept copies of all of my letters (carbon copies, no less!), starting in about 1964 or 65 until a point when it seemed time to stop. So I just happened to pick up the book from 1975 and sat down to read a little bit. I smiled when the first paragraph I read was about my unsuccessful attempt to clean up. Nothing ever changes.
But as I read a bit more, it was like going through the diary that I typed up for the kids years ago--transporting me back in time, 30 years ago. It exhausts me reading it. David was 3 years old this year and it seemed that I was busy 24 hours a day. I also cooked two Christmas dinners, on consecutive nights, because it was the year my parents divorced. In previous years my mother held the Christmas dinners for our combined families. So this year my mother and her then-fiancé came one night and my father plus Walt's family came the next. It was the very first time I had ever cooked a big holiday meal.
This was also the year of the kids' entrée into theatre.
Both Ned and Paul were in plays this year -- fortunately, not at the same time. Ned was the "star" of "The Christmas Pig," which tells the touching story of a piglet brought home to be fattened up for Christmas, but who becomes the family pet and is reprieved at the last minute, as the family enjoys a Christmas omelet instead. Ned played the farmer and except for the fact that he insisted on staring at his shoes the whole time, his debut on the theatrical stage was fairly good.
Paul had been in two smaller performances earlier this year, but this was his big chance--a longer part, performed on a real stage for the whole school, etc. His epic play was called "Wake Up, Santa," the story about attempts to sake Santa in time to make his rounds. Paul was Mr. Tick-Tock, the clock maker who tries to fix a broken alarm clock. He worked so hard on learning his lines and was nearly flawless. Most of his part was early in the play--then he exits and spends the rest of the play offstage trying to fix the clock. At the end, he is supposed to rush back onstage to explain that the clock is fixed, but the players onstage forgot his entrance and rushed over his lines so that he never did get a chance to recite his best line. Poor Paul was absolutely crushed and the other kids felt so badly they wanted to call the audience back so they could do it again! We tried to explain that "that's show biz," but it didn't help much. However, he managed to regain his composure in time to enjoy the class party, so I guess the blow to his ego was not serious.
I was also such a kid-oriented person. I don't know who that person is any more. I led a cub scout troop and I did cooking classes for the kindergarten.
This month we have been doing holiday-related things. Last week the kids mixed egg nog. I brought the blender to school and each kid did his or her own individual drink. Most of the kids seemed to like it--and there were others around the drink the left-overs of those who "hated it." This week we decorated gingerbread men. I have gingerbread coming out of my ears. I made 30 men for the class and worked with the kids on decorating them. Then came home and made another batch of gingerbread decorated like Indians for Ned and Paul's Indian Guide meeting that night. Now Jeri wants gingerbread men for her class party on Friday...and I had planned on doing gingerbread men with OUR kids during vacation. I've never used so much molasses in my life!
In addition to this, I made quilts for three of the kids this year.
I've finally finished the Superman quilt and it didn't turn out too badly after all. It is a bit skinner than I would have liked, but with wide edges, it looks pretty good. I also got ambitious and made two more quilts--one for Jeri and one for Paul. The two kids had drawn several pictures with fabric crayons for a quilt "sometime" and I had been putting off making them. They were both fairly simple because they were just patchwork affairs and I finally decided to surprise the kids for Christmas. It involved several 2 a.m. sessions with the sewing machine, but at least they are done.
I also did a bread making workshop with Jeri's class, and I ran the projector for the school movie (which sometimes conflicted with the bread-making class.)
I'm teaching a mini-workshop in breadmaking for five girls, as part of their enrichment program. It's really been a lot of fun. We have done cranberry bread, pizza (yeast, of course), cinnamon rolls, and English muffins. We end the class next week with whole wheat bread. The girls seem to have really enjoyed it--and what a delight for me to watch them actually learn how to knead dough. Jeri was by far the worst at kneading dough--she always treated it like it was going to bite her--however, even she seems to be getting the idea. I'm almost sorry the course is ending.
...This time I decided to go to school early, thread the projector and leave it unplugged and have somebody plug it in, then rush back to the movie when the bread class was over and hope that reel #1 was going (there had apparently been a disaster the week before when my replacement didn't now how to run the machine). Fortunately some darling father who says he knows how to run a projector volunteered to do it this month. It will be MUCH easier that way. The day is further complicated by the fact that there will be a food co-op meeting at my house at 4 p.m, which will be just before the movie ends.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
It's the end of an era. Walt
finally threw out our old "Stroll-o-Chair"