Tuesday, November 29, 2011

a tradition

This year's theme: The 12 Days of Christmas

It is now a tradition. I can think of a million other traditions I would rather have involving our Lucy, birthday-party sleepovers, matching swimming suits with Tessa, crazy cousin games at Nanny & PopPop's house.

All of those traditions would mean we would still have our girl. It struck me today, as we decorated Lucy's 8th tree for the Festival of Trees, we would not have one of our most treasured holiday traditions if we still had her.

I do dearly love the festival, but I would trade it all to have that beautiful child here. Every single tree, every single scone, every single speck of glitter.

Oh, I miss my sister's daughter.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I've shared this poem before, I know. But, I love it. I've been listening to my 12-year-old practice committing it to memory all week. "Thanksgiving Feasts" has been recited at my family's Thanksgiving table for longer than I have been alive.

Oh, and meet Tom. He's for my mama.

Thanksgiving Feasts
author unknown

“Thanksgiving feasts,” O’Hara said,
“Thanksgivings like this here
Ain’t nothin’ to the one I et
In Wardleburg one year.
The Champeen eaters all were there,
Slack-stomached for the feast,
And we agreed the ones to pay
Were those who ate the least.
Ol’ Haskins, up Frog Holler way,
And Uncle Pelig Coon,
And Moses Hitt across the creek,
And Bill, and Doc M’Goon,
While several others I can’t name,
All trained and gaunted down,
Sat stroppin’ knives upon their boots,
While hundreds gathered ‘round
To see the champeen eatin’ race,
And when the judge yelled, ‘Go,’
We started in deliberate
Devourin’ vittles slow.
First came a chicken pie apiece
With mushrooms sprinkled in,
And then we had a quart of squash,
Six ‘taters, and a tin
Of pipin’ biscuits, buttered hot
With jam an’ apple jel,
And pickled beets and celery –
‘Twas here that Pelig fell.
While several others looked quite faint
Yet feebly carried on,
But when we reached the turkey course
The most of them were gone.
Each had an eight-pound turkey
Stuffed with nuts and sage and things,
I hadn't hardly et a half
‘Fore Bill and Haskins rings
Their curtains down and drags away
Upon their hands and knees.
That left just three, just Doc M’Goon
An’ me an’ Adam Peas.
The doctor started, but he then
Fell over in his chair.
But me and Adam, we ate ours
And split the doctor’s share.
But that fixed Adam, mournfully
He realized his fate,
His middle swelled so mightily
He couldn’t reach his plate.
I cleaned the board, and then I rose,
Disgusted with the bunch.
I wandered to the pantry
Where I fixed myself some lunch!”

Happy Thanksgiving!

edit: my sister Sarah declared his name to actually be Corky the Torkey.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Real Artist

So, my best friend from second grade only lived in Utah for one year. Her dad was here working; they were from New York. Her name was Annie. She and I bonded over identical Miss Piggy lunch boxes. It was some sort of sign.

Although we exchanged addresses and promised to write, we were, unfortunately, only eight-years-old (read: not very good at keeping in touch). Years later, after the Internet invaded our home, I would look her up online from time to time. But, I never found anything.

Enter Facebook.

Oh, so terrible in many ways, but for one thing I will forever be grateful. Through Facebook, I found Annie again. We've picked up our friendship as if time never elapsed.

Always creative, Annie has stayed true to her nature. She's a wonderful artist. Earlier this year she sent me a personalized piece. Can you believe that? Art made just for me? Like, about me?

It is personal in many ways. There is a picture of the lunchbox. There is a picture of my dog. There is the jacket to one of my all-time favorite books. There are pictures of the actors in my favorite shows and movies. There is a crochet monster and a sock monkey. I like to think, though I do not know for sure, that the two women in the bottom right corner represent her and me, out having a fabulous time in NYC. Someday...

Annie has also sent many things for my children, things they love. We decided to send her a package back. For it, Tessa painted some pictures. Tessa was really proud of her work, and asked if I thought Annie would like them. And if Annie did, maybe she'd declare Tessa a "real artist," just like herself.