1. Thanksgiving this year at my Aunt Trisha's house had seating arrangements and gratefulness assignments. The "adults" sat together in the dining room, and the "adult cousins" (not to be confused with the 6 tiny CHILD cousins) got the kitchen table. Conversation assignment: discuss something UNUSUAL for which you are grateful this year. Winner: Uncle Tommy's confession that he's overwhelmingly thankful to be able to pee on his own again. Runner up: adult cousins' agreement of gratitude that we are not like our mothers. Fair enough.
2. Attended a Mannheim Steamroller concert with my mom. Only the highest-grossing holiday act around, MS does NOT mess around when it comes to special effects. Neon, projection screens, graphics displayed on every available surface of the civic center auditorium. Sadly, the highest-grossing holiday act also happens to score the award for most cheese packed into one 2 hour concert. Medieval banquet halls, be-ribboned teddy bears and larger than life nutcrackers dominated the graphics. At one point, we, the audience, found ourselves in a dense, green forest with a knight in chain mail about to saddle up his horse and run through the forest. Confused as to what a horse and medieval warrior had to do with the particular Christmas carol the band was then playing, I turned to my mother, who was simply enchanted. "Mom," I whispered, "what's GOING ON?!"
"Shhhh!" she said, transfixed by the horse about to stride over our heads, "he's GALLOPING!"
"Yes," I said, choking back tears, "but Mom, what does that have to do with the carol that we're hearing?"
"He's GALLOPING, Dana Beth, through the FOREST!"
All right, then.
3. My grandmother always requests a christmas wish list from her family members. My list this year included several "alternative"-type gift suggestions, including gifts from SERRV, donations to Heifer Project, and a list of possibilities from OxFam America - donations in amounts to fund things such as doula lessons, manure for a family farm, or a box of earthworms for someone's garden. The day I e-mailed my list to my grandparents, Grandpa Bobby sent me this e-mail:
I read your e-mail with your Xmas list before I walked this morning. Someone was getting up leaves on Mountain Heights Road and there was about a 6inch night crawler under dome of them at the curb. If I hada jar or something to put it in. I would have had a part of your Xmas present. I may have trouble finding manure around here and I am wondering if potting soil would be a good substitute. Bobby.Should have made that item a bit more clear, I thought. Luckily, my grandparents, they work as a team. A couple hours later, Bobby sent this clarification:
Dana Beth: As usual your grandmother straightened me out on the worms and manure.As usual. Possibly the most lovable grandparents in the world.