Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Proud English Major Moment

Yesterday I had a very proud (yet incredibly nerdy) English major moment. Munchkin offered us her first pun. I can't be sure it was intentional, but I can dream, can't I?

Munchkin is obsessed with crocodiles getting her. If she is up on the bed, couch, or even a blanket, she always warns us to watch out so the crocodiles don't get us.

After coming into our room in the morning with her amazing bed head, she climbed up on the bed. Instead of the usual warning, she told Wifey that she was the mommy crocodile. Then she proceeded to tell us that she was hungry, and that we needed to get out of bed.

And then it came.

"Come on mommy crocodile! Snap, snap!"

I cracked up pretty hard, and it got me laughing throughout the day as I thought about it. I can only hope that there will be more to come.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Time Is Here

I have kind of a love-hate relationship with Christmas. The saccharin music that plays on the radio doesn't seem to hold the spirit of Christmas to me, and by the time the holiday actually comes around, it seems as if there should have been more meaningful things to celebrate the reason for the season.

The difficult thing is that Wifey's family are Christmas-aholics. Anything that they can do to celebrate Christmas is encouraged. I do my best to play along, but I often feel a bit empty by the end of the season.

This year, Christmas was different. I was able to see one of my sisters that I don't get an opportunity to see very often. We had Christmas a week early with my parents, but the best gift was the time I got to spend with her. She has had a rough go for the past couple of years, but while she was here with her family, all we heard was laughter and all we saw were smiles. She is moving on with her life, as are her kids.

While she was here, my father-in-law was hospitalized for some bleeding in his brain. He had a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage, which resulted in a few trips to the emergency room and a couple of different stays in the hospital.

Having both of these experiences sure gave me a different perspective on the holiday season. I found I spent more time thinking of the people I spent the holidays with than all the crazy people rushing to buy the latest and greatest new widget. My Christmas shopping was completed in about two and a half hours, and since we were on a strict budget this year, it was easy not to pick up just one more thing.

In short, I experienced old wounds healing, and new wounds starting this Christmas. It helped to help me forget about some of my own wounds, and helped me to make the holidays meaningful this year. What is a good story without a little bit of struggle?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My S Walk

Yesterday I went for a walk (as I often do) during my lunch break. I generally stay within the same mile and a half radius, but take different streets through downtown. The same road takes me from my building, and I was surprised to see a previously unnoticed statue within a block of my building. The monument was a space shuttle, probably to honor Barbara Morgan, the Idahoan and backup teacher/astronaut to Christa McAuliffe from the Challenger tragedy. I could tell it was not new, as a bird had decided to leave its own mark across the nose of the shuttle.

As I started walking, I took a lazy route that loosely resembled the letter S. The first thing I realized was the space shuttle, so I started listing all the things that started with S that I saw. Here goes:
  • A spaceship
  • Steeples (four of them)
  • Surreptitious smokers (near the local high school)
  • Sycophants (at the same location)
  • A solitary sentry (waiting for a ride at the school)
  • A serpent (actually an awesome red stone dragon, but it was the Chinese kind that are long and skinny)
  • Skeletons (of trees)
  • Sea of leaves (the wind pushed them around like waves lapping at my shoes)
  • Scarves
  • Street vendors (selling hotdogs)
  • State capitol building
  • Sewer grates
After about 20 minutes, I decided that I had better head back to my office. I forgot a hat, and the wind was cutting through the streets of the city. The wind began gnawing at my ears, and the dull ache that comes from semi-frozen ears became more powerful than my desire to hunt for S things.

It occurred to me just how quickly winter can move in. The briskness of autumn had left the air, replaced by the biting chill of winter. The previous day had been very pleasant, although brisk, and the sun warmed me through my coat. But today was not yesterday. Instead, I found my balled fists in my coat pockets and my hunched shoulders trying to keep my scarf firmly in place in hopes that my cocoon of warmth would keep me going until I got back to my building.

As I got within a block of my building, I realized that the wind had died down. The building I work in is not directly against the street. During the summer months, there are staff members sprawled out on the grass having a picnic or reading a book. I have a sneaking suspicion that the wind is always calm around our building because it isn't a tall building next to another tall building. I think the extra space gives the air a more natural movement, yet the surrounding buildings (which are significantly smaller than my building) offer a refuge from the wind.

Or the wind is calm because it knows about all the dervishes within the building and figures that it would rather escape the drama.