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So little time! (12/04/2013)
By Frances Edstrom
December is flying by! I have mixed feelings about that. I’m happy, because we are getting closer to the darkest day of the year, and it’s only light, lighter, lightest from there on out. I’m worried, because there are only 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas in which to prepare for the big day. That squeezes me, especially since I am back on crutches — temporarily, but it still slows me down.

We had a marvelous Thanksgiving. Twenty-six of us gathered at my house to eat, eat, and eat some more. It is by far my favorite meal of the year. So simple, so good. All but one of John’s siblings and their families were with us. Friends were able to join us. And my children and grandchildren lent some, shall we say, excitement to the festivities.

We were sitting around in our den, where the kids were playing with a bird call gadget I have. Andie, who will be five next month, sat cross-legged on the coffee table, her little leggings riding down her backside, exposing her bum. My sister-in-law Kathy joked to her, “Andie, pull up your pants! You look like the plumber.” Andie replied, “Thank you!”

The kids have grown out of their sleeping arrangements at my house. Peyton and Andie were in little sleep tents, and Harry in a Pack ‘n’ Play. The room, which I call the “toy room,” is rather small, and two twin beds, or even one full-size bed, won’t fit in it, if we want to be able to open and close the door.

I finally found a trundle bed that fit. It’s a day bed with a pull-out mattress underneath. My idea was that the kids would just pile onto the mattresses and fall asleep. Silly me. Three kids? I need three mattresses. So we dragged in a bean bag bed which Peyton agreed to sleep on. All set, right? Not quite. Andie hogged the top mattress, leaving Harry the bottom one. That didn’t sit well with him, even though he had slept on the bottom mattress the night before when he was alone in the room. There was no convincing either one to accommodate the other. Lots of loud voices and a little crying ensued. I stayed out of it. I only know that somehow it was resolved and soon it was quiet enough for the adults to have some down time.

On Sunday, we drove up to Minneapolis to use one of my Christmas gifts to the children and grandchildren — tickets to “Cinderella” at the Children’s Theater Company. It’s a wild version of the fairy tale, done in the Panto tradition, which includes lots of music (in this instance ‘80s tunes, much to the delight of the adults in the audience), puns, slapstick, audience interaction, magical transformations — tons of fun and lots of laughs.

After the play (“I love plays!” said Peyton, the 7-year-old, “You can change things every time. Not like movies,”) we drove a few blocks for an early dinner to celebrate my birthday. They sang Happy Birthday to me, I blew out the candle, and passed around the dessert. Harry, 4, asked, “How old are you?” Without skipping a beat, I said, “thirty-nine.” He looked shocked, and said, “three hundred and nine?”

Well, Harry, some days it feels like three hundred and nine. I wouldn’t wish for it, though. I don’t think Social Security will last that long.

Now that I’ve wasted valuable shopping time telling you my story, I have only 20 days until Christmas, the tree isn’t up, I can’t find the Advent calendar and it’s already begun.

Relax, I tell myself. Relax and enjoy the season.



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