Sunday, December 27, 2009

Showdowns and snowdowns.

Loading ammo amicably before turning on each other.

If you are at all acquainted with my family, you'll not be overly surprised that our holidays usually include some sort of gunfight. This year's unexpected twist was the potato gun, which left disgusting brown segments of potato all over the house. Although the dogs made good time with cleanup, there's never a winner in the family showdown (except for George beating nearly everyone at Wii games — I am the archery champion). I'm proud to say that this year, no one got hurt, there was very little cursing and no blood oaths were declared. All in all, progress.

As follows most holiday whirlwinds, our house is a disaster. I like it. Instead of its usual empty feel, there's junk lying around, stuff I didn't put there myself. Mostly it's empty boxes and scraps of wrapping paper. Yes, I'll be forced to tidy it eventually, but right now I'm stuffing the guilt aside with a handful of single-bite Twix that George forced into my stocking. Mmm. Holidays good. Putting off the cleaning feels even better.

Mom's oh-my-little-babies face that she makes when we leave her.

We spent yesterday shovelling our front sidewalk, never more aware of how long it stretches across our half-acre yard. Yikes. More than a foot of wet, heavy snow between us and our neighbors, then between our back door and the garage lay a whole new area of snow coverage. I love to shovel, actually. Bundling up in clothing I rarely wear here, including heavy-duty new gloves, fills me with an ache for my snow-racked Minnesota childhood. We do not have piles of clean, white snow in which to dig tunnels and forts here. So by the time George came outside fully bundled up, I had eagerly cleared off the back porch and shoveled a path to the garage. I am grinning and cherubic with cold (I prefer 'cherubic' to 'frost-bitten'). We shuffled through the snow to the front, where we cleared a fat swath of walkway for the mailman. By tomorrow, no doubt, our snow will be graying and coarse, the texture of unbleached sea salt. Depressing. But for now my back sports a delightful burning that means I shoveled.

Of course, I forgot the camera for part B of our holiday celebration, mostly comprised of nephew Patrick running over everyone's feet with his new 'motorcycle,' complete with a recorded voice of a Cars character yelling "Get out of my way!" Hilarious. The next day we were temporarily snowed in, which led to a leisurely breakfast of leftovers and muffins and Harry & David pears (yum!). And then, in typical post-holiday fashion, I felt absolutely ill. Too much of too much. Time to go home.

Morning Toby

Ready for dinner.

Sitting around, waiting for pie.

Present opening begins

George unwraps the fateful potato gun — that thing hurts, let me tell you.

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