Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 30!

I actually forgot how I'd meant to end my post about family expressions from a couple of days ago. For a while we called hand sanitizer 'magic soap' because it cleaned your hands and you didn't have to rinse it. So I was driving home in the truck with Angus on a snowy day and the windshield wiper fluid was out and I couldn't see two feet in front of me. I called Matt because I was nervous about finding the latch to open the hood (because I can never find it), then I hung up and told Angus (who was about four, I think) that we had to stop at the gas station for a minute. He said "are we out of gas?" (because he's an anxious kid and frequently fears that we will run out of gas in the middle of nowhere and have to eat each other). I said "no. I need some...." and I gestured vaguely at the windshield, trying to remember if we call wiper fluid 'magic water' or what, and flailing around for an explanation. Angus said, drily, 'windshield wiper fluid?'. Hmph.
Mary Lynn, I love 'do the needful'. We have one from an Austrian friend who was in grad school with Matt and liked his Caesar salad 'not too saucy'.

photo credit
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We were at my Mom and Dad's for dinner last night. Matt has always been kind of in awe of my Dad's childhood and adolescence; he grew up in Stony Rapids, which is so north in Saskatchewan it's almost in the Yukon. His Dad was a trapper. He has stories about driving a team of sled dogs right into the river, teaching aboriginal children when their real teacher went nuts and had to be airlifted out, and caribou season, when the herd would run right through their front yard and they would just stand there and pick a few off to freeze and eat all winter. One of Matt's favourite stories was when my Dad moved into town as a teen-ager and was astounded when he saw kids riding bikes in the spring and summer. Where he lived, they only rode bikes in the winter. On the frozen river.

So last night we were talking about rearranging Eve's room to fit in the new shelving unit we'd bought her. She was off her head with excitement and Angus was a bit put out because we hadn't bought anything new for his room and haven't had time to rearrange it this week-end. My Dad (who loves my children but can't resist needling them at every opportunity) said 'Look, when I was your age I didn't even have a room!' (which is true. He slept in the living room). Angus (who is perfectly aware of how to deal with my Dad by now) said 'where did you sleep? On the street?'. And Matt and I and my Mom started laughing right away, because of course then my Dad said 'no! We didn't HAVE streets!'.

I know -- not a terribly weighty post to end NaBloPoMo with. Whatever. I'm happy that my parents live here and we can go have Sunday dinner with them, when four and a half years ago they lived five hours away with no plans to move. I'm happy that my woods-seasoned, tough S.O.B. Dad paints Eve's fingernails and cooks her scrambled eggs on demand and comes to Angus's baseball games and learns all the kids' names (on all the teams) and cheers for them. I'm happy that my kids are more excited about being with their cousins for Christmas than they are about the presents (although Eve does say 'it's hard for kids to resist the presents'). I'm happy November's almost over. I'm happy and grateful for the interesting and admirable people I've met blogging and what they're teaching me. It all feels a little precarious, but very precious.

5 comments:

Mary Lynn said...

This has been a great NaBloPoMo. I struggled a few times with coming up with posts, but for the most part I had fun with it. Plus, I started following a bunch of new, interesting bloggers--including you!

Julie said...

i love random thought/stream of consciousness posts.

your dad sounds like the most incredible person. i would love to sit and chat with him. what an incredible oral history that would be to take down.

Amber said...

You made it! You can't see me right now, but I am throwing confetti on your behalf.

Also, your dad sounds kind of cool, in a very particular way. :)

alison said...

Congrats on surviving NaBloPoMoNoQuo whatever. It's an accomplishment and I could never pull off a post a day. Never.

Your posts on family phrases reminds me of the latest one in my family. My sister hosted an exchange student from Germany a few years ago. A friendship blossomed and Sabina still comes for visits in the summers. She's of an age to drink now, and somehow, through mishearing or bad translation, thought the liquor store was the liquid store. So of course we all now refer to the LCBO as the liquid store.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!! Well done for completing the whole month. I hope you can keep up the writing because I really looked forward to your posts. I'd be at work and be feeling a little tired or stressed or bored and think - "hmm, I can have a little break and read what Allison has to say today." The posts always made me laugh or think or both. So, thank-you. Zarah