Saturday, December 07, 2002


No Sleep

I lay awake. Thinking of friends. Thinking of Christmas cards, and making tamales. And listening to Geoff cough. His cough rattles the rafters. I'd better make appointments for the boys; they should be over their colds by now too. Also, need to buy heavy paper to print our Christmas greetings, and I wonder whether I should make the boys as choir-like angels on the back of each card.

Thinking of teddy bear angels, and pigs with wings. But what about chickens? They already have wings. Do chickens fancy some other appendage? People have a strong affinity for the adoption of great feathery, heavenly wings, but chickens must long for something else. Perhaps opposable thumbs, or hands with fingers and thumbs. I picture a host of heavenly fowl all marveling at the sight of their 10 fingers and thumbs. Chickens could do handstands and pull pies out of ovens.

Will there be chickens in heaven? I'd rather have chickens than Pearly Gates. I have heard 'only people will be in heaven,' but what about all the Christmas cards depicting animals at the nativity? Not the donkeys and sheep in Bethlehem, but the mice or teddy bears posed as Mary and Joseph? What's up with that? Actually, I like cards with mice enjoying hot cocoa beside a roaring fire in a cozy mouse house at Christmas. But I don't like Chimpanzees in tennis garb or lip stick, wishing me a 'Happy Birthday.' I really do think chickens and cats should be allowed in heaven, and dogs too. Please, no fleas, mosquitos, leeches or black widows. Clearly, nothing harmful in heaven.

Of course people can be harmful. A person's bite is supposed to be pretty toxic. I suppose no one in heaven would ever bite, and the same should be assumed for insects and rodents and such, so likely it's just as safe to allow them passage as to allow some mostly bad, but ultimately redeemed, person entrance. I do hope we can fly in heaven, but I am not as interested in having wings. I just want to rise up and go from place to place with out touching the ground. Is there ground in heaven?

Soon it will be time to wake up. The real time to wake up, when people expect to be up. Not like now, at 3 or 4 in the morning. Not laying (lying? No, that would be 'in bed telling fantastic, yet false tales') in bed and contemplating the work load involved in making traditional holiday baked goods or wondering whether I should wash my bed sheets today or next Sunday. I could probably think of a hundred or more things I'd rather in see in heaven than Pearly Gates.

My spell check has underscored: "marveling, " "rodents," and "tamales." And I still wonder whether I should be "laying" in bed? Don't chickens "lay?" No matter. I'm not in bed anyhow.

Friday, December 06, 2002

It seems like I have completely lost my momentum or some thing like that. I thinks perhaps I have intimidated myself with all my aspirations to be a travelogue journalist. Apparently recounting each fascinating detail of my travels is too daunting a task for me to accomplish. Plus I have a ridiculous cold, and it won't go away. Yes. It is all about the cold, and if it weren't for the sleepless nights, the post nasal drip, the eye searing- throat ripping cough, I would have finished my account of being snowed in in Custer, trick or treating with Sponge Bob, caving in Missouri, inhaling brownies in Capitola, and finally finding our way to Bandon By The Sea. There are stories that deserve to be recorded, anecdotes that will inspire and affirm the goodness of this great nation.

In the meantime I should dutifully assure loved ones that the really important things in our life are well. The cats still purr, and are sleeping soundly in sun dappled corners of the house. The tractor cleaned and oiled is wrapped under a tarp, safe from El Nino. The boys are counting down the days til Christmas; their lists are filed in triplicate, and have been safely delivered to the appropriate authorities. Grandma and Grandpa still have their routine. They seem comfortable here at El Rancho. And the chicas are laying as many eggs as ever. The gap that they left, where Sunshine used to roost, has slowly filled in. They are probably sitting a little closer together as our winter weather takes hold. Some days we let them loose to visit the garden. Luna digs like a terrier on a rat hunt, looking for goodies in the flower beds. Rosie is always close behind and eager to share what others have discovered. Gracie regularly flies out of their fenced yard, so she is less thrilled with the privilege of being free to visit the pool and playset.

Tonight is Family Night. We are going to assemble a gingerbread house. Some families use recipes handed down for generations, and we all know Martha has her amazing methods(glass window panes made from hardened sugar.) We have the kit from Target and our glue gun. No more frustrating hours waiting for the "special frosting" to take hold. Our walls instantly come together, and the roof, leveled and aligned, is immediately ready to hold any number of Frosted Mini Wheat roof tiles. We have heard criticism about the use of glue, but we are not subject to the traditions related to gingerbread construction. We make our own rules. As for the frequently asked question: How can you eat the house with the glue all over it? The best answer I have is the question: Would you eat a cookie/candy house constructed by 3 little boys with colds, two coughing adults and one curious cat?