December 28, 2016

A Christmas Gift 50 Years in the Making, AKA I Win

As some of you may have read in this blog entry, my mother had no patience for childish spats, or for children, for that matter. Yonks ago, when we kids started bickering over the single Cap’n Crunch iron-on decal in a box of cereal, she promptly ironed the decal onto her own shirt. I’m pretty sure this is why both Big Sister and I have had to go into therapy as adults.

Fast forward, oh, approximately 50+ years. As I have for the last few years, I spent a warm and joyful Christmas with my BFF Ken, his wife Beth, children Stephanie and Robert, and mother-in-law Kay. My last gift was a rectangular box that had a tag on it that said, “To: Ryan, From: A Blog Reader” and that alone made me tilt my head. Add to that the fact that the box made the oddest noise—dry, crunchy, rattly—and I was completely baffled. Even opening the box didn't solve the mystery because it was a box of Cap'n Crunch. (???) But attached to the box was a small envelope and inside was…this, courtesy of Beth:


I practically fell off my chair I laughed so hard. A big, loooooong belly laugh with tears pouring down my cheeks--the best laugh I've had in years. There was so much wrapped up in this gift: Great humor, certainly, but creativity, cleverness, thoughtfulness, warmth, and a moment where everything—childhood, adulthood, life, love, loss, family, friendship—came full circle. And the second part of the gift was being able to call Big Sister in California—with everyone listening—and give her the biggest neener-neener-neener-neener-neener ever (brother is long gone but I floated a neener-neener out to him, too; you know I did). I don’t know if anyone is ever supposed to actually win the war called Sibling Rivalry but, thanks to Beth’s help, I did. Technically, I’m supposed to send Cata one of the decals but the jury’s still out on that.

Posted by Ryan at 04:01 PM | Comments (3)

December 21, 2016

A Meditation on Control

Proof that control is an illusion...

Project: Wrap the Christmas gifts in time to send them to Sissy and family in San Diego.

Plan: Put the gifts on the dining-room table, get out the wrapping paper, tape, scissors, ribbon, labels, markers, have a little true-crime TV droning on in the background, be done in an hour or two.

What really happened:



Then this:


Then this:


And finally this:


Project: Make a nice home-made Christmas gift for BFF Ken's mother-in-law.

Plan: Knit one dishcloth and wrap it up with a pleasantly scented, boutique dish-washing liquid.

What really happened:



Then this:


Then this:


Then this:


At this point, I started blaming the uncontrollable, Tribble-like proliferation of dishcloths on how much I was enjoying the brightly colored Ty-Dy Cotton yarn I was using, but then this happened…in a completely different yarn:


Tomorrow The Plan is to make dessert sauces as another gift for Ken and family. I predict I will end up with a spinach quiche instead. Pray for me?

Posted by Ryan at 01:12 AM | Comments (2)