Friday, December 9, 2005

Neaux Sneaux

Poor kids ... we live in that "in between" geographic area which is the cut-off between the snow and the "no snow".  Either that or it will snow to the south or north of us, but we won't get any.  We're in a weird "bowl" that is protected by the mountains to the west, so the severe weather goes over or around us.  Which can be a good thing, but when a bunch of little kids are praying for snow, they are often sorely disappointed.  So, here we are, a rainy Friday morning, and the temperature is around 34 ... cold, but too warm to snow.  Pretty gloomy and soggy if you ask me.  Pottery Barn is making another attempt to deliver me a couch this morning ... news at 11.

Yesterday was Melanie's little preschool Christmas program.  I of course did the crazy parent thing: kneeling on the floor to get a good picture of her ... took a small mpg of them singing and ran out of space on my memory card!  She was scanning the audience for me, and once she saw me, she yelled, at the top of her lungs, "HI MOM!  HI MOM!" over and over, and everyone was laughing.  It was too sweet.  They sang a song about bells, and had these little bell shaker things.  When the song was over, they were supposed to put them on the floor.  Melanie put hers down, then told everyone around her to put theirs down.  Can you say "bossy"?

Right before the show, as I was driving to the church, I came across a terrible accident ... there was a fatality, and it was very sad to think about a family with such a loss so close to the holidays.  I was 12 years old when my older sister, Lisa, was killed in a car accident around Thanksgiving ... it was a long, horrible road to normalcy for my family, and I always grieve for anyone who loses a loved one, at any time, of course, but especially during the holidays. 

Last night we were at Hopewell High School for the Foreign Language festival.  Colin has been studying Japanese for the last two years, and they had lots of sushi and other Japanese foods ... and they sang Christmas carols in Japanese.  "Jing-u ber-oos" was a favorite!  Of course Christmas isn't a big holiday there, being a Shinto and Buddhist country, but they have imported all of the secular Christmas icons, like Santa and such.  As a child in Japan, I remember going to these big glitzy banquets with colleagues of my dad's, on Christmas Eve.  It was more like New Years' Eve, with confetti and noisemakers and silly hats, and a cheesy orchestra.  It was torture for us, of course, because it went on pretty late in the evening, and Santa couldn't come until we were home and in bed.  It was fun, yeah, but a little nerve wracking!

Right before we had moved to Japan, our dachsund, Punch, was hit by a police car, and we were all pretty torn up about it.  So one Christmas morning in Tokyo, a nice Japanese man delivered a little dachsund with a red bow on his collar!  We named him Oscar.  A year or so later, when we were transferred back to the States, Oscar came down with distemper, and we spent thousands of dollars on vet bills.  He recovered nicely, only to be run over by a truck near our house in Connecticut.  Sheesh.  That was our last dachsund; we figured our luck had run out.  Later on we had two schnauzers that actually lived to old age, something I thought dogs never did; they just all got mowed down. 

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