Thursday, December 15, 2005

Almost Winter

We had our first big winter-style weather during the night last night-- everything was frozen over on my drive to work today. Big pine trees lumbered over from the weight of the ice, almost like willows. It's cold. Really cold (for South Carolina in December). Last week, I wore a long-sleeved t-shirt one day and was fine. This week, winter has announced its impending arrival.

Signs of the season: For starters, I'm back down two shades in my foundation makeup-- I've gone from "Almost Pasty White #200" through "Slightly Pasty White #100" to "Damn, Whitey, Get Some Sun #104." When my youngest son, the firecracker, was 2, he went through a fascination with body lotion, and would get into my bathroom and cover himself with smelly girl lotions, simply because he was two and didn't know better. One day, he got into my #104 foundation, and thought it was body lotion. So, he stripped himself naked, and covered himself with my foundation from his chest to his knees. Ladies, when your foundation shade is a perfect match for your 2 year old's naked rear, you are WHITE.

Signs of the season: Static electricity! Having lived in Florida for the past 7 years, last year I was not accustomed to the way winter lights you up. Lately, it seems that every time I go to kiss my husband, a big zap connects us and it scares us half to death. Like some kind of Pavlovian conditioning, I've learned to slug him in the arm before kissing him, just to get out any electricity first. His response, equally conditioned? Kick me when he sees me coming to punch him. So, we have a mini-sparring match followed by a tender kiss. Nice. I mean, come on, I know I'd like some electricity between us, but that's not exactly the kind I was thinking of. Oh well, I guess after 6 years, we'll take what we can get.

Signs of the season: Navigation through the living room is now obstructed by the tree and the growing mound of gifts beneath it. I decided that this year, I was going to put all the items that weren't already boxed into boxes, so nobody could guess what it is from feeling it. And, working in a warehouse that stocks exterior building materials, the only boxes I could find are, say, the size of a shutter. Or a roll of PVC trim coil. Neither of which is actually small enough to fit under my tree, but hey, I'm creative, right?

Signs of the season: My beautiful children did their final performance of their church Christmas play, The First Leon, last night. My son's Leon made me cry on several occasions... He plays sweet and unassuming so well. Must be from 6 years of watching my husband, because it sure isn't from me! The child sings like an angel, and had everyone in the audience going, "Awwwwwwwwwww..." with his every word. My 5 year old daughter, who was a narrator with big words like "Caesar Augustus" and one line with more intos, out ofs, and untos than I could remember, was perfect! Even if her sequined headband (that was supposed to look like a halo) gave her that Olivia Newton John "Physical" kind of 1980s ambiance. And my youngest (the firecracker, remember?) dressed as a sheep and followed Mary and Joseph in at the end. Until he rammed himself head-first into the side of a front row pew, fell to the ground, and lay there on his back twitching like a dying cockroach for a few seconds before moving on. Then, during the finale, he jumped up onto the stage and did a stagedive, just for kicks. Oh, and the "Shepherd Boy Band" dance I choreographed and taught the boys? It stole the show. Nothing like a bunch of 5-11 year old boys breakdancing, doing the worm, and generally being ridiculous (exactly as instructed) to bring the house down! It was wonderful, even if my friend Maher (who is Muslim, but came to see the play to support my kids) declared us all infidels and made fun of my boy band dance. "They learned freak from the finest."

Not a sign of the season, but a fun thing I have to throw in: After the play, we came back to my place with Zaxby's take-out and some "party" supplies for my kids to celebrate their great job. After their bedtime, Daddy-O, Maher, and I sat up until 1:30 AM goofing off, telling stories, reminiscing about stupid things we did as teenagers, and engaging in what can only be described as the tetris armageddon. It was the battle to end all battles, but in the end, I think Daddy-O and I agreed that Maher was the winner. Quite possibly because while we were out dating, partying, and generally being heathens in high school, Maher was locked in his basement, playing tetris with a level of skill and dedication that is usually only reserved for surgeons and rocket scientists. His level of tetris mastery is simply not normal. He is a freak.

So, that's what's happening in the wonderful world of almost-winter so far this year. Hope you're all doing well! We're leaving tomorrow morning for Alabama, so posting may be sporadic for a few days, although I'll definitely be checking in. If you're much of a pray-er, pray for safe travel for us and a nice visit. We haven't been back since one of our family members there was killed, and it seems that both our lives and theirs have taken some crazy turns since then. It will be good to be with family.

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