Sunday, January 20, 2013

2004 Christmas Letter

Dear Friends,
> I am counting on chocolate to inspire me in my writing this time around. I
> just finished the last of last year's summer courses (congratulate me!)
> and am ready to soon begin on the ones for the Fall. It is all too
> exciting.
> I hope you all are well. As I hear from you about as much as you hear from
> me, I don't know much, especially since y'all aren't rude enough to write
> absurdly long emails as I do. But based on the expressed gratitude of a
> few, I will continue to regale the masses with my exciting life as a
> stay-at-apartment Mom.
> I am now a mini-van Mom, too! I have fully accepted the stigma, and now
> scoot about in my scratched up, decade old, but proud vehicle. It has a
> working CD player and AC so to me right now, it's the Ritz. As fighter
> planes are marked with the number they have shot done, so do I
> unintentionally mark the number of trips I take every time I back out of
> our ridiculously narrow driveway, and scrape past either the fence on the
> right or the very large, very dead, very "when is the city gonna take that
> thing down" tree on the left.
> I have had a few adventures in said vehicle. Recently, I parked with
> hazard lights on in one of the 21 empty handicapped spots so I could run
> into the store, just inside the door, and grab a circular, or the paper
> with sales on it, whatever. In any case, I had no sooner got out and began
> my dash when I was shouted at by a middle-aged man walking by, "Hey
> missie, you parked in handicapped!" Yes, he was right, but unless 21
> handicapped vehicles entered the lot in the next five seconds, everything
> was going to be okay. Really. When I pretended not to hear, the man began
> to shout across the parking lot, "HEY you! Ungrateful [garden tool]! How
> dare you! You don't look handicapped to me. UnbeLIEVable! etc." By this
> time, I had my paper and was on the way back. One of these days, I am
> going to say, "You know what, people? How 'bout we sacrifice one or two of
> these handicapped spots and make a 'mother with children' spot, eh? So I
> don't have to park at the end of the lot and dash my two children through
> the rain w
> Sigh. I am too meek. And I am getting into trouble! While I am confessing,
> I may as well mention that I was recently summoned to court (and
> threatened with arrest if I didn't) for an overdue overnight parking fine.
> You see, in the great state of RI, if I leave my car on the street
> overnight, I am fined 15 dollars. This is to offset the outrageous
> inconvenience that would be caused if that night, say, were to be the
> semi-annual cleaning of the street night, and the street sweeper would be
> forced to turn a wheel to avoid my vehicle. Dan and I occasionally take
> the risk and leave the car out for various reasons. Well, this fine was
> forgotten for a bit too long, and thus after it was doubled, we suddenly
> were summoned to court and threatened with arrest by letter. Fortunately,
> a phone call with reassurance that the payment was in the mail was all it
> took to dissuade them from carting off to jail this dangerous mother of
> two.
> Claire says hi, by the way. She is currently snacking on my lap,
> popping/ripping off every two seconds to look at me and grin with her two
> new, sharp teeth. She can thank her lucky stars she's cute.
> Annemarie is cute too. We can now have conversations like the following:
> "Annemarie, would you like to go outside?" ("Side!") "And play with Sammy
> and Alia?" (Yaya!) "Let's do it!" ("Duit!") Fun. Almost intellectual.
> Well, we have been to the wedding of Celeste Allen now Sullivan and the
> ordination of Gerard now Father Saguto since last we spoke. For those of
> you who do not know them, these are really nice people that we know that
> invited us to sing at their various ceremonies. Dan and I were honored,
> our kids were confused, and we duly drove to Pittsburgh in February and
> flew to Nebraska in May for these events. It all turned out beautifully,
> despite our out-of-practice singing and our children's untimely yelps.
> And whilst in Nebraska, we survived an F3/F4 tornado in a basement while
> it wiped out a nearby town (Hallam). I don't know why the entire Midwest
> does not live underground on a regular basis. Those things are mean, ugly,
> nasty and scary. I mean here, we can pack up and leave a week before the
> hurricane; there, it's a warning "take shelter immediately" over the radio
> (if you happen to be listening to it), and sirens (if the power hasn't
> already gone off.) Maybe they all just wait till they hear the sound of a
> freight train and, knowing the tracks are miles away, yawn, stretch, say
> to their family, "How 'bout we play ping-pong downstairs for a stretch?"
> And then they come upstairs a couple hours later and arrive outside. Brave
> souls. Unbelievable.
> Fortunately, we were in the basement awaiting death among friends and
> newly ordained priests, and much prayer was said, the kids played, and
> parents silently sweated and smiled, and said useful stuff like, "Man oh
> man" over and over while listening to the thundering hail and admiring the
> pitch blackness outside. Meanwhile, Fr. Skeris stayed upstairs chatting
> with other brave souls. Next day we attended Fr. Saguto's first Mass and
> went sightseeing for cars in trees.
> I must close, as I am almost out of chocolate. In sum, I attend my mostly
> liberal playgroups and miss all of you. Dan works with other people's
> retirement plans. We are reasonably happy and healthy, and looking forward
> to Homecoming. And I am hoping my Easter cards make it by Christmas.
> God bless, love, Katie and the Dancause clan

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