Monday, February 1, 2010

Consider This

Consider This
By LC Van Savage
Remembrance of Things Past But Coming Again

It’s over. Am I sad? Sure. Does the sadness last? Nah. Getting back to silence and order isn’t a bad thing. Christmas, New Year’s and Birthdays---all done.

Everyone with even the most microscopic smear of our DNA came here for Christmas and for the week before and after. Our home isn’t large but we jam them all in—on cots, on mattresses and even on beds. They eat like wolves and yet we always seem to send them staggering from our table with full epigastria and oh, I’ve been waiting so long to use that marvelous word. It’s great, right?

Anyway, our holidays all seem to work out and the family can’t hate coming here because they keep coming back year after year after year; a large crowd of large, loud funny people each of whom we love madlydearly.

The grandchildren walked into the front door this year, and my first reaction was to say, “Who are you and what have you done with our grandchildren?” I’m looking upwards at most of them now and they’re only 11 and younger. Mongo’s the tallest person in our family, several inches above six feet, or at least he yoostawuz when we were a-courtin’ and I think these GC of ours will soon be looking him straight in the eye. I have a dear old friend who’s very French and one of her favorite sayings when she speaks of short people is, “I could eat soup off his head.” Well, our grandchildren can just about eat soup from the top of mine, if they’d ever dare, which they’d jolly well better not ever.

Not only do we celebrate Christmas and every other PC winter holiday in Dec., too many of us have birthdays in that month. Or close to it. Mongo hit the Big Seven Two on December 5, son Paul was born on Christmas day in 1965, his older brother Erick joined us on December 28th back in 1961, granddaughter Darby came to us on New Year’s Eve of 1999, and I was born on January 1 and hit the Big Seven Two on that day. Middle son Mark joined us in 1963, but at Easter time, for which he’s never quite forgiven us. Sorry Marko. We did our best.

We have big parties for everyone on their natal days, or as close to them as we can make it happen, with the dining room heavily decorated by grandchildren, Pizza being usually the meal du jour. We have fun, we sing most lustily when the cake comes in, and everyone seems to enjoy being a year older.

Well, not moi especially, but that’s to be expected. I mean I got rammed into my seventies rather abruptly two years ago even though I didn’t wish it and never once gave anyone permission for it to happen.

But, watching the great ball drop this year was different for me. In years gone by I truly loved being all alone with Dick Clark and 200 billion idiotically bellowing New Yorkers and tourists, hearing my dear husband and our visiting progeny snoring not so gently abovestairs, watching the new year arrive, making promises to myself I knew I’d never keep, but trying to observe all those old traditions. And now, all these years later those promises still linger in my own personal stratosphere, dripping with tender hopes, hovering hopelessly like balloons that have lost their strings. I’ll get to them; there’s still time. Right? Right??

So I watched the ball drop and saw 2010 enter our world and hoped things would get better than they have been for the world’s people. They can’t get much worse for a lot of them. I wondered if I’d still be around two years from now, 2012, the year some Mayan math geeks decided way way long ago that our world would either im or ex-plode in December of ‘12, and all of our worries would be quickly over. I can’t wait for that day to come so I can see if everyone stays home from work or gets all jerkily nervous, staring at the sky or running to churches they never visited before, or whatever. I wonder if on that day 2 years hence if some people will decide to take matters into their own Kool-Aid and move things along, making an awful mess for others to clean up. I wonder if, when nothing happens, and come on folks, nothing will, if there’ll be lots of the usual red-faced “ooops, it appears someone miscalculated!” speeches delivered into TV cameras everywhere. I wonder. No, actually I don’t. I know.

So everyone in our family has gone back to their own lives now and Mongo and I are left with great stacks of detritus, finger marks on everything, unfinished kid projects scattered, silent echoes, a deadly quiet home and mountains of memories. And it’s all good.

Belated best holiday wishes and Happy New Year to all of you reading this. I couldn’t, and wouldn’t do it without you. Thank you.

Editor's Note: Belated Happy Birthday, LC, you are Number 1 in my list every year!

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