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Four or Five Days Ago

How was the holiday for you? Ours was nice, but kind of chaotic and eventful. I’m used to having a restful and worry-free Xmas. What happened?

Dead parakeet. Our beloved pet parakeet, Toby, died on Christmas Eve. The following morning, we buried her in the backyard underneath a favored feeder for the neighborhood birds. She was swaddled in the sheet that served as her cage cover and her favorite bell was next to her body. We had her for a good five years, with many memories. I’ll miss her chirping. One time, we got her this blue rope toy (pictured at right), which turned her into a crazed, humping, horny little bird. That toy didn’t last long!
Tangelos out the wazoo. We have a young tangelo tree, planted as a sapling about five years ago. It tentatively produced a few seedy, tasteless fruits last year, but as Fall came it became apparent that this was the tree’s breakthrough year. So now we have joined the ranks of Arizonans who have lots and lots of citrus in December. Want some?
Waffles and conversation. We did our usual Christmas day tradition of being over at my parents’ house with the family. It was nice, with lots of good talk over a waffle, egg, ham, and orange juice brunch. My older brother and his longtime girlfriend made an appearance for the first time. This was great, but also somewhat awkward (since I didn’t get them any gifts this year).
Too much stuff.As usual we got many gifts from the family: a food dehydrator, a train trip in Northern Arizona, a pepper grinder, coffee, hand-embroidered tea towels from my grandmother. I gave Christopher the fourth season of I Love Lucy, since he’s always been a fan of the Hollywood trip episodes. He gave me a trio of vintage items: a Flair magazine from 1950, a Joyce Compton autographed letter from her loopy “born again Christian” period, and a Disneyland souvenir floaty pen very similar to one I cherished as a child. I also received a beach scene DVD, the King Kong special edition, and The Polar Express (which looks overly sentimental and creepy as hell, but I’ll give it a shot). Given all that, we’ll have plenty of entertainment for our New Years custom of settling in with a movie and lots of sparkling apple cider.

2 Thoughts on “Four or Five Days Ago

  1. Mass Bradley on December 29, 2005 at 11:11 am said:

    1) Dang–I’m sorry about Toby! Any plans on getting another one? I’ve always been a fan of letting the grief process play out to the end, but “getting back on the horse” and looking for Toby: The Next Generation (to mix a metaphor) can also be healing.

    2) OKOK, You opened the door to this– give us the straight dope on you and your brother– why no likee?
    Family gossip can be, er, cathartic, and such a tonic to my own empty, grasping life…

    3) Sounds like Santa was good to you and Mr. C– I’m so pleased for you. Funny how as we age it isn’t really so much about “The Stuff”– we’re not fetishizing the actual DVD– but about the warm memories when we FIRST DIGESTED the “Stuff”.
    (This theory applies to pop cultural artifacts that we all enjoy– I’m trying to work the tea towels and grinder into some Unified Theory, but this will have to wait…

    4) I’m reduced to inchoate rambling!
    Happy New Year!

  2. Brad – I hope I didn’t give off the impression that I don’t like my brother. Far from the truth! Let me fill in a few details for you. He lives locally with the rest of the family. We see him on occasion like the others, but he’s never in our adult lives shown up for a Christmas gathering until this year. Previously, Christopher and I have brought gifts for my parents to forward on to him and his girlfriend (with no acknowledgement). But this year they show up and bring a gift, so that made for a little “Ann Landers” type quadray for us. Likely I’ll make it up by getting him a birthday gift, I suppose.

    Thanks for the condolences, btw.

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