Sunday, December 30, 2018

Dear Kids,
         We’re officially “done” with Christmas.  I enjoyed all the parties and fun and presents, but I always like to get back to a normal schedule again. 
         Thanks to Vanessa and her family for hosting such a great sledding party!  I wished I could have gotten on a sled, but it wouldn’t have worked with my cane.  But I’m glad everybody else had so much fun.  I’m hoping to be totally well by next year, and go sledding and ice skating and do everything else, to make up for this wretched year. 
         There was a wishbone sitting on our kitchen windowsill, good and dry, left over from Donna’s Thanksgiving turkey, and I decided to break it with Dad.  He knows what my biggest wish is, and he said he wishes the same thing, so I figured whichever of us won, I’d get well.  But when we each pulled our own side, the top popped off, leaving us each with sad, broken ends.  So I probably won’t get my wish any time soon. 
         Friday night we got together with my brothers and sisters (and spouses) at Charley’s house for a party.  After we ate, we sat in a big circle and we were each supposed to share a Christmas memory of Grandma and Grandpa Allen, or say something inspiring. And we had a new rule, put out by Bonnie–we couldn’t interrupt if someone was telling a story.  So everything was much calmer than usual.  Charley talked about having the blood clots in his lungs and water on the brain, so he should have been dead.  He was a lot more subdued than usual.  Most of the rest of us told Christmas stories.  Katie talked about the year she and I got ice skates, and Grandma Allen drove us to Vivian Park on Christmas day to try them out.  I told about the year Grandpa Allen painted his metal tool box green and filled it full of clay and glue and construction paper and other craft supplies.  It was my best present ever.  All of my bothers and sisters were there, and all the spouses except for Monica.  Ben drove by himself from Albuquerque!  We took pictures with everybody’s cell phones. It’s miraculous that all eleven of us are still alive, and we don’t know how long we can stay lucky.
         By the way, among all the great Christmas presents I received, John gave me a vintage hardcover copy of The Fire Cat.  He found it on ebay.  He said it was in honor of his “fire kittens,” who I saved from the cabin fire.  They wouldn’t have been killed by the flames, but their little lungs could have been damaged by the smoke.  I was delighted by the book, and read it through right then.  It was all so familiar!  I practically had it memorized, from reading it to you kids about a gazillion times.  Anyway, the book is on our coffee table, so you and your kids can read it when you come by.
         I hope you all have a happy new year.  I’m going to color my hair bright pink for the occasion.
         Lots of love, Mom