I know everyone will join me in stating that on Saturday, November 1, they were at 8:15 morning mass celebrating All Saints' Feast Day. Right? Then, Sunday morning you deja vous'ed yourself all over again. (Pardon my French, svp, Ma Soeur Marie Etienne) That is what I did! And, if my Mom calls you, you'd better agree. As a matter of fact, I was well rested on November 2 because I did reset my clock for Daylight Saving Time's completion for 2008.
On the national stage, we kicked off the month with the brilliant election. Moved on from that to honoring our Veterans here or celebrating Remembrance Day in Canada. My students are in the minority among their peer group since they know why poppies are worn that day, at least by a dwindling few.
On a family level, we have many milestones this month.
My niece, Lisa, was born on November 18 and I regularly have the day zoom by only to realize it later with remorse. Remembering the day she was born always gives me fond reflections which include me sitting on top of Tommy Ford's Mother's grand piano with my dear friend Elizabeth (Tootsie), singing as someone played, until way beyond curfew. We were basking in the fact that my parents wouldn't have a clue what time we'd be home since they were at the hospital awaiting her much heralded arrival. She holds the honor of being Mary Lou and Morgan's first grandbaby; but, certainly not their last. I love that she, in turn, gifted them with their first great-grandchild.
November also marks the ten year anniversary of my darling sister, Kathy, leaving us. It is still too painful and I can't really write about it still.
"Aunt Jasmine" gifted my great niece, Bell, and myself with Caps hockey game tickets in Section 105, thank you very much. We waved to her as she sat in Section 403 like we were sitting in the Queen Mum's carriage. Jasmines's friend, Carl was out of town and passed along his great seats. A Great Big Thanks to You, Carl! Mind you, Carl is from Altoona, but; since he was so generous, we won't hold that against him! We had a ball. Bell was such a cutie in her official jersey that she made it on to the jumbotron TWICE. That, my friends is a heart-beat away from riding side-saddle on the Zamboni. Ovechkin was in good form, and since he is her favorite, life was pretty sweet that night. A round -trip metro (subway) ride, sponge "finger" hand, and a couple of $10 ice cream cones later and we were coasting into the promised land as the Caps blasted the Atlanta Thrashers. (With a name like that, they should stay home.)
Thanksgiving was the day we celebrated my grandmother, Marie Gordon, birthday. She was one of those folks who was never really sure of her exact birthday. Some creative clerical error was on her paperwork and it was magnified since it was written in German, the official language of their Pittsburgh church parish. Good enough for her; good enough for me and certainly government work. Happy Birthday, Grandma. I miss you and Grandpep.
This year our Thanksgiving break took a new and exciting turn which just may develop into an annual tradition, with a lovely distorted twist. WE WENT PAINT BALLING!
Please don't think I'm off to be the great sharpshooter or jump into a helicopter attempting to "off" wild beasties any time soon. Please do know, though, that I loved it. Perhaps the family that paint-balls together should pray together. That way you have some level of emotional yin-yang. Regardless, I suggest everyone try this, at least once.
My great (and I really mean that on two levels)nephew, Will, came up with the concept. You go, Will! We took to the field with a heightened sense of purpose falling back on some classic approaches: we played "girls against boys" and, I hasten to add, the girls took the guys 4 out of 4 battles. A slight bit of commentary on the Brannigan gals. During the first face-off, I took the tower and strategically assaulted familial males with jaw-breaker (pun intended) sized balls of yellow paint with the consistency of school glue. You'll be relieved knowing that not only will this "paint" wash out of your clothing, but it is edible. Is that a good thing? Will even saw an employee deliberate eat one as a demonstration. Maybe they were "blocked" as my Granny used to say. That should clear out the house in a hurry, I suspect.
Lisa wisely suggested we do it as a new family tradition. I vote a resounding YES. Permit me to underscore that I am voting the affirmative even though I took three solid shots to the: head (sorry, no further brain damage than pre-existing levels); jugular (thank you, Will); and the hand (courtesy of his Dad, Chippy).
We aren't total heathens. We also had a lovely dinner with all the traditional side dishes (thanks to Mike's culinary inclinations). Winner of the BEST DRESSED AWARD was none other than Skip/Chip/Chippy/Skippy or Dad, depending on who you are in relationship to him. While we were all fairly relaxed, he pushed forth to show the added effort for eye appeal. What a guy! And, since effort should be rewarded, he is a full United States Federal Reserve One Dollar Bill Note richer for it. My Mom won at our reunion for, after all, she is the Queen Bee. Next time we are at the same gathering, polish those shoes, comb your hair and dab on a wee touch of cologne. You could be the next winner.
The cherry on the sundae was a telephone call with our cousin in Wales, none other than Thomas Thomas, son of Thomas Thomas, his lovely wife, Dorothy, and their son, Richard. Preliminary field trip data is being exchanged and I can't wait to see them eye-to-eye. I love that when Tom gives his conversational closing it isn't goodbye. Too mundane for our Tom. He states a robust "TaDa" instead and I love it. The best part is using an international no dialing fee telephone card for all this. We talked for about 20 minutes for three cents a minute each. That is less that a dollar!!!! The freakin' phone company wanted $2.65 a minute. What a bucket of bull shit. Watch Washington National Airport for private jets filled with phone company executives looking for a huge chunk of change for a corporate bail-out if this pattern continues.
Well, talk about best dressed! Looks like that little misunderstood sweetheart, O.J., will be receiving a brand new wardrobe in his favorite shade of orange. Designers have reported that his new clothing will focus on one piece outfits like jumpsuits and slip on sneakers. Fifteen years is what they slapped him with for armed robbery. Looks like you fumbled this one, Mr. Citrus, and we gained a touch-down. All this does make me wonder what poetry Johnny Cochran would have written for this defense!!!
And so it goes.... Scoop