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Showing posts from December, 2016

The Annual Christmas Letter

Every year it shows up under the guise of a Christmas card.  I open it to enjoy the card within and out it drops – the pompous Christmas letter.            You know the one – the letter that goes on and on about all the Wonderful, Amazing, Aren’t we cute,newsy letter about all the accomplishments the “family” accomplished in one human year.            The trips, the awards, the marriages, the babies, the usual whoop-de-does that are really wonderful accomplishments, but that we already heard about on Facebook, through phone calls, and the usual family grapevine. We already ooohed and aaahed over it.  We smiled.  We congratulated.  We paid homage.            Why must we be reminded of it all again?           I scan the letter to make sure I didn’t miss something, but also, I look for typos.  I read between the lines.  I wonder if the uninformed know the real story behind the stories printed there in 12-point font, Times New Roman.           What no mention of the DUI?  The six…

My Twelve Days of Christmas

One day before Christmas, my raucous, blended family dropped by to see me. Two bathrooms to clean Three entrees to cook (turkey, pork loin, vegetarian) Four mopey teenagers Five employed, married, live-in-their-own-house, grownup children Six rolls of Costco wrapping paper Seven phone calls from funny-sounding people wanting my Visa pin number Eight bottles of delicious, soothing on the nerves, red wine Nine pairs of pajamas to buy for grandkids Ten pounds gained on the bathroom scale Eleven funny Santa hats waiting for little heads And twelve months to recover my bank balance, goal weight, and sanity.

Feliz Christmas, y’all!

The Last Pair of SweatPants on Earth

For fifty years of my life, for six, sometimes seven days a week, I wore what my grandmother called “Sunday best.”  I dressed up daily, put on makeup, fixed and sprayed my hair.  I wore heels.  And then I retired.           Except for church on Sunday, I no longer needed to put on makeup daily.  I stopped fixing my hair and only ran my fingers through my short do.  I wore flip flops and house shoes, but every three or four days, I ran out of things to wear. I needed more play clothes in my rotation.           Before I went shopping, I assessed what I had available and found a box of hand-me-downs my sons had given me when they moved away. It was full of extra-large tee-shirts and a stack of men’s, large, gray sweatpants.           Up to then, I had ignored my weight gain; my dress slacks cut into my middle and I sometimes wore them without buttoning or hooking the waist.  I bought the larger dresses that take up the back half of the dress rack in stores.           The moment…

Caldo

Every Saturday, regardless the season, my father made caldo de res, beef soup, for our lunch. He would quarter a whole cabbage, halve corn on the cob, and add potatoes and carrots to the beef soup bone broth.  He sometimes, but very rarely, made caldo de pollo for he preferred the heartiness of beef over the lightness of chicken.           We groaned over his caldo de res, wanting hamburgers or pizza, anything but watery soup, but he ignored us.  He recounted an old child’s tale about a mean stepmother who served the broth to her stepchildren and gave the drained meat and vegetables to her own.  She wondered why her hated hijastros looked healthy and robust and her querido bebes grew listless and pale.           We didn’t care that the broth was healthier than the other caldo ingredients, we wanted to sink our teeth into food and not slurp our way to the bottom of the bowl.           It has been almost half a century since the days of my father’s Saturday afternoon caldo, bu…