Best Christmas since BC…


Tim and his bride - and mommy-in-training - Ellen.

As Christmas holidays go, this was the best since BC.  BC as in “Before Charlotte.”

The presents, holiday tree and good food aside, what it did do was remind me that the bests gifts of all are small, are in the developmental stage and come attached with a title: little girl.

—————

December 19, 2011

Ellen/Reid: Well, by now you’ll have everything you were going to get from me, so I hope that it is satisfactory.  Both of you, and Tim, too, are increasingly hard to buy for so I devolve to the usual outdoor stuff.  Nothing wrong with socks and jackets although one of these years I’ll break the mold and really surprise you.  This just won’t be the year.

It dawned on me over the weekend, as it has many recent weekends, what a year of wild, wild swings of the pendulum that this has been.  We’ve gone from no job to a job, sudden illness and fast surgery to the sadness of Grandma’s situation and ultimately to the joy of your pregnancy, Ellen.  That really tipped the scales upward.  Reid, 2011 seems relatively uneventful for you but that isn’t altogether a bad thing by any means.  All things considered, I’d give 2011 a 7 on the scale of 1 to 10.  What say you guys?  A few weeks or months ago no way I would’ve assigned it that high but we’ve done a pretty fair job persevering and rolling with the punches.  That 2011 score is up a couple of points from 2010, a year of lows.  My attitude is much more positive this year than it was the last couple of years.

Reid, you need to carve out a weekend in January for a visitor or two.  A psychiatrist may question why the heck anyone would want to visit Chicago in January (or February, even) but I’m anxious to see your new home and work digs.  That’s long overdue.  I promise not to overly embarrass you.  I’ve mentally penciled in your visit to CLT for Christmas ’12, so keep that in mind.  It would be wonderful to host you for the holidays.  If that sounds like a plan, I’ll try to book us something closer to the ocean.  Maybe a little fishing would be in order.  The paper keeps running photos of what people catch over toward the seaside, and that seems like a pretty good gig.  If by some slim chance we could land anything worth keeping, perhaps we could overnight to you some of the haul in dry ice.  There are plenty of good fish recipes out there.  Two or three minutes a side in hot butter and herbs sounds pretty good to me.  Of course, that assumes we get a nibble.  Can’t cook ‘em if we don’t catch ‘em.  If nothing else we can drink beer.

So, Ellen, a little girl.  That is just incredible.  You’d better get cracking on that extra bathroom because a baby consumes at least 10 times its body mass in available space.  You wouldn’t think a little one would hog nearly every inch of any given house, but that’s just the fact of parental life.  It sounds as if you’ve gotten off to a really healthy start to your pregnancy.  Good for you.  You exercise and eat right which is a lesson both Reid and I should pay attention to.  (I haven’t had ice cream in four days, so the withdrawal has begun.)  I would like to trundle up to St. Paul before the blessed event if you guys will allow it.  Just to see how “Momma Pommer” is faring.  I’ve told several people here and a couple of them have asked if I’m ready to be a Grandpa (or whatever title you want to assign to me) and I’m not sure what the honest answer is.  I guess I am.  It’s not like your mom or I have besieged you guys with questions about when this would happen, but it is occurring and I’m happy and I’m ready.  This is at the right stage for you both.

To get back to Christmas, the punky little tree is growing on me.  The lights are always on, and even though no packages are below it, it is festive enough in its own way.  I got Felicia a couple of things even more lame than the lame stuff you guys got.  Say hello to everyone in Des Moines.  Staying here is fine with me.  We’ll cook turkey on Christmas day, will probably walk after stuffing ourselves and maybe hit a movie.  We could do worse.  Happy Holidays!

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