Mes Neveux

Today I’m thankful for my nephews, older and brand new.

My sister had her second son last week.  His birth was easy.  Her older son turned 3 in October.  When he was born it was an emergency caesarean section.  He has grown wonderfully.  Both boys are healthy and my sister is recovering well.

I neither have nor want children.  I adore my older nephew.  I haven’t met the baby yet.  I’ll visit in about a month.  That should give them some breathing space as a family to start learning their new rhythms.  The older boy is smart and caring.  Since he isn’t mine I can give him back to his parents when we’ve each reached our limit.

I’m almost 6 years older than my sister.  We’ve got a good relationship now but it took a long time to build.  Growing up I was so far ahead of her that we had very little in common.  We weren’t antagonistic; we largely didn’t know each other.  She was pregnant a couple of months before this one.  It wasn’t viable.  I think we both hope that her boys will be closer as children because of the smaller age difference.

Two Expanding Households

I’m rehoming my sister’s dumbass dog.  That’s right, this beauty.


She’s getting aggressive with my sister’s kid, and that can’t continue with a second one arriving in February.  My place is much quieter and calmer, and I could use the companionship.  We all, hopefully, come out better than we went in.  All the training in the world won’t make the beastie any brighter, and she’s been known to make boulders seem like engaging company.  We’ll see.  She is sweet.

Salty Goodness

Today I’m thankful for olives.

I don’t remember seeing this happen but my sister swears it’s true and I have no reason to doubt her.  Neither of us is fond of olives.  Our mother almost inhales them, she enjoys so much.  While the two of us were growing up she’d always have a jar of them in the refrigerator.  I always gave them a wide berth.  My sister would lick the salt from them and replace the olives in the jar.  She says she thought the salt was the only reason a well-balanced person would purchase olives.  She told this to our mother about a year ago.  Our mother responded that she’d always wondered why her olives were so bland.

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I’m Putting A Lot Of Trust In Mr. Bernoulli

Today I’m thankful that I understand how modern aircraft fly.

I do not enjoy flying.  I did all right until stuck with my sister on a interminable, turbulent transoceanic flight.  She exclaimed “Weeeee!” more than once.  I was already unhappy about being crammed in a giant metal cylinder so high in the air that humans would suffocate outside the cabin.  She was the final tiny nudge.

I have to fly soon.  It’s a personal trip that I didn’t receive much advance notice about.  There are no direct flights between the nearest airport and my destination so I’ve got layovers both there and back.  I’m not particularly happy to be making the trip.  I’ll keep telling myself it’s all about lift.

I love my sister but I don’t travel with her any more than strictly necessary.

This is not me.

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The Majestic Basset Hound

Today I’m thankful for this picture.

There is no deeper meaning here.  It’s a picture of pure dog joy and it makes me happy.  I couldn’t stop laughing the first time I saw it.  The one on the right looks a bit like my sister after trying an avocado.  The dog on the left is more like me in the morning.  Dogs are about the best damn thing that have happened to humans.




Niblings Is An Awesome Word

Today I’m thankful that I can sometimes (rarely!) get gooey over things.

Small Human turned three last week.  Thing Two will come along around February.  Both belong to my sister.  I don’t have children.  I have no parental instincts whatsoever.  And yet, I love Small Human more than I ever thought I’d love anything.  I’m actually excited for Thing Two’s arrival.  I’m a cynic, but damned if I don’t get sentimental around them.  It’ll probably ruin my reputation as a grump.

She’d Know

Today I’m thankful for my grandmother’s apparent ESP.

I know I’ve posted several times about my grandmother.  The truth is she’s an evergreen font of inspiration.  I’ve worried a bit that she seems a little fantastic, but every thing I’ve written about her is entirely true.  Some people you just can’t make up.

She gave me a certain toy when I turned 10.  I was a little old to receive it but she’d spent many hours building and finishing it.  I played with it for a year or two and then outgrew it.  It stayed in my room after because it probably qualifies as an heirloom, not something to get rid of blithely.  She agreed to store it for me while I was at university.  I thought I’d managed to outrun it.  I was wrong.  When I moved out she and my grandfather visited, bringing it with them as a “favor.”

Later, I was redecorating.  The thing is not small.  It is probably about the size of a stool.  I couldn’t find a place where it’d be out of the way.  My mother suggested it was finally safe to get rid of it.  I looked at her, and referring to my grandmother, said “she’d know.”  My mother protested, saying Gran would only know if someone told her and none of my family would.  My sister immediately entered the argument on my side.  Neither of us is entirely sure how, but our grandmother just knows, and never lets the thing go.  My mother dropped the subject, seeing that her children believe their grandmother has extrasensory perception.  It’s because when things concern her, she does.


Yes, But She’s MY Battleaxe

Today I’m thankful for my grandmother.

I’m not wholly sure how to describe her.  She is gracious, wickedly funny and occasionally terrifying.  The woman is a gourmet cook and born hostess who could put Martha Stewart or Mary Berry to shame.  She sings like a big band girl singer.  She has a habit of mentioning recent local deaths whenever we visit and seems to relish the especially grisly ones.

This tendency was happily displayed the last time my sister visited.  I only heard about this after the fact from my father – I was not there.  I laughed so hard I went hoarse.  Gran told my sister (my father was there as well) about a man in town who had killed his parents.  With an axe.  A month previously.  She’d sat on the information all that time, saving it to tell my sister in person.  My sister lives a four hour drive away so it can be a while between visits.  I don’t if Gran was in on the joke, thinking “they always say I talk about people dying so I’ll show them” or if she genuinely thought my sister would find the information interesting.  She is absolutely canny enough to be in on it but would never admit such a thing.  I adore this woman.