Back Around the House II: The perfect touch


It must have been a great Christmas. The snow was beautiful, but then I didn’t have to go out.

It began as we returned home from Mass on Christmas Eve. The perfect touch.

There was one tiny little problem. During a family gathering here earlier, the grandkids had created a beautiful work of art for me on the porch step. They used the colored chalk they usually use to draw on the sidewalk in warmer weather.

The step was done in big color blocks of pastels. I don’t know how many worked on it, but I do know they must have put all the weight they had in every stroke. It was just as bright and thick Christmas Eve day as it was the day they did it several weeks before.

Bill noticed it first. “Did you see what those kids did to the porch step?” he asked.

“Yes, isn’t it beautiful?” I answered.

“You’ll think it’s beautiful when it rains, and they drag all that chalk over your living room carpet.”

That did cause me to stop and think, but when I went out the door on the way to an early morning meeting, I found one dear grandchild had worked on the yard sidewalk. She had made a big heart and inside it she wrote, “I love Grandma!!” I was immediately back to admiring their beautiful art work.

The rains came, and the “I love you” message was washed away. But the porch step kept its shining glory. I never realized before just how protected the step was. As a matter of fact it took the eight inches of snow we had Christmas to finally erase the chalk color-block step.

The chalk did not get dragged in all over the carpet either. It just took three door mats and a repeated reminder to “Wipe your feet.” This is pretty good considering we fed 40 people Christmas Eve and more than 20 Christmas Day. I know how many eat here those days because I count how many paper plates are used. They never use more than one big plate because they use the little plates for desserts.

For Christmas Eve buffet and for Christmas dinner, Bill and I provide the necessities for a good meal. Then everybody brings whatever they want to bring. We don’t provide desserts because they do. Sometimes there’s a little problem figuring out where to put all the food.

It’s all worth it when a slender teen-age girl comes sprinting into the house on the holiday saying, “At last, some real grandma food!” Then she fills her plate with grandma’s cooking and obviously enjoys every bite.

I had to hand off the usual New Year’s Day dinner here. The respiratory flu flew into our house the week before Christmas, but it went away the very day I decided to call the doctor. After Christmas I discovered it hadn’t gone away, it just burrowed in and popped back out after Christmas.

When my throat felt like it was totally raw I called the doctor. He said I should have medication. I agreed. Five days later I felt like I had stomach flu too. Then I realized I was experiencing side effects from the medication. I told the doctor I preferred having the flu.

I’m feeling much better now, but agreed it was time to let go of another one of the family dinners. This year the family pork and sauerkraut dinner was prepared and served by our daughter. Time and responsibility march on.

Happy New Year!

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Daily Advocate January 3, 2003.

By Kathleen Floyd

Back Around the House II

Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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