Saturday, November 15, 2014

Head Spin And On To The Next Holiday

Franklin high school where MeMa works as the Text Book Clerk, is next on the list to be remodeled and updated.  Built in 1914 it still has the original flooring as my late mother once pointed out when she attended the 100 year celebration.

Staff and students will move to what used to be Marshall High for the next three years while the school goes under a complete modernization.  All this meant that MeMa had to inventory and box up the many thousands of text books she is in charge of.  She spent many hours of her own time doing all this because her regular working hours were spent doing.....well.... her regular job.   Then there is life away from Text Book Clerking!  Every Thursday is a busy day with the "Little Terrorists"- Taeya and Lucy that starts with a long drive to their house at 07:00.  After parents dash off to work leaving her to get Taeya ready for school, breakfast, pack a lunch and then walk her to school.  Then stop by the "Dark Park" so that Lucy can swing or slide on the play structures.  Then back to the house were she tidies up the entire house, dishes to wash and put away, vacuum floors and mops the kitchen.  During this time she feeds Lucy an early lunch so that she can nap before picking Taeya up at school.  While Lucy naps she makes dinner for them and a matching one that she brings home for us.  Then its down to the laundry room to do all the laundry.   She rings me at 7:00 or 7:30 pm to tell me she is headed home and to please have a drink ready for her in the half hours time that it takes for her to get home.  At our age exhaustion is nobodys friend.
Friday we are up again at 05:30 for what is usually our longest day of work.  Since we both work all week, Saturday and Sunday are spent cleaning and making things right here at Menagerie Manor.   With thirteen rooms and animals to be seen to its a full two days work.  There is usually not one day that goes by that I don't do a bit of work outdoors as the gardens here are (by choice) high maintenance. Then there is the greenhouse where I could easily spend an hour a day watering, potting or some other job to be ticked off the list.  And it is holiday season and dear sweet love of my life decorates the entire house for every holiday.  This means getting into one of the three attics and pulling out several large storage bins clearly marked for that specific holiday.  She then takes down the current decorations, wrapping each in tissue and boxing things up as she decorates for the next holiday.  We then carry things up and neatly store them away in the attics.  While this is going on I often think out loud how nice it would be to perhaps just put one or two items out and not create so much work to which I receive a stern glare and, "I do it for the grand kids, they love all the decorations."
This week we put away Halloween and now have Thanksgiving up.  Last Friday we had guests and family flying in for Uncle Tony's internment.  Our son Ian who manages the engraving department for Oregon Memorials  has put in long hours designing and engraving the the front of Uncle Tony and my twin brother Don's niche.  Uncle Tony passed just a few weeks after my mother last year.

Guest rooms had all been cleaned and then re-cleaned, I do help some.  Originally we thought there was only going to be immediate family so MeMa volunteered to have a dinner here after the ceremony.  That would have been around ten people....easy?  Well while talking with my sister who is going to be bringing some dishes herself, she informed us that my brother neglected to tell us that he invited all the many cousins and aunts and uncles as well.   I was sitting with my feet up enjoying a glass of my favorite scotch when I caught a look of total defeat come across MeMa's face as she talked to my sister on the phone.  When she hung up and told me I said, "Well I will call Ian up and have him add the date of death to my brothers bit on the stone," but she very calmly told me that "It wasn't like its everyone's last meal, if we run out of food they wont starve."  I love my wife!  So after she got home Thursday night.....late, she and I started making some of the dishes that could be made ahead and put into the fridge.
Friday went well, the gathering at the cemetery was very nice and after, there was plenty of food for all.  I keep reminding MeMa that half of this would never happen if she could just learn how to say "NO", oh there was that look again.  Think I will go pour a scotch and keep my mouth shut, after all Thanksgiving is just around the corner and oh yes, MeMa is making a full traditional Thanksgiving feast.  You can bet we will be back up in the attics the day after putting away Thanksgiving and bringing out Christmas....all twelve crates. 


  1. Everywhere I go it's already Christmas. The supermarket, the TV, the street decor. As usual I'm getting fed-up with it already. There should be an international law that no-one mentions Christmas before December 15th.

  2. You sound the sweetest of couples & your wife sounds like a wonderful lady. I hope I'm able to do the same for my children when they fly the nest. That look you describe so well, I am told I have the same one. Your post has perked me up for the day & quite possibly the next two weeks, you lovely man. I'm so glad Friday went well for you all. xx

  3. and I thought I was busy.......................

  4. It's as if I were reading the life of a dear friend, who has been a MeMa whirlwind for the forty years I've known her. I am on her schedule for breakfast every month or so, and two breakfasts ago she told me she was moving--from Cleveland to Charleston. The house will go on the market the day after Super Bowl; that is the best time to list a house. And, she is packing it up. Her husband is selling on EBay. She is now an organized whirlwind of moving. Steady on gets the job done, it seems.

  5. For something built in 1914, it is so well maintained.

  6. I thought I remembered a bunch of decorations for Christmas at your place.
    What a grand old school. Hope it isn't changed too much; but it does sound like it needs updating.
    You two are a couple of dynamos, no doubt. Have a blessed week!

  7. re Haddock's comment; my old school was 'officially' founded in 960, but in fact was much older. (Yes... 960)