Tis the season

I’ve been thinking.

It’s funny the memories that stick.

No matter how hard I try to focus on one single moving, sentimental, emotionally wrenching moment that my sisters, mum, and I have shared, the first thing that always pops into my mind is this: a snap shot of us sitting on our the living room floor, parked in front of the roaring gas fireplace, Christmas day eve.

My little sister is eating a bowl of bran buds cereal.

She sits cross-legged on a lavender and brown floor rug, her roomy sweatpants covered in cat hair.  What is left of her Christmas day finery is swamped by a large, black hoody and the thick, knit scarf she received in her stocking earlier that morning is looped loosely around her shoulders and neck.

A Christmas cracker crown sits on top of her head, lopsided, sagging slightly to the right side, like the droopy smile of a dreaming child.  Her back rests up against the steamer truck my mother uses as a coffee table and she is laughing so hard, tears repeatedly spring to the corner of her eyes; one after the other the come, each taking the place of the others that are now streaming down her cheeks and dropping to the floor.

Her face flushes deep scarlet and as the trill of her giggles descends in pitch from high heehees to low hohos, I catch an eyeful of all the freshly masticated bran that sits dead square inside of her mouth.

My mother, my older sister and I are all laughing as well.  Jessi has been complaining for a couple of days that she hasn’t had a good “go” in almost a week, and is worried about the lack of fibre in her daily diet.  After a solid twenty-four hours of hearing about our sibling’s lack of progress in this sensitive, intestinal department, we’ve decided that the digestion of one big bowl of roughage should not only help her out, but should also be a family affair.

At first reticent to the idea, as clearly emphasized by her emphatic “don’t-look-at-me!” pleas, Jessi eventually wholeheartedly embraces this experience, and even acts the color commentator to her progress, using her spoon as microphone.

(All of this happens in-between her bursts of gut-busting laugher.)

As Jessi slowly makes her way through her late evening snack, she pauses a moment, dries her eyes, and lets us know, unequivocal in her sincerity, that she really hopes that this endeavour will work in her favour.

We let her know that we too, are rooting for her.

And she’s set off again, laughing so hard we have to give her a swift whack on the back.  Little flecks of bran that originally flew down the wrong tube are quickly assigned a new trajectory, and their landing pad sits clear across the living room.  A bedazzled reindeer get the worst of these food fireworks.

Our cat Simon, skittish on a good day, beetles quickly under the nearest sofa, spooked by Jessi’s demonic half-cough, half-cackle.   His increasingly whacko behaviour has me more than certain he is only half-cat.

After a few sips of water and a more tempered back rub, Jessi picks up her spoon and takes another bite of her now soggy, limp buds.

“That was a little scary, she says.  She pauses before continuing.  “I would never want to die constipated, full of bran.”

Oh how we roar, alongside the flickering flames of the festively-decked fireplace, on that Christmas day in the evening.

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One odd duck

Hey Kids!  In lieu of the regular Friday Fry-up, I have a little something different planned.

Now, before I get into the crux of the matter, I feel as though I need to explain myself.

I, contrary to past (and current) posts, am not a completely deranged animal-cum-water fowl fiend.  I just happen to suffer from some kind of faulty construction (birth defect?)  in so far as I incapable of stopping myself from becoming momentarily paralyzed every time I am found in the presence of these beings.

Seriously, I almost start crying every time I read an article on polar bears.  (DAMN YOU COCA COLA!)

What can I say?

I also just really, really like ducks.

Like, a lot.

So it pretty much makes my day, but also sort-of takes my breath away and makes me tear up a bit every time I walk into the lobby of my office building and see this:

I’m trying to figure out how to 1.) get one of the geese up the elevator and into my office and 2.) jerry-rig the electronics so it will still be able to move and not, you know, blow my place sky high.

But nere you worry – I’m working on it.

Man, is it just me or is it that any way you slice the mandarin orange these days, things are looking pretty darn festive?

I don’t know if the daily increased swelling I experience in my chest is due to 1.) the holiday spirit 2.) the daily inclusion of mechanized ducks from an old Woodward’s window display 3.) angina or 4.) all of the above.

Two nights ago I was speaking with my sister on the phone and we were laughing (nay cackling) about an incident that occurred a couple of Christmas’ ago that concerned her, a Christmas-cracker hat, and a bowl of bran buds cereal.

It is definitely one of our favourites and a total go-to memory when we are in need of a good laugh-until-you-cry moment.

So do it I shall.

Cry tears of happiness.