03 December 2012


On Saturday, we funeraled. We sang familiar hymns, and we processed past my grandma's house in the old Dutch tradition, and we stood in the same pretty little cemetery where my other three grandparents are buried.

After the graveside service, my dad picked up the big bouquet of flowers from the top of the casket and walked around offering them to the family. "Don't we leave those there?" I heard someone whisper, but I think we were all glad to have something to hold in our hands as we left.

On Sunday, we took my nephew and niece to get a Christmas tree for Opa and Oma's house. (That would be my parents' house.) B. and R. brought their little plastic saws, a straight saw and a noisy mechanical chainsaw, and they sawed at the middle of the tree while my dad did the real work at the bottom, and then I had to call to A. to get them out of the way as the tree fell. (She was resident photographer.)

There was vast disappointment on the part of the munchkins when the hot chocolate was not all ready and steaming when we walked through the door. (Except not steaming: they wanted it lukewarm. Considering that it was barely cool outside, the hot chocolate was protocol more than necessity anyway.) Next year we will call ahead so Oma can have it ready.

R., fearless wild-child R., threw herself into my dad's arms at a moment when he could neither catch her nor warn her, and she fell backwards to hit her head on the ground with a horribly loud thunk. We worried. She isn't a cryer, so we could glean nothing from the way she whimpered a little and hid her head in Opa's neck. We worried some more whn she promptly fell asleep in the car on the way home.

Her mom woke her up, finally, slowly, and checked her pupils. A moment later, R. was laughing and attempting to fling herself backwards off J.'s lap in a manner that would have dinged her head in exactly the same place. Conclusions: 1. She was fine, and 2. She had learned nothing from the experience. I suppose that will come at an age greater than 3.

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