Saturday, December 27, 2008

Feels Like Home

Well, I have come into a little more free time for myself. The rest of the Zapapi clan have embarked on the long drive back to Denver and Mary has gone in search of an eyebrow waxing, willing to brave the intersection of 82nd and Allisonville for some good self-indulgence. Mimi and Grandad have settled in for their afternoon nap, so I sit here pretending to work on my presentation for grand rounds next week. But really, how does postoperative ileus even begin to compare to blogging? Not very well, I tell you.

Whenever I get the urge to blog lately, it has to do with this feeling inside me to share what it is that makes me feel like I'm at home. It could be something as simple as having a cup of coffee and a Sunday paper to read. Doesn't happen as often as I'd like even though it only takes that little bit to bring some peace and a sigh of happiness into my life. But what I wanted to try to put into words after a few days with my crazy family are the little quirks and unique little tidbits that make them the most wonderful people in the world. What makes me laugh and smile and what makes my heart swell with the sense that I belong. I thought with many engagements and babies happening among family and friends, which has my mind on my own (seemingly distant) future, I'd present my family as I would to an outsider meeting them for the first time. You know, the frantic prep time in the car on the way to meet the future in-laws. Sort of. I'm not going to be able to hit on everybody because it would take until departure time tomorrow. Here are some highlights:

Uncle Dave is a great story teller. Especially when he's talking about Sammy D, his adorable, precocious grandson. (Papa, I got your whoop-butt right here. Papa, I had to poop. And I did. On the big potty. Do you know why? Cause I'm the man.) Aunt Judy makes the best deviled eggs on the planet. Hands down. The two of them combine to make the most hysterical CatchPhrase team ever. Ever. Matt and Jim may look like two different species, but they are in fact brothers. Aunt Ca missed her calling as a nun. Always ask her to pray for you.

My dad has a lot of sisters. Try hard to keep them straight. Don't touch Aunt Marianne's coffee mug. See if Aunt Gail can guess your Myers-Briggs personality. Stand up straight. Do you like salad? Watch out if Grandad asks to play gin. He'll slaughter you with his eyes closed and then act all innocent. Don't let Brian or Patrick near anything that could be considered a projectile weapon, namely wrapping paper. If Mimi offers you a cookie, or a piece of fudge, or a candy bar, be careful about accepting because she'll be around an hour later asking the same thing. I think all the outlaws are permanently stuck in adolescence. At least they are always the first adults with the paper crowns on their heads.

Grab as many sticky buns as possible. They go fast. But don't take the ones without nuts. Those are for Carrie. You're better off starting the food line than trying to be polite and letting somebody else go first. Trust me. Not because you get the best food, but because otherwise Aunt Patty might beat you up. Brad and Mike like to punch each other. They used to punch Patrick until he took up bodybuilding. Aunt Julie, the loudmouth of the bunch, somehow has the quietest sneeze. It's where Mary gets it from.

I think I'm going to stop there because I realize that some of the stuff I might say would be construed negatively on paper (or the screen) when really I mean it lovingly and positively. And other stuff would just take too long to explain. Besides, I'm ready to get back to my book. And Mary thinks I'm in here writing a frickin' novel. So that's it. My nostalgia is gone anyway, because I got interrupted halfway through with the task of putting Calcium Citrate pills in Mimi and Grandad's med trays. And while I'm more than happy to do that, the homey mood was gone when I sat back down. Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Bliss

I have five minutes before Christmas dinner is ready. Kind of an anticlimactic part of the day anyway after the last crazy 24 hours. I wanted to at least comment that I love everything about Christmas in Indiana. The one-at-a-time present unwrapping paired with the obligatory and yet sincere "oh, that's perfect" or "what a great color for you, Dad." It's pretty funny and yet makes me feel so at home. I love the wrapping paper fights and the paper crowns and listening to my cousins laugh. Watching all the little kiddos running around picking up the long-established family traditions.

Oops, that's all I had time for. Time for food. More to come. I hope.
I reserve the right to make this blog as worthless to read as I feel like, and also to write as infrequently as I deem necessary. Just thought I'd let you know since I finally decided to share my blog.