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The Cattle Were Lowing – Christmas Recap

December 28, 2011

We have had such a nice Christmas.  Much to the twins relief, Santa left their gifts under the tree on Christmas Eve and did not venture upstairs as they feared he might.  After Christmas morning in Birmingham, we headed up to Tennessee for Christmas with Papaw’s family.  Our Aunt Brenda and Uncle Harold recently moved into a big farmhouse, formerly a bed and breakfast called Morning Star.  There is only one problem with this tender Tennessee Christmas…the animals.

I should explain, it has always taken the twins a while to warm up to new faces.  They can be a bit standoffish, to put it mildly.  I overheard a little boy at church exclaim as we arrived one Sunday, “Look it’s the twins…with their powerful stare!”  And another church friend explain to a newcomer, “Now if they speak to you, then you’re okay.  But if they don’t speak to you, don’t even look at ’em.”

If they are a bit slow to warm up to new people, they are ten times slower warming up to new animals.  Especially huge ones.  And Uncle Harold’s, Jack, is a huge animal.  A big huge black shaggy dog.  In spite of all of our prepping Charlie, that we are going to be spending some time with Jack (as we do every year) no sooner had we arrived than Charlie’s eyes met Jack’s and the screaming started. In his defense, imagine coming nose to nose with a huge black animal much larger than yourself.

But unlike previous years, Miss P is now a major player in this drama.  And unlike her nervous siblings, she loves animals.

As soon as she could walk, the twins started sending her ahead in new situations as a scout.  A new food on the plate?  Let’s give to Miss P first.  A scary slide at the park?  Send Miss P down to see if it is safe.  Once while waiting for Dan at Hope Academy, I took the children down to play in the gym.  But the lights were off and, not knowing how to turn them on, I told them it could be fun to run into the darkness.  The shoved Miss P ahead and watched carefully until she proved it was safe to proceed.  She’s the wine taster for the king.  The little canary lowered into the mine.  She’s fearless. As the twins say proudly, “That’s our baby.”

No sooner did she  see Jack than she motioned and said, “Come on Jack!”  And threw her arm around his huge neck, taking him for a little walk around the house, all buddy-buddy.  She lavished him with kisses on his huge nose.  Flopped right down on him for a rest. This remarkable sight gave Charlie pause.  While he still has a ways to go,  I think, thanks to Miss P’s brave example, the screams were not quite as loud as last year.

I still don’t think we’ll be getting a dog any time soon.  Elisabeth told me last week that Daddy said we can’t get a dog until all of our babies die.  Not quite what he said, but you get the gist of it.

There was one scare when Elisabeth noticed a large stuffed polar bear wearing a blue hat reclining by the Christmas tree. Uncle Harold won this prized possession in a drawing at the Harco Drugs in Tuscaloosa.  The bear elicited an anxious conversation about whether or not this bear (like Jack) was alive.  You will be relieved to know that, although he does have a big dog, Uncle Harold does not have a real polar bear.  The property is, however, bordered by several farms boasting donkeys, horses, goats, and chickens.  All primarily of interest to Miss P.

Of interest to the twins was Uncle Harold’s lawn mower, a model known as “The Bad Boy”.  Everyone took a turn on the Bad Boy.  I think we will never own a bad boy ourselves as the necessary protective ear-wear is just not a good look for people with cheeks.  People such as Elisabeth and myself.

Elisabeth in headphones brings back the painful memories of the removal of my wisdom teeth.  After which surgery a well-meaning friend took one look at my swollen cheeks and advised me never to gain a lot weight.  See for yourself.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Grammie B permalink
    December 28, 2011 3:50 pm

    They are so cute. I think Miss P may be a cowgirl before too long.

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