A Status Symbol

Neighbor cat Jasmine wandered into our yard while we were sitting on the front porch. We had walked her dog sisters (a description not approved by the cat) and sat down to enjoy the last bit of sunlight. Grandson Nathaniel is good with dogs, but he simply can’t resist a pretty cat. He went out to talk to her, sitting beside the tree to keep her company. I might have found it poignant, but he will be with his own cat in a matter of hours. His winter break lasted nine days, which felt more like 48 hours to me.

022418 Nathaniel with Jasmine.jpg

Sunday was different. We went to the early service so that John and Nathaniel could get an early start on the trip to Long Island. There was no Sunday School, so we went to the Buttered Biscuit for brunch. I’m not sure how the photo will look to you, but on my screen the table appears to be bent in the middle. Nathaniel is holding his plate, and maybe John is, too. If it had really been tilted, there would be no photographic evidence. I would have held onto my meal with one hand and wielded a fork with the other.

022518 N JC at Buttered Biscuit.JPG

Nathaniel performed the ritual of the mirror just before he left. A flag flies over the palace when the Queen is in residence, and Nathaniel has a mirror on his level while he is here. I don’t have a status symbol like that. Do you? If you do, please send it ahead (with instructions) before you visit.

New Year

Neighbor Logan came over on New Year’s Eve, and we were finally able to give him his Christmas presents. His parents had company all during the week, and so did we. Our gifts were small items, inexpensive but chosen with care. He opened a 100-piece jigsaw puzzle and was pleased when I said it was for him to take home. We have a few others we keep for him at our house. He played with the vibrant blue Silly Putty and set of magnets. He seemed satisfied and didn’t realize I was very disappointed. I thought the blue goo was magnetic, which is why we bought the magnets. Nathaniel played with him, adding to the fun.

We were preparing for our little open house that evening. Logan and our grandsons were happy to eat broken cookies and a few chips as I set them out. No one ate much at the party, so I’m glad they had something before. People from three households came to chat while waiting for midnight. The early-to-bedders left before the new year arrived, but neighbor Joyce stayed. We were delighted to have her with us, because we don’t see her often. We watched the ball drop in Times Square on TV, blew our noise-makers, and said our good nights.

The weather was misbehaving. We were due to have cold temperatures, but the snow that was falling was unpredicted. Neighbors told us that I-40 was closed in one place because of ice. I was very aware that we were driving Nathaniel to the airport the next day and kept telling myself not to worry. During the night, I checked the roads we would be on and saw there were traffic problems. Thankfully they disappeared before it was time to leave.

We had a leisurely breakfast with the boys. I dislike the few hours before a departure, because I always want the time to count and can’t think of anything worthwhile to say. This time it was really different. We began to discuss some of our family heirlooms when Nathaniel took a covered butter dish from the china cabinet. The things we have are not materially valuable, but there are stories tied to various great-grandparents. The boys have always been interested in family history, and they were very engaged. We need to pass on this information, because our children were gone when these items came into our home after the deaths of our parents.

010118 JC N D look at family pieces.JPG

The car was loaded when I called out, “Wait for me for the mirror!”

John said Nathaniel had already mentioned that he was going to lower the hall mirror, his ritual when leaving our house. David stood as silent witness. With due solemnity, Nathaniel lifted it up and hung it on the regular hook.

010118 N lowers mirror.JPG

We laughed as he ended on a goofy note, dramatically bending his knees so that he could see himself. Classic Nathaniel!

010118 Nate peers at himself in low mirror.JPG