Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Dear Zach,
Hi, love. So it's Christmas Eve for you. I imagine you coming to work and thinking about it. Slogging through cold rain to the Portapots and the showers and to the buses. Feeling far away from home.

With all of you there, I also imagine you will find a way to have fun there. Someone will do something funny or nice, and it will spread (good and bad emotions spread so quickly from person to person!) and the next thing you all will be laughing about something and it will become a Christmas funny memory you'll tell us about.

I love you! We all LOVE you!

It's just dawn here. We are all going different directions all day. Dad is getting ready to shower to go to Owings Mills to work. Gabe has an Rx checkup and a therapy appointment today. Maybe in between he'll resume dry-walling the laundry room shelves....hmm. Maybe! I have about fifteen stops to make today, as I am astonished to find that it is Christmas Eve and I am actually getting presents for your brothers (not all from Sears lol), and due to late planning I will no doubt be on the road most of the day. Ben will be working hard at catching up on his much needed sleep (seriously, he’s training to go pro), and then he has claimed Dad to go to the gym with him tonight. So just a mostly normal day. If you were here, of course, the fun-insanity would be greatly increased!

I will, among those stops, be picking up toffee apples from my friend Lisa Anne ( Never fear, yours will be here when you get home (we can buy it then!) And my last stop will be to send you a box with vitamins and your Little Debbie Christmas Trees if they still have them in the store today.

The last plan of the day will be to go to evening services at Immanuel. From years past, we have a 50/50 shot of going or of everyone planning to go and then getting tired and about 9 pm deciding to watch Bad Santa instead.

If you feel far away tonight, feel a hug instead from all of us. Tell everybody to watch out for Santa while flying. Steer clear of Seriously Stupid Shenanigans but engage in lighthearted ones.

And no matter what, no matter where you are, the party is made by whoever is there. Have a merry, happy Christmas, Zachary.

All our love! All our love! See you soon!!!!!
big ol' hug,

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Riley, On Being A Gentleman. Or GentleDawg, As It Were.

Dear Zach,

You know, your mom is kind of persnickety. All Miss Manners and Emily Post and such.

I heard her making Gabe take his elbow off the table the other day and she is always making people say “me” instead of “myself” and you know she doesn’t let anybody talk about Mr. Hanky or Poop stuff or the "F" word. She says it's vulgar. (Ha Ha she can’t hear me, I said it. Fart.)

Well I think you should talk to her and tell her some stuff is just Guy Stuff and not to get her knickers in a bunch.

I mean, if a guy wants to be a guy, well he should be.

Here’s the thing: I have been practicing being a Guy. So I can hang out with you and the other guys when you get home. It is very difficult being down here on the floor on all four legs when you are all way taller than me. So I am practicing standing up.

I practice standing up all the time now! I put my paws on the kitchen counter and stretch and then I am almost as tall as Dad. I put my paws on the back of the kitchen barstools and I can get ever taller! I put my paws on the dining room chairs and I can see over Mom’s head.

Isn’t that great?!!! Aren’t you proud of me? I’m sure I’ll be walking around and doing high fives soon.

There is only one small problem with this that I have not figured out how to fix yet. Maybe you can give me some advice.

When I brace my front paws on something and stand up really tall on my back legs, there is an unfortunate little sound.. I mean, a little, um, Toot.

Okay, maybe it’s not so little. The other day I stood up and Ben got a very surprised face and said, “Did you HEAR THAT?”

And then, “Was that RILEY???!!!!!

So what I need you to do is to tell them to just cover their ears (earmuffs) when I am getting ready to stand up and don’t act like they just heard a thunderclap or something. I mean, listen to Dad’s sneezes! Nobody says anything about them and he sounds as if he’s exploding.

Right? Right?

So please tell Mom to stop being all Miss Manners and to loosen up a little. I mean, what’s a little gas expulsion among us guys?

Your dog,

P.s. Why does Ben keep asking somebody to hold a lit match to my butt to see the jet stream? What does that mean, exactly?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Just To Remind Myself

I have a literally impossible work schedule this week. A project for my church which HAS to be completed on time with no wiggle room, an editorial plan that was supposed to be turned in yesterday, a semi-favor that is expected this week, and a shop to decorate for a candlelight tour in hopes that sales will be good this weekend. And a Chanukah celebration which I am looking forward to very much because Leora’s potato latkes are just fabulous.

The teensiest bit of Whine snuck in on me while I was working at home late last night. Delightfully, Zach called us – YAY!!!! – and in just a minute, I remembered: this is The Year Of No Complaining.

He’s working the same long days I am this week…every day. It’s raining, and cold, and the portable toilets are a walk from their tents. They get shot at frequently. Schedule changes. Other stuff.

Despite that, they find time to laugh and be happy. He’s in pretty great shape, physically and emotionally.

I just got my first newsletter with pictures of the crew (problems getting them, so I missed all the first ones if there were pictures. They are decorating for the holidays, putting up strings of lights in their tents.

It helped me remember how very lucky I am to have all this work to do. Second, that I am healthy enough to do it. Third, and most importantly, that the folks I love are healthy and well so that the foundation to do all this work is in place.

So to Zach, this time, I’d like to say: thanks for checking in.