Welcome to Chickadee Junction

Welcome to Chickadee Junction

I have birdfeeders outside of my office window. My office is in my home, up on a hill, surrounded by trees. The most frequent avian visitors are the chickadees. When the feeders are empty, they come to the window and let me know. They seem to converge here, and draw my attention out...

I wrote a column about life with children for six years. Now I am the grandmother, and I would like to repost those stories. I will also be adding thoughts and reflections, and if inspired - stories from the now.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

So, what did you get for Christmas?  We got the flu.  Suddenly I see the wisdom of installing seven bathrooms for a family of seven.

Once we have been exposed, and it becomes apparent that we can not avoid affliction, I immediately arm everyone with a mixing bowl.  Each has custody of a specific bowl and must be able to prove at all times that their bowl is at hand.  Explicit instructions accompany the dispersal of equipment.  "If you gotta throw up, make sure you hit the bowl.  Always head for the bathroom, since the toilet is your primary objective.  But if for any reason it looks (or feels) as though you won't reach your target, for heaven's sake - get it in the bowl."

Unfortunately, flu can not always be solved by the bowl.  Sometimes we all line up outside the bathroom door.  Whoever gets there first gets to listen to the pleas.  This flu inspired a waltz - "Oh please let me in, right now, right now..."  and a tango - "I...want in...want in right now...I've got...to go...to go right now..."  and one shrieked a hard rock rendition "I gotta go right now!"  All three performances, despite the difference in tempos, met at the same chorus of "Mo-o-o-o-o-mmmmmmm, make 'em get out of there.  I gotta go.  Me next!"

We Wish You a Merry Christmas would have been a much nicer chorale.

So as families gathered around the Christmas tree, shared eggnog and family stories, and played with newly opened gifts, we huddled under blankets with chills and fevers.  We compared notes, deciding who really was the sickest  We gathered around the bathroom door and tried not to think of eggnog or fruit cake.  Jello and ginger ale comprised our holiday fare.  And even they weren't overly appetizing.

But, as all things must pass, so did our queasiness and we were able to feast on noodle soup and dry toast.  We're better now.  We've even been able to play with our new toys.  And we have a new story to add to our family lore repeated each Christmas.

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