Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday's Words for March 24, 2010

I’m grateful for a lot of things in my life.

I’m grateful to have a roof over my head, clothes in my closet, and food on my table. I’m grateful that in the last few years, I have been able to write, and have my work published, and read by thousands.

I’m grateful to be in a family of smart asses.

Our second daughter had moved to a city nearly an hour away, and so we haven’t been getting together as often as we all would like. From the first day she came into our lives, the one thing she has really loved was “family dinner”. She’s a nurse now as well as living an hour away, and it’s not easy to plan a time to gather for this ritual. But finally, this past Sunday, we enjoyed a family dinner.

I planned simple fare—roast beef, potatoes and gravy, broccoli—and how wonderful it was to have the table full, with conversation and laughter.

And how wonderful that the girls—our daughter and our second daughter—got up to do the dishes afterward. And that is when I recalled that I live in a family of smart asses.

“Now remember, stack the plates symmetrically.” That was my daughter and I did not for one moment think my constant teaching was finally bearing fruit. I recognize sarcasm when I hear it.

“So, symmetrical…what does that mean, exactly? Is one woman’s symmetrical another’s…hmm, what is the opposite of symmetrical?” My second daughter posed this question as she dried the plates, both ladies talking like I wasn’t right there listening.

I didn’t rise to the bait of the teasing tone, neither did I respond “asymmetrical” to the question of opposites, and I think I should get credit for that.
“How’s this?” My second daughter stacked the plates, the smallest on the bottom, the largest in the middle and then waited for my reaction.

“What do you think?” I asked.

“Sure, you say that but if I put them away that way you’d freak.” And then she smiled.

I wouldn’t have freaked, but I might have said something. Maybe. Probably.

Beside my keyboard is a pen that has four colors of ink. I have a quaint habit. I take an index card when I am writing, and put the title of my work-in-progress at the top, and then I list each chapter and the page numbers and the number of words, and then I have a running total of words written for the novel. Chapter numbers I write in black ink, the running total in red. Yes, I know that it’s anal. I am anal. It works for me.

My fifteen-year-old grandson came into the kitchen with this pen in his hand.

“Honey, put the pen down, please. I need it.”

Second daughter picked up the pen and shook it at him. “What were you thinking? This is a pen! A pen is not for the fingers of teenagers! A pen is to be respected, revered and treated with care. A pen is to be cherished! I mean, yes, a pen is just a pen to some, but to others it could be symmetrical!”

I looked at second daughter and shook my head. “You really fit into this family,” I said.

She smiled. “I think so too.”

Yep, a family of smart-asses. Kind of brings tears of pride to my eyes.


No comments: