The Beatles Good Day Sunshine blasts from the phone sitting on the dining room table. Tripper runs out of the master bedroom where he has been sleeping rather soundly under my clothes hanging in the closet. (Thank you Tripper for that daily ritual of de-furring that I have to do every morning. Like I haven't enough work just to look presentable but you make it just that much more fun. Not to mention keeping 3M in business. Those sticky roller things don't come cheap, little buddy.) He is barking madly. I really don't think that his barking at the Beatles tune is an indication of his extreme dislike of Beatles tunes, in general, it's more my speaking on the phone at all that creeps him out. He's a strange dog.
I can see by the display on the phone that it is my mother. I assess whether I have the energy to talk to my mother then end up doing so just to shut the crazy barking dog up. Don't get me wrong, I love my mother and always want to talk to her it's just that at this time of year our conversations pretty much go the same way and that way can be exhausting.
Me: Hi Ma
Mom: Hi honey. Uh, what time were you and JR flying in on Christmas day? Because I told your brother really late and why doesn't he come over at 10am on the 26th instead to open gifts and such. Then it occurred to me that you were coming in earlier but by that time it was too late to have him and Kelly drive the hour or so down. What are Ben and Val planning? What day do you plan to see your friends? Is JR's brother coming down? What does everyone want for Christmas? Are you planning to pack gifts in your suitcase? You know you'll need to wrap them here. Those security people won't let you through with wrapped gifts. I'll leave out some wrapping paper in your room just in case. Did you need us to come get you?
Me: HUH? Ma, why don't you slow down a good bit and we'll break that paragraph up a little, shall we?
Me: We are flying in at noon your time. We are renting a car so don't worry about picking us up. We should get to your place by 1. Wayne and Kelly I'm sure have lots of plans with Kelly's family so tell them not to worry. We will see them when we see them.
I have no idea what Ben and Val are doing but I'm sure we'll all spend enough time together to be thoroughly sick of each other.
Mom: Oh Michele (sigh)
Me: I had plans to mail our packages to your house pre-wrapped so don't worry about leaving paper in our room. JR is making arrangements with Paul and his kids to get together for a day. I'm not sure what day that will be. It's his deal. We have plans to visit with all of our friends throughout the week. With all the people we have to see please don't expect us at your house much.
Mom: I understand that you are going to want to visit with your friends so Bill and I won't take up much of your time. Just an evening here and there will be fine. (oh the guilt. I have learned this skill from the master). We'll have to go see Fran while you are here. She just loves you and talks about you at church all the time. You know, she just celebrated her 90th birthday and I'm just not sure how much time she has left so you'll want to visit with her when you come up.
Me: Not to mention visiting with our children.
Mom: Oh right, what did you say they wanted for Christmas?
Me: I didn't.
Mom: So you don't know?
Me: I know only what they put on their google wish list document.
Mom: Can you scan that list and send it to me?
Me: I can share it with you.
Mom: That's what I said.
Me: No, it is a computer document that I can share so when you get on the.....oh never mind. Sure, I can scan it in and send it to you. Anything else?
Mom: Guess who died?