Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Cluckings from the Smucker Coop

The pressure is off.

Finals week. Book promotions, sales, and speeches.  Rehearsals and the choir concert.  The Sunday school program.  The Wilton Smucker Family Christmas.  Shopping.  Drivers Ed. {She passed, I'm happy to report.}

All pretty much done.

And Amy is home.

Matt is coming.

So the other [better] kind of crazy begins.

Laughter, clever comebacks, stories, puns, and snark.  And song.

"These are about the best rolls I've ever made, I think," I said as I prepared the Smucker-dinner leftovers for supper this evening.

"Are they worthy to be called up yonder?" said Ben.  "I'll make sure I'm there when it happens."

I smiled.

Emily reminisced about the time she got on the computer and I was still signed in to Facebook, so she sent a message to Steven's friend Trent: "I know all about it and I have to say Paul and I are not impressed."

Dangerous, these people.

Last night I was very tired but every time I was about to drift off to sleep I would hear a "ping!" from a distant computer followed by muffled giggles.  I stumbled out of the bedroom and found Ben in the office choking with silent laughter.

He had been up late writing a real paper-and-ink letter to his girlfriend when he heard the ping of a Facebook message.  He checked the computer.  Once again, I had failed to sign out of Facebook, and Emily from upstairs had sent a message: 

Ben, pretending to be me, wrote back:
"No mucho grande. Is that how the cool peep talk these days?"

The conversation continued, with Emily, who normally is sharper than this, blithely chatting away with her mom-- she thought-- utterly oblivious to how she was being deceived.

How would i know what the cool peep do?
You go to the University of Nike. And Nike makes Jordan Brand sneakers. And Jordan Brand sneakers are the epitome of cool coolness.

How do you know this? You should know how the cool peep talk! Please explain to me! Then I can fit in at the University of Nike!
Maybe I should be asking Ben, since he goes to the University of Smart People Who Can Do Math. Maybe they know how to quantify coolness.

You are funny!
I just wish I could be as witty as my smart children.
You are the one being witty in this convo, not me!
You have taught me well.
Are you actually laughing out loud? I think I could hear you cause you laugh pretty loudly sometimes.
It was a little chuckle. Maybe I should have written col
Coughing out loud? That's what I write when I need my inhaler.
No, I don't cough out loud! How unladylike!
Cackle out loud then. You and I are both experts in that.
I meant chuckle out loud.
I know. I was just finding alternate meanings for col. Like coughing out loud. It means "hold on while I get my puffer. I can't remember which one of 8 purses it's in."
Ok, I need to finish writing a letter to Amanda. And this has been Ben the whole time.
COL! (Cackle out loud this time)
Good thing I didn't tell you any secrets about BOYS
That...wow that just changes the meaning of everything you wrote
"University of Smart People" indeed
Ok this is mom for reals...came out to tell Ben to stop COLing so i could sleep and now we are sitting here just DYING
As in, we need CPR. Badly
or an inhaler
*     *     *
 Meanwhile, Emily said later, she couldn't believe how witty I was being, and was "THIS close to posting two of these for Quote of the Day."

*     *     *
Jenny is trying out her new paint set from Rachel D.
"Ben, tell me something purple."
"A really bad bruise.  A Minnesota Vikings player.  A purple people-eater.  A lupine."
"Oooooo.  Yeah."
"Back in the 70's the Vikings had four defensive linemen who were really good.  They were known as the purple people-eaters.  So there's some method to my madness."

*     *     *
Rosie the musical sister-in-law and choir director talked my three youngest into singing a song together for the prelude at the concert.  I may or may not have sat outside the closed door of the office while they practiced The First Noel inside, around the piano.  They were amazing at the concert, and again at last night's church service, when they sang it again.

I love to hear my children sing.

*     *     *
Two Sundays ago Paul's Aunt Susie called and said she needs help because she fell on the porch and can't get up.  Ben and Steven dashed over to assist.

Uncle Milford beckoned me over in the foyer after church.  He talks like an aging Smucker, slow and loud and unfiltered.  "Your black boy," he said, "He's strong!  M'wife fell, and he come over and he just picked her up!  All by himself!  And he was barefoot!"

Milford has a bit of dementia, but that combination--the black son, his strength, picking up Susie, and the bare feet, made such an impression on him and was so vivid in his mind that he told this story to the nurses at the hospital the following week when he unfortunately was admitted with an infection, and then when I visited him in rehab afterwards, my presence triggered the memory and he told the therapist all about it.

When I have dementia I think I will also remember Steven as strong and barefoot, always rescuing the injured and weak.

*     *     *
Lisa the niece who got married this year and now lives in Michigan sent her relatives a Christmas letter which was discussed by the aunts at the family gathering on Saturday.  "She sounded so newlywed and happy," we said.

"Happy?" said Jessi.  "She was just GLOWING.  You could just about see the letter glowing through the envelope before you ever opened it!"

I have a feeling that as you read this post you can see feathers sprouting at the edge of the computer screen and hear the distant contented clucking of a mother hen with her chicks in the nest.  There's probably even a fresh egg if you reach behind the screen and pat around.

May you all have a warm and delightful Christmas.


  1. COL (cackling) You are the bestest writer ...Far better than the ones you worry that are better...I think your brand of humour is the same as mine ...Thanks for a good read on a dreary ,cold SC day ...

  2. So fun...and funny!! Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmastime (even though I only "know" you through your blog, RG columns...and books).
    Sue R.

  3. Beautiful! and funny. COL

  4. I like the egg hunt by "patting around behind my computer" line. Speaking of word pictures. Can't you just see us doing that? COL!