Mar 23 2008

Kate Letters: Winter 98–99

Published by at 2:38 pm under Family,Letters from Katie

By popular demand, I herewith present you with heretofore unposted letters from my sister. “I like your writing,” one anonymous person (Oleg) said to me, “but your sister — now, she’s funny!” Don’t for one minute think I’m happy about this. This puts a crimp in my assertion that this blog should be all about me.

~ 1 9 9 8 ~

December 1

Allright sprocket brains… how dare you write to me in that tone of voice? I’ve tried and I’ve tried (sob). The least you could do is be pleasant. You do realize that by introducing me to email, you created somewhat of a monster. I hold you responsible. I hate you so that my brain hurts. It’s such a strong sensation that I am moved to poetic expression to wit:

I hate you more
than snakes galore.
You are a great whore
who makes my eyes sore.
Where is a door
through which you might soar
away evermore?

I am going to buy a many-chambered tent to shelter our bodies from the howling winds when we have no permanent shelter.

December 15

What should I grow in my garden next summer? I think I’ll plant hydra teeth and grow skeletons!!

Martin the cat meows hellos to you if I squeeze him quite tightly.

Andy has built a fire in almost every fireplace in the house, because I told him his father was chilled.

December 16

We are in the midst of birthday-oriented celebration. Peter was ecstatic about your “Guide to Reptiles.” I was not. I think you understand me.

Peter got a wood-burning set, and the lovely aroma of singed leather is wafting down to me as I write. At least my dog ain’t on fire, like some people’s.

He also got a shuttle-type rocket, which we are now assembling. Also some beanie babies. He is going through a phase where he is eating very little and his sleeping is irregular. He worries me. He is upstairs sobbing right now because I told him that he looked like a ghost. Was that terrible?

December 24

There are dreadful thumps coming from the upper regions of the house. Would it be in keeping with the Christmas spirit to go and slay my children?

We got a joyous Christmas card from someone I don’t recall, who wants me to “keep in touch.” I will, but they may be a mite confused.

Your tub would perhaps look topical with flippers, not claws.

Peter — upon watching a particularly saccharine Brady Bunch Christmas special where the father gets trapped inside a collapsed building and the Bradys rescue him by standing outside of the building and singing “Oh Holy Night” — announced in disgusted tones, “Some people just take Christmas too far.”

We have 3 inches of snow. Nanny nanny boo boo to you. The kids are sledding merrily. Actually, Andy just ran into the side of the big fort and
is howling. Nonetheless…

I just tried one of the kids snowboards and came crashing down on my tailbone. I have broken something. It’s terminal. I’m not long for this world.

~ 1 9 9 9 ~

January 6

It is with great sadness that I must tell you that we can no longer be flipflop sisters. You haven’t even bothered to write me one measly little
letter. I have come downstairs to specifically see if there were any email messages from yoyo (you) but no, I guess you don’t care any longer.

January 7

I just returned from Peter’s basketball practice. A ball came and hit me in the face when I was trying to talk seriously to a child’s mother. Hard to recover one’s dignity after that.

We went to B.J.’s earlier and spent $300. I bought a case of wine. Ain’t life grand? We also bought many, many noodles. A man who was shopping there got really angry at someone and shoved his cart into him. The chilluns were enthralled. “Did you see that?” they shouted.

I want to go scuba diving in Honduras at St. Edwards island because while the adults are out viewing the ocean world, their kids can swim around with dolphins, or maybe they said sharks. I don’t know.

I called our parents at ten this morning and asked them to call me back. I just called and they’re still not there. Should we worry? What could they be doing on a Thursday?

January 23

Thank you for the rapidity of your response to my multiple emails. And don’t you dare to complain about their length, because, as you know, it’s the thought that counts and also it’s cruel to judge someone on length.

January 24

We just went to Baldwin’s Book Barn and saw loads of books, Ginna — books! Then we went to the Helicopter Museum in West Goshen and saw lots of helicopters. What would we see lots of if we went to a proctologist’s office?

Today I vacuumed the living room rug and found, not a mouse, but just the tip of the snout, the part with the whiskers on it. Ned [ed. note: husband] has a terrible habit of mousing after I have fallen into slumber.

January 28

We just returned from Peter’s basketball practice and subsequently, Pizza Hut, where there are always lots of policemen. A little girl walked up to one large, uniformed officer and said “I’ve never seen one of you up close before.” She didn’t say if she reached any conclusions regarding this.

Ode to a Fool

Ginna looks very much like a rug.
She eats big, slimey slugs,
and picks up thugs
then gives them hugs
if they will give her a mug
full of booze.
She smells like a dead bug
with the face of a pug
and great huge jugs.

Perhaps you should keep these snippets of poetry for the time when I am much sought after (not by the law, Gins — by fans of my LITRATURE).

I am drinking wine, so am gentled accordingly.

Did Mom tell you that Dad’s breathing stopped for, not just 45 seconds, but a full 1 minute.

January 29

I propose that we, upon the stroke of 3:30 (my time) 12:30 (your time) wander outside, into our respective yards (where we can’t be seen) and dance a dance of sisterly solidarity. Irish dancing is forbidden. I envision something more like a war dance, because it is a war out there, Gins. This gesture is designed to unite us in unity.

February 1

I respectfully submit that you are an idiot.

I went to Great Christian Books to see why they’d never sent books that I ordered back in June. They are the largest distributor of homeschooling supplies in the area. They are also bankrupt. Where is their great God now, I must ask?

I’m signing the kids up for a science workshop about dry ice (Great Christian dry ice). We just received our monthly newsletter for Chester
County Homeschoolers, and it’s got some cool stuff in it.

I can’t find the Monty Python Screen Saver anywhere. Help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 4

It’s not that I am not fond of you (in fact, I hate you).

Strange, I always thought our grandpappy’s name was Liam, and that we all lived in an ancient castle, with giant wolfhounds and Yeats standing by the window, proclaiming poetic wisdom. It was drafty, but we were warmed by the love we had for each other, and by the wolfhounds. Funny, how we can remember events so differently.

My letters just ain’t as long as yours. I am structurally incapable of producing more than a few paragraphs. My English teachers used to always yell at me for this infraction. Don’t you join their ranks, too Gins.

February 6

It must be close to seventy degrees here today. This ain’t the way winter ought to be. Global warming is in the air. All is lost. Run for your life! Bring out your dead! Speaking of which, when putting Peter to bed last night, I said, “May flight of angels guide thee to thy rest,” quoting Hamlet, you see. He shrieked at me “I’m not dying.” Perhaps he’s more familiar with Hamlet than I realized.

I ordered my curtains, at vast cost. I charged them to your Visa. That’s OK, isn’t it?

February 8

I’ll bet your house sparkles [in preparation for a parental visit]. If I were mom and dad (and I suspect that I am) I would be jumping up and down at the prospect of coming to your digs for a visit. I haven’t actually seen Mom and Dad do this, but the seismic readings from northern Delaware have been off the charts recently. There ya go, Gins.

Stop fretting like a lunatic (and I suspect that you are). By the by, it’s snowing here, small, ambitious-looking flakes that will accumulate to record-breaking quantities, no doubt. Do we have any toilet paper in the house? That’s what I’ve been reduced to thinking about, when it snows.

I’m signing the kids up for “Odyssey of the Mind,” a program where they use critical and imaginative thinking processes to solve problems. Much like my thinking of toilet paper each time it snows. They may be given some cardboard and string and rubber cups and told to construct a ramp that makes a ball land in the rubber cups, to prepare them for life in the miniature golf world. I don’t know. We have some friends who send their kids there and all of them love it (in a platonic way only).

I have to return now to my responsibility-ridden life in the fast line of a homeschooling mother.

February 19

Mom called tonight to say goodbye ere she left for West Va. She was very sweet. I think she must be sick. She went to see the surgeon about that lump and they just said to check it again in six months. But maybe she’s just sparing us. Maybe death is lingering near.

February 27

My back is continuing to creak, but I laugh in the face of death, I smile engagingly at misfortune.

March 7

I have always thought chinchillas were quite adorable. I know lots of people (if you can even call them people) who have them as pets. One of the idiotic deciding factors that made me join the Unitarian choich was that, during discussion time, a woman stood and spoke lovingly of her chinchilla. She was very funny, so I thought there must be something to these chinchillas and to the Unitarian choich. I think that’s a sound basis for a spiritual, life-altering decision, don’t you?

Zoloft is a drug that must very gradually be stopped. Otherwise, one will grow feathers, but be unable to fly, strangely.

Many places frown on hedgehog ownership these sad days. What a world, what a world.

I’m going out censusing at 12:00. It’s been nice having you as a sister. “Oh, that this too too sullied flesh would melt.” Sorry about that. It won’t happen again. I don’t know what got into me.

March 15

I’m back!!! What’s the big idea of calling me a jerk? Anytime you don’t hear from me, there’s probably been a computer malfunction. Write me, fool.

March 17

I’ve got the census-taker blues.
My feet are stuck in my shoes.
All day I knock on doors,
and people tell me tales of yore,
or up and roar
I’m going turn into a birdie and soar
away from this poor core
of humanity.

No obeisance required. I like to start the day poetically.

Andy and Peter are still snoozing. Shall I drop the cat on them, its paws all awry, with needle-like claws extended? Perhaps not.

Send my dear love to all of yous, Otis, and to the chinchilla. Regards to the rat.

March 23

Where are you having your ashes scattered?

This assumes you will be cremated.

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