Friday, December 08, 2006
At least when I do my St. Nicholaus day 'thing' here at home, I don't have to run anywhere or make anybody else run anywhere. Sister St. Aloysius and Sister Mary Fiacre know it's me so I can save my heart rate in case I should have to flee terrorists on an orange alert day. I make a little something for them and try to leave it somewhere that will surprise them during their day.
I started out doing it the old fashioned way, getting up just a little earlier or waiting until they were asleep the night before and putting a gift in their shoes. That worked great until we got Teddy. Then they got a pile of ripped up something or another next to their shoes mixed in with hairballs. The kind that come from inside the cat.
Now I have to be more cagey like some old cop who knows the crooks routines so he can find them when he needs to shake them down for information.
Sister Mary Fiacre is easy. Her routine never varies and if I don't put it right under her nose, she'll miss it altogether anyhow. I can just drop it in her lap. Talk about not knocking and running! She's so distracted by something dropping in her lap, she forgets all about me. I could light myself on fire.
Last year, knowing her love of marshmellows, I made little marshmellow snowmen, but she ate the sequins I used for eyes when she shoveled them in her mouth. I tried using M& M's but they fell off, so I can't even make the marshmellows into anything. Life has a way of dwindling down to some very basic things when you're old. I did dye this year's marshmellow's with food coloring so they were festive. It's the thought that counts.
I could have just put them in her lap. She would have been so excited by the marshmellows that she would have forgotten my existence instantly, as I mentioned. I tried to think of a way to have some element of surprise and wonder.
So I went behind her and lobbed them over her shoulder one at a time, so to her they just kept appearing. I sang "Thirty-Two Feet and Eight Little Tails" while I did it. That's such a cheery song. Great fun for all.
The first one startled her quite a bit. Maybe the fact that it was red threw her. Not for long, though. I waited until she was completely finished with it before I lobbed the next one. Great fun. The whole event took at least twenty minutes.
Teddy got one that bounced out but he never ate it. He just spent about a half an hour killing it. It wasn't very festive looking when he was done with it.
But Sister St. Aloysius was a real challenge. You never know what she's going to do, just when you think you've got her pegged. Will she say her rosary in the garden because it's cold out there and she wants to offer it up? Or will she say her rosary in the bathroom so she can concentrate?
That type of thing.
So it turned out that she had a plan to go dust in the church. So I put her gift, which is a glow in the dark rosary, so she can spot it when it's her turn to get up in the middle of the night with Sister Mary Fiacre, in her cleaning pail so she'll find it at some point while she's cleaning. What know one told me is that Mrs. Morris is meeting her there.
Of course Mrs. Morris found the rosary. Now probably thinks Sister St. Aloysius is just a careless nun, dropping her rosaries in cleaning buckets and Sister St. Aloysius doesn't know what a rosary that isn't hers or any one else's is doing in there. I don't want to make her feel bad that she blew my surprise. Sister St. Aloysius gave Sister Mary Fiacre the rosary. Sister St. Aloysius must think I forgot all about St. Nicholaus day. For once. Maybe she's relieved.
Next year I will have to be more clever.