Friday, January 15, 2010

Christmas… it begins

Well, my good intentions were to spend the month of December cleaning the house and getting into the Christmas spirit. This meant shopping, decorating, watching Christmas themed movies (like Rudolf), and baking cookies. Only the cookies actually happened. Ah well.

I did manage to pack all our bags and various presents before it was time to leave (barely). JD came home early from work the day before Christmas Eve and we packed up the car and started the trek down to the Vineyard. Normally this is a simple 2 hour drive, but at Christmas it all changes because we bring the cats with us. And now a newborn.

The grey cat, the neurotic one, the one that freaks out every time you go in the shower and sits outside crying until you get out safely, HE is a perfect traveler. The white cat, the lazy, easy going, happy one is a horrible traveler. She yowls at regular intervals (about every 3 seconds) for the entire trip (about 2 hours). It is difficult to describe the sound, but yowl comes close. It is a loud, deep-voiced AHHOW and she can keep it up for hours. We are all a bit loopy by the time we make it to the boat.

This time, however, things were different. For about the first ½ hour the cat yowled away and we grinned and bore it. Then Evie woke up… and she woke up mad. She was entirely displeased by the car, by the fact no one was picking her up, and by the noise the cat was making.

She is not a big crier normally. Her crying sounds more like complaining and usually means “pick me up and put something in my mouth.” And her voice is a bit on the lower side, almost husky. But she escalates quickly. On the car ride down to the Vineyard she escalated all the way to what can only be described as screeching.
For a while there the cat was yowling. Evie was screeching, Ian was yelling “I am lost my patience! I am lost my patience!” and JD contributed by singing a repetitive base line to one of the Christmas carols on the radio. I laughed hysterically. It was pandemonium.

After a few minutes of this the cat was totally intimidated. When Evie quieted down the cat restarted, only to have Evie resume her screeching. After that the cat was quiet, only making a little mewling noise every so often. JD pulled over at a McDonalds and took Ian inside for dinner. I stayed outside and nursed Evie in the car. And then there was blessed quiet the last ½ hour of the trip.

Somewhere in the craziness we did get a break by stopping off at Grandma's in Mansfield. We do this every year to pick up the presents to bring to Jacque. Then we stop on the way back to drop off Jacque's presents to everyone else. Aunt Sheri was there helping Grandma to decorate her tree. Grandma loved Evie and held her again for a long time while we all helped out decorating. She unfortunately didn't remember meeting Evie at Thanksgiving, which was sad, but also made the wonder of seeing her new again. Too soon we had to get back on the road so that we would make the 8:30 boat to the Vineyard.

I always get the feeling that my mother-in-law, Jacque is secretly laughing at us whenever we come visit. And this time, as we unloaded… and unloaded… and unloaded… the laughter was not so secret. Some day we will figure out the trick of making a trip with out bringing along half our household. Jacque herself managed to move all her worldy possessions, including her 8 year old, from Arizona to Massachusetts in a VW Bug. We can’t even make it to the southern part of the state for a week without a wagon full of junk. Well, possessions, presents, cats, children, and everything else under the sun.

Happily all the Christmas we had been missing at our house was right there at Jacque’s. The house looked beautiful – clean, decorated, and smelling like cookies. The tree was shimmering with tinsel and already full of presents. It was well worth the hours of craziness it took to get there.

No comments:

Post a Comment