I have been busy at work, more than ever before it seems, or it's because I have three kiddos with school activities that require me attendance. Running back and forth to Boston and then to some after school function (I be always late for), I be run ragged. And lets not forget the weather, that be a big subject of moaning and groaning, and in some New Englanders a shrug like what do you expect you live in New England for crying out loud! We are in phase three of winter. We had the winter we usually do, with plenty of snow and ice, and then it was spring on the calendar, but it really wasn't. So then we had winter number two with more snow and ice and electric being knocked out, more shovelling so everyones upper arm muscles looked like Arnie Schwarenznegger's and that includes the women! We (the transplants and doesn't matter if you moved here from New Jersey or Florida, but even those who moved here from Ireland, England and Scotland), we were all set for spring only we got winter phase 3, I tell ya!
Just this morning I came down for me cuppa joe and thought I heard a man's voice speaking to me Mam in the kitchen. It was no man, it was me wife! She has worked out so much on snow removal, not only are her shoulders three times bigger than they should be, but her voice be deepening as well! What is this world coming to I ask ya.
With all the shovelling and chipping of ice on the walkway, neither Tonya nor I have had a whole lot of time for those extras, that become necessary when you look at your eldest son and see his hair is down to his knees and you mistook him for a girl until you realise you don't have a girl and it's your own boyo. What be the remedy to that? Well, he took matters into his own hands and cut his hair, and just this morning I was coming around the corner when I see him with a Mr. Spock haircut, boots to go out and help shovel, and an Adidas long sleeved shirt that looked like the Star Trek logo (almost) and sweat pants tucked into his boots, well just for an instant I thought what I did. I thought for all intents and purposes I was looking at Leonard Nimoy (the shorter version)! All the kiddo needed were the Spock ears (which we have somewhere around the house).
If that wasn't bad enough, the middle one, Guido (our tough guy), decided for the entire week to show just how tough he was by waiting for the school bus in shorts and a short sleeved sports shirt. Yeah he looked like he was going to play summer footy on a wintry, snow falling, wind gusts to 50mph day. We (Tonya and I) did not know this because before he left for the bus stop he'd fly by in a blur yelling he was off and we never got to look at what he was wearing, or in this case, lack of what he wasn't wearing. We heard about this from the next door neighbour, who being concerned, had knocked on the door with a jacket her son had outgrown in the hopes we might like it for Guido. Guido, has a North Face jacket that Tonya's dragon-mother bought him, so really? The woman was very nervous Tonya said and that made her suspicious, so she invited her in and finally got this out of her, "I drive by the bus stop every morning and I see poor little Guido out here shaking and shivering without a coat or long pants and boots so I thought . . . "
Yup -- embarrassing as all hell.
Tonya had to show the neighbour Guido's wardrobe, complete with two snowsuits, (one a hand me down from his Mr. Spock brother, and the other one me Mam had picked up because it had snowmen on it and of course he won't wear that unless David Beckham was on it). She saw the closet full of clothing he won't wear because it isn't "sporty enough" and the shoes galore including the spiked footy shoes he insists wearing in the house. Tonya all the time this is going on is thinking Child Protective Services, oh boy. Luckily Guido just happened to come home from school while the neighbour was still there and he had no idea his mother was near the back door where he sneaks in. Yup caught! He explained that he was told if one went out in the cold and snow in very little clothing, your muscles tightened up and he needed that to get ready for spring soccer.
"WHO told you that?" His mother demanded.
"Grandma." Was the flat answer.
"Which one?" Was the next question.
"The one lives here." Was the answer.
I am sure that knocked about in Tonya's head a wee bit. She said that Mrs. Neighbour was concerned enough to come by and offer clothing assistance because she was concerned he'd end up with pneumonia, not tight muscles. Guido, knowing the errors of his ways and knowing he should not have done what he did, apologised nicely I am told, and went in and changed into decent winter clothing to appease not only his mam, but the concerned and kindly neighbour.
After the neighbour left, Guido was summoned to the kitchen where the kindly old grandmother was sitting obliviously sipping her tea when suddenly the lady of the house went into attack mode. Yes, it must have been startling to the old bird that she was guilty of sending (unknowingly and unwittingly) an 8 year old out to freeze in bad weather to possible perish. This was all news to me apple cheeked, gray haired old mam who put her scone down quietly, pushed the clotted cream away and stood up, all 5 feet of her, and with purpose walked right up to her 5' 8" daughter-in-law, with hands on hips and said to her face, "Dats not rioght, he misunderstood a storee I tole em' sum tyme back he did."
That's when I walked into this very strange confrontation and had caught me Mam's words. I did interrupt with a "wot be goin' on?" and was treated to Tonya's side of the story, followed by Guido's version and then me Mam's.
Seems the story was that me father had a friend who was coach of a footy team in Ireland, and he told me Da that one of his players was from Norway, and the man would go out in freezing weather, with snow the better, dressed in his footy practice gear and run around the pitch to tighten up his muscles. This was something he did since childhood and being from cold Norway he was used to that sort of weather and swore it worked for him.
"It wuz a storee I tole em'," me Mam said, "I certainly did not recommend he doo da same."
Well, yes that was true Guido said, she never told him to do it he just thought if a pro athlete thought it a good practise, it must be worth it.
"Explains the coughing and sneezing not to mention the permanent chill." I said messing Guido's hair.
It was a tense evening after that, and it took a few days to dissipate the chill between the two women. The misdirection would never have happened if Tonya was in the kitchen for story time (which she usually is she enjoys the old sod tales) but she was busy chipping ice so she missed all this and was not there for a disclaimer.
"Could be worse, he could do wot yer friend Weasil duz and go about each morn before breakfast for a run in the nude round his garden." This from our resident neer'do well Sean, who sits on his keister and be no help whatsoever.
"What?" Tonya voiced.
"I did not noo dis." I said getting Irish which be an indication I did know. The whippersnapper had said he takes a turn around his garden which be planted in a wide circle. He does it no matter the weather, first thing he gets up he (he sleeps in the nude -- I know, too much information and you'll have just as hard a time shaking the image as I do), and takes a sprint around the garden and then straight to the shower and breakfast comes after. This was said not in front of Guido, but I did see Guido passing by on his way upstairs to bed that night. But we all know Guido the eavesdropper, spy extraordinaire with a fabulous sense of hearing lets nothing past him. I am proud to say, so far anyway, that Guid has not done this and hopefully never will. Besides that garden of Weasil's be inside a castle wall where no one can see him but the staff (I suppose). AND, we know the Weasil doesn't care.
Tonya did emphasise that Weasil's daily ritual was not allowed in the O'Sullivan abode or premises, and Guido nodded he understood. Lets hope the young and impressionable take that warning to heart. Gees Louise what next?
|And here it be ice and snow, winter continues in NH|
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