I’ve searched the holy books and I’ve dogeared every page
I’ve stolen secrets from the sorcerer’s own sage
Although a connoisseur of fine legerdemain
I’ve just one word for you…
after raising me and my brother, my nanny had grandkids: two boys, who were not exactly easy children – they were rowdy, loud, often getting themselves into trouble. i remember once, one of them broke his head while horsing around, and my mom took him to the hospital. when he returned home, fresh stitches on his forehead, his first concern was to show his wrist to everyone in the street. on it, my mother had drawn a big watch.
after that, i’ve seen her pull this trick on unsuspecting children a few times. if they’re crying or fidgety, she’ll quietly ask them the time, and whether they have a watch? when they say no, she pulls a pen from her pocket and proceeds to draw them one on their wrist. it’s always a big success, and the child will go off, big-eyed and proud, pain already forgotten.
she is extraordinary.
* song by jill tracy.
grandpa died today, after a long, painful battle. he was a good man, a man of the land. i hope he’s in peace now, and that wherever he is, there are plenty of grapevines to prune and vegetables to plant. i know he’d be happy there.
consoada, the family dinner on christmas eve, is the epitome of christmas celebrations in portugal. families get together and a ton of food, homemade wine and sweets are consumed. there’s nothing fancy about it: everybody brings something and we share it all. and then, when people are nearing sugar coma, santa claus descends upon us and distributes the presents. because the family is quite big and loves to give cleverly disguised gag gifts, the process takes hours… plus for the first time in a really long time, there’s a baby in the family again – his name is martim, and he loves to help people tear the wrapping paper off their presents! :)
it never gets old! :)
once a year, around my grandpa’s birthday, the family gets together to celebrate. my mom has 7 brothers and sisters, all married and with kids, and some of my cousins now have kids as well… more people than we can sit at a table :)
it was the first time in 3 years that i was actually around to attend the party, so there were 3 new additions to the family that i had yet to meet, the smallest of which was just 1 week old :)
in typical portuguese fashion, there’s enough food to feast a full orchestra and plenty of house wine. the party drags itself into the night when we end up singing happy birthday to a sleepy grandpa :)
it’s a recent tradition, put in place by my mother, who by the way is the most unstoppable creature on earth. she has been holding on 2 jobs ever since she graduated, and all this while raising 2 kids and doing a second masters. she’s just been assigned to coordinate the nurses in the infectious & contagious diseases ward of the hospital (smack in the middle of the h1n1 crisis, no less). i cannot tell in words how immensely proud i am of this little stubborn creature and all she has accomplished :)