Monthly Archives: November 2007

Me, my Dad and My Sibs


Since it’s Thanksgiving, I’m thinking a lot about my family and how lucky I am that I grew up in a happy household. I really love being with my family–but we are really competitive. I’m not quite sure how it got started, but no matter what the game is, we all really want to win. I mean we REALLY want to win. some prime examples from childhood include (but are not limited to:

No Bears are Out Tonight
Uncle Wigglyl
Chutes and Ladders

When we get together now, it only takes about five minutes for a dictionary or encyclopedia to come out, because we’re always talking about etymologies of words, how to pronounce things, what book something was isn, or who said what when. (Last night coming home from the airport we had to call someone to google a quotation. Since I’m a competitive person, I’ll tell you right now that I was right–George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”) Last summer on the way to my nephew’s wedding I told my brother Paul that I take one enteric aspirin per day. I pronounced it en-TER-ic. He insisted it was EN-ter-ic. When the dictionary indicated I was right, we had to do a test where we asked three pharmacists to say it–he was convinced that health professionals said it his way (wrong!) But I think our competitiveness is usually in good fun. Often there is a bet involved. When I claimed a few weeks ago that our family used to own a Rambler and Paul H. said no, he bet a million billion dollars that he was right.

Guess who owes me a million billion dollars?



I am happy to say that we had 12 trick or treaters last night–that’s pretty good when you live in the ghetto!  My favorite was a little girl in a Winne the Pooh costume.  She was about three years old, and it was obvious she wasn’t really interested in candy–she just wanted to come into the house and visit!  Her mother got her back out.

Paul and I both carved pumpkins, and then I roasted the seeds–one of my favorite parts of Halloween.

It was fun to think back to my childhood.  I remember being so excited to go trick or treating that I honestly could not eat dinner.  My mother was so irritated with me!  We would go in the neighborhood–first to the lady who gave full-sized candy bars–we loved her!  When we were finished, my favorite part was sorting everything into piles.  Then I would begin to eat things, starting with things I liked best (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and mini 3 Musketeers) to things that I liked quite a bit (Bit o’ Honey, Neccos) to things that nobody should ever give out for Halloween–dum-dum suckers, peanut butter taffy, etc.  Maybe I should have saved the things I liked best for last–but then I ran the risk of having someone swipe it from me (like I did with my kids’ candy–only to be helpful–sorry kids!)

What a great day–when kids can go door to door begging for candy and it’s ok.  It’s sort of the epitome of Bakhtin’s concept of “carnival.”  I love it.