This used to drive my Uncle Jim, who liked dogs, absolutely berserk. Goldie would wander in and he'd put out his hand to pet her and she'd galumph off terrifiedly. "GODDAMMIT" he'd yell, which was an excellent way to earn her trust. Anyway eventually she would come right up, and even sit on you sometimes.
Look at my mother's other dog, Evil Gus. That dog will live forever, and I'll never get past when he attacked puppy Talu. A MOTHER NEVER FORGETS THESE THINGS, GUS.
Yesterday I went to Raleigh to celebrate Christmas in the same way Mary and Joseph did that first Christmas centuries ago. I went bowling. Every year Ned's extended family meets up at the bowling alley, and there is a trophy involved that this past year Ned proudly had, and by "proudly" I mean he got it out of the closet about a week ago and said, "I better remember to bring this to the bowling thing."
We schlepped to Raleigh with presents--which perhaps I wrapped with my fine presentation skillz--for his nieces and nephews. On the way we learned one whole section of the family wasn't gonna be there because they have a hideous flu. A hideous flu that Ned's mom also caught by hanging around those family members earlier. So she wasn't gonna be there, either.
"Why do they schedule Christmas right during cold and flu season?" I asked Ned.
Above is the ATM right outside the bowling alley, which in case you were looking for one that dispenses ten is, it's right here.
Or maybe you were looking for tens that own something.
June. Following her own oh little star of punctuation.
The people who still had health showed up, and every kid I met shook my hand and said, "Nice to meet you." What is it with people in the South? If my dogs were kids they'd be the types to roll their eyes at you and barely say, "Hey." It's nice to be around kids who are raised right.
Ned, who apparently turned 86 overnight, kept complaining about how loud the music was, and were they gonna turn it down, and furthermore why were those kids on his lawn wearing those crazy outfits.
Going bowling is already a very Michigan thing. It's what we do there. And then hearing some loud Bachman Turner Overdrive just made me feel like it was gonna be 14 degrees and snowing when I left that alley.
And look! See that 88 right there on the seventh or so frame? THAT WAS ME! I ended up bowling a ONE HUNDRED AND NINE, which you don't even understand. Some kind of miracle occurred, and wise men showed up, and I was given french fries and myrrh.
If you rolled a gutter, you had to wear this stupid hat till the next person got a gutter.
The best part was Ned's brother, who we will call Not Frank, got SIX STRIKES IN A ROW! Dudes, you've never seen something so exciting. I mean, from what I understand, he is, you know, a better bowler than ME, but people with thalidomide birth defects bowl better than me. But man, he was on a ROLL, so to speak. When he got the sixth strike, I was just at that moment biting down on my Blow Pop, because Blow Pops, fries and myrrh. Nothing but the best for June, with her thalidomide jokes. The point is, when he got that strike I TOTALLY inhaled a shard of Blow Pop and almost killed myself in my excitement.
He went on to get several more strikes and spares and bowled a nine million and four. Which means Ned had to hand the trophy over to him for the year.
Then, we all went to Ned's brother's house, where they had dressed up the dog, and I want you all to gird your loins for this next statement. I LOVED HIM. How sad was he, in his Santa getup? Was he miserable? He eventually jumped up Santa-ly onto the love seat where Ned and I sat and he took up most of the room. I let him, though, cause, Santa outfit. When I wasn't telling just everyone about my photography seminars, I snapped this shot of a display Ned's sister-in-law, who I will call Not Lisa, put up in the kitchen. It had photos from Christmases past, with Ned looking all young and cute and so on, and then he said, "Hey. Here's you!" Not Lisa had downloaded a shot of us and put it on the board. How nice was that?
Really, Ned's whole family rocked. The kids were absolutely charming and smart and polite and you would love them, and every adult made me feel so welcome. I even got gifts, including a necklace Ima put on and show you all when I look decent, which is distinctly not now, as I am cleaning and just between you and me, bathing Talu in a minute. NO ONE TELL HER. The first person to get on her Facebook page gets hit with a bowling pin. And my leftover myrrh.
June. Getting out of the gutter.