Tag Archives: Magic

The Smell of Winter

I wasn’t just trying to get off the phone.  It was an emergency.  Something reeked. I had to find it.  “Mom, I have go to go, something smells like mildew or something!!”

I emptied out under the sink.  Nothing was leaking. It didn’t actually smell under there at all.

Earlier in the week we’d had a party. The dog was generously fed by everyone. In the following few days I think I said “Jeeezus, Fisher.  Man.  What did the dog eat?” about 857 billion times.  It smelled.  Bad.  Really bad.  Dog fart bad.

I have a top loading washing machine and I don’t close the top when I am not running it.  I don’t use the $7 tablets to wash my washing machine.  I just run a  load with bleach every now and again and I figure it is clean.  But this week I stood in front of the Affresh tabs for about 17 seconds (which with a toddler in tow at the grocery store feels like a millenium.) Because something smelled really bad when I was doing laundry.

The smell. It was following me.

My offspring are strange little beings.

My offspring are strange little beings.

When I was pregnant with Lucy I went on an all out rampage until I found one. single. mothball.  This was no mothball.  This was a bad, bad smell and I was going to find it.

Last week I pulled a rosary from Lucy’s mouth.  It was weird and frightening in the same way that those magicians pulling the scarves from their mouths can be, with an added bonus of overt religiosity.  I mentioned this on Facebook and several of my friends wanted to know why there was a rosary in my house to begin with.  I explained it away quite simply.  My husband has all brands of religious artifacts. He keeps most of them on an altar high up on a bookshelf.

I don’t mess with his stuff and he lets me write about our deepest darkest secrets on the internet.  We have an understanding. So when he said “I found the smell” sheepishly I had no idea it had been coming from his altar.  I had no idea what was even up there.

He could have just thrown it away.  He could have kept it a secret and I’d have been convinced the smell had gone dormant in the cold and I’d have worried and wondered about what was rotting under the floorboards of the kitchen for months.

But instead he told me.

I’m not trying to tell you what to do.  And I will admit that our family has had great juju, good times, lots of laughs and a relative absence of negativity in the last several months. I’m just saying that if you put AN EGG ON A SHELF IN YOUR KITCHEN DON’T LEAVE IT THERE FOR MONTHS.  Because it will eventually stink.  And your wife will be the only one that can smell it at first.  And she will start to lose her ever-loving mind.

But your trash cans will get cleaned out.  I suppose that’s a plus.

Whatever your religious and spiritual pursuits have you doing this holiday season I hope you remember where you put your egg!!!  Merry Christmahanakwanzika, y’all and enjoy your Yule and Winter Solstice tomorrow!


Do you believe in Magic?

We had tickets for the 7 o’clock train at the museum.  Through the woods we would ride, woods filled with magical twinkling lights.   We would drink hot cocoa and use candy canes as swizzle sticks. We would make a Christmas ornament while we waited.  We were going to see Santa.


Emily was rolling her eyes and giving me attitude.  Lucy was screaming bloody murder because she was going to be forced to wear a hat.  Dad was grumbling and trying to get us out the door.  I was stifling the desire to shout out “Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas” every few minutes.  It was pouring down rain.

Dad and Lucy

But at least we would get a picture with Santa. Right? Through the lens of the camera we woud forget all about the rolled eyes and the tears.  Baby’s First Christmas would be perfect.

The trainWe were boarding the train when the Conductor said “Santa is on the right, m’aam” and he winked.  Oh.  Okay.  I’ll put Emily on the right side of our bench seat so that she would get a better look.

When we rounded the corner and I saw Santa standing near his sleigh with an oversized elf and an umbrella I realized we weren’t getting off of the train.  Santa would stop at each bench and ask each child a thing or two, they would chat.  “Is there anything special you’d like this year? How about something for your little sister? I’ll see you next year, dear!”

There would be no picture.

The Mom in me started to panic. Well, I will take the kids to the mall.  Tomorrow.  I’d get a picture.  It will be fine.  I frantically tried to snap family pictures with my phone in the dark.  With flash.  Without flash.  It didn’t seem to matter.  We were blurry.  There would be no picture with Santa.

And then I saw him.  He had ornate brocade around his coat.  His beard was soft and long.  His glasses were bifocals. I don’t think he had his suit stuffed with a pillow. I couldn’t tell if his boots were real or those pleather boot shaped shoe coverings popular with mall Santas.    I don’t know. I didn’t get a chance to look him over carefully for an hour as we waited in line.  He was there right next to us for a moment. And then he was gone.  “Well, hello, there,” he said.  “Merry Christmas.”

He talked to the kids for a minute and then he moved to the next row.  True to form, I was misty eyed.  Ever my mini-me Emily looked to me and said “This might be my first Christmas crying when I see Santa!” I laughed and decided not to tell her right then that it most certainly was not.

As the train pulled away from Santa and headed through the tunnel we were all smiles.  The tunnel shone, the christmas lights that adorned the train reflecting on the tunnel’s interior.  We looped back around and drove by Santa once more on our way back to the station.  The children waved and I reached for my phone.  Maybe I could get a picture of just Santa.  That would suffice.



I showed the picture to MQD as soon as I snapped it.  I was laughing.  “It’s the best picture of the night!” he said.  And in unison we both shouted “He’s like Bigfoot!”

I love our blurry picture of Santa.  I love that we did not get a posed picture at the mall.  I love that Em can’t scrutinize the picture later, examining the image, searching for any indication that maybe it wasn’t really Santa after all.

Because for one more year, at least one, my big girl believes in Magic.  I hope you all have a groovy holiday.


Do you believe in magic in a young girl’s heart
How the music can free her, whenever it starts
And it’s magic, if the music is groovy
It makes you feel happy like an old-time movie
I’ll tell you about the magic, and it’ll free your soul
But it’s like trying to tell a stranger ’bout rock and roll… ~ The Lovin’ Spoonful