My Sis and my Mom came down from Albany this weekend to Buck’s place in Wallkill (Buck is Beck’s guy) for a little July 4th get together. Just a few folks, Buck’s son and daughter in-law, Scotty, a cousin of sorts and some friends, two other couples one of which I hadn’t met before but am so glad that I did as they were a too cool. Funny, relaxed, easy to join in conversation and share a silly story or two, especially Angie I think was her name, though I would need a few more get togethers to really remember it, newly introduced names can get lost sometimes in a just almost there kind of way, like car keys in your other hand. We, and Beck, talked of being crazy cat ladies (guys) among many other things.
And there was also Victor, Buck’s grandson, his daughter’s talkety talkety talkety 8 year old who regaled us with an 8 year old’s stories and brought us nothing but smiles while he held court on Buck’s patio pushing his baseball hat back and forth around his head. He even read us the story he wrote for Buck, who the kids call “Choppy” (don’t know where that comes from but certainly much better for Buck’s not old feeling piece of mind I’m sure, much better than Grandad or Grandpa) a one Victor bound with stapled pages about how Buck was 61 years old and was named “Choppy”, and maybe how that was even his given name if I remember the story correctly, like a Mom and a Dad would actually name their kid Choppy and how he bought what he thought was a house from three “sale guys” named Bob, Hazmat and Fart who actually tricked him into buying a spaceship instead that Choppy jumped out of after screaming “NOOOOOO!!!” when he realized he’d been had.
It was quite gripping, edge of your seat kinda stuff and reminded us of the wonders of 8 and the talkety, talkety, talkety that comes with that 8 especially from Victor who is fabulously good at the tellings. It was also illustrated by the author himself by the way, who made sure to note that on the title page, and of the reading of that page twice to us for emphasis.
Now I’ve mentioned this before, many times, but I don’t go out much, even less than the nothing that the last year and half forced us into if that is possible, perfectly happy to ignore the world if I can with only my furry girls, a few words here in the Attic, a Bucco game or some Sci-Fi on the tube, but I do truly enjoy going to Buck’s place and hanging with the gang, good food at the offering, MY gang and just sitting spinning stories and laughing sometimes at the stupidest of shit once I do decide it’s Ok to get my ass out of the house and relax in a bit of something people call being social.
Actually, when I got home tonight I saw Celie in her kitchen and when I told her of my day she said …
Celie: “You mean you weren’t here?”
Celie: “All day?”
Me: “Well, not since 1p when I left”
Celie: “You mean you left the house?”
Celie: “Oh, good. Glad you weren’t dead up there.”
Me: “Thanks, glad I wasn’t dead too”
This today also included a bit of celebration of my birthday, which was a couple of days ago on the first, a celebration that just involved some ice cream cake, candles, Victor making sure to remind me not to spit on it when I blew the candles out which I assured him I wouldn’t, discussions of Fudgie the Whale and whether Carvel still made such and a few presents.
Mom seemed excited to give me hers. Now keep in mind that she is only an in the moment anymore, I’m not really sure she even remembers where this gift came from, it’s heartbreaking, but you just try to live in that moment with her.
It was a box inside one of those cool little pouches with a pretty ribbon for the sinch squeeze at the top and I tell ya, in a million years, if anyone had asked me to guess what was in that box I wouldn’t have guessed this. It was probably something that Beck bought for her to give to me. A Day of the Dead Sugar Skull. I kinda knew what that was, but I still had to look it up just to be sure. It was a Pittsburgh Steeler one. Yeah, apparently there are those but there ain’t no guessing that is ever going to bring you to a Pittsburgh Steeler Day of the Dead Sugar Skull birthday present from a Mom. I would have only, at best, gotten to socks or a Pirates T-shirt or maybe some underwear in the guessing.
I did though try to make sure that it fended off any unwanted spirits from around Mimi’s butt … just in case of course.
Beck also gave me a present of meat, something from her and my nephews. Yes, It was a bit of a different day when it came to the pressies. A couple of steaks and some higher end hotdogs (I do love hotdogs so that one was well received) and they weren’t actually hotdogs but were “Wieners”.
I know huh? Fancy.
Victor giggling: “Wieners”
With ya Victor. If I’m 8, “wieners” is some pretty funny stuff, hell I’m 57 now and “wieners” still makes me laugh.
Victor: That’s funny that they’re called wieners. Hey Ms Becca (what he calls my Sis) where did we buy these?
Beck: At BJ’s.
We all erupted in laughter, with a quizzical Victor wondering why the hell that was so funny.
Other Victor’s from the day?
He had gone fishing with Scotty, that Buck cousin of sorts I mentioned earlier, cousin through marriage kind of thing I think, though that stuff, extended family ties and the labeling of such eventually just confuses me.
Me: How’d ya do guys?
Scotty: He was the man! Just kept catching ’em.
Beck: How many Victor?
Victor: Somewhere around more than 9.
He and his Uncle Neil braved the pool, I say braved as today was a bit on the chilly side for July. When they came in, Victor came to the blue-lipped realization that wearing a T-Shirt always seems like a good idea at first until you get out of the pool.
Neil’s wife Siobhan (the coolest of names): How was it?
Neil: (cavalierly) It was fine. Not too bad.
Victor: No words just a cold askance wet shirt raised eyebrow look that shiveringly said Uncle Neil you’re a freakin’ nut job! That was cold!!
Victor: I’m gonna wrap a potato with potato eyes in some paper and give it to my Dad like a present.
Victor: Potato eyes freak him out.
Me: (to self) I love this kid
While he was head down in the ice cream cake he made sure I didn’t spit on in the candle blowing?
Victor: Thank you for having a birthday.
Me: Ummm … well you’re welcome my friend. I’m thankful of having a birthday as well.
Yes, I’m thankful of birthdays Victor even if they add a new number every year that I’d prefer not to think about but sometimes they come with good days of actually getting out of the house, Pittsburgh Steeler sugar skulls, unexpected meat, new friends and funny small stories.