I’m neck deep in school books, lesson plans, goal sheets, boxes of new pencils…. Chris is neck deep in gear changes, and maintenance and obsessive weather watching. We start our school year when Chris leaves for Swordfish Season. It makes him being gone a little easier as the distraction of new books and this year’s plans take over our lives. But, it means the countdown to the last 10 days or so can get a little…..shall we say… intense? We are both running full speed but in totally different directions. We are distracted by our own lists, but still needing to connect to make sure everything on both sides is working. Send blessings of peace and patience my way, would you? I need both. And a drink. That might help too.
Alright, I am being super honest here. I can. not. even. begin. to write any sort of coherent sentences this week. Besides the fact that my house is just one more unfolded newspaper and randomly tossed pair of kids shoes away from imploding on itself (which makes my brain totally short circuit), my darling Fisherman husband got blown in today (that really means he finally got a part of a day off due to wind). Hey, the guy totally deserves a day off. Seriously. Y’all have no idea how much I am behind him getting a little break. BUT….this is what is happening right now (which of course is so completely NOT in line with thinking or writing or really anything in my opinion except escaping from….) All of the kids, the dog and Chris are hanging out (apparently oblivious to the total train wreck our house is) and watching a 70 million hour long movie on THE LOUDEST VOLUME ANY TV EVER COULD POSSIBLY GO, which bounces and echos through our whole house and is making me want to put them all on the boat and shove ’em off into the sunset. The deal is this: My big guy has spent 33 years or so with a loud diesel engine and/or generator roaring in his ears, which has messed a bit with his hearing. Dulled it a bit. Y’know? How my kids can tolerate this volume, I have NO idea. Anywhoooo….. instead of hurting my aching brain any further, I’m saving myself by heading to Barnes and Noble for coffee and some book browsing until this noise avalanche has ceased.
I’m pretty sure all the other parents who sat along with me on the edge of our collective seats and watched our kids perform this week, each thought their kids were totally heads and shoulders better than the rest…but they were SO wrong. Because you see, it was MY super awesome kids that totally rocked The Rubicon Theater and blew the socks off of everyone else on stage. Yes. Mine. (OK, The Fisherman may have had something to do with it. But today… I’m taking most of the credit.)
But my kids, although super excited about their own performances, were like this….. oh my gosh, Mom ~ everyone did a great job! I think Matty did great at the fight scene and my friend Lily really nailed that part where she had to look super scared and run away. Hmmmmm….then there was me…. the ‘adult’…. just being a horrible example as I kept telling them how super awesome they were and how proud I was of them. (Yes, kind of with the attitude of who cares about those other little beasts, it was MY progeny that ruled the stage!!! Sort or embarrassing to admit, but true.)
Then, my sweetest girl ever said this: Mom, I think the very best part of this acting class was when teacher Karen taught us how important it is to really show support to all of the cast since we are a team. It helps us to be able to explore our character more openly and try stuff on stage when we know the whole rest of the cast will be cheering us on and believing in us. Maybe I can have her explain it to you, the way she did to us? And, just in case I thought she was full of it and just spouting off to make me feel like a terrible unkind parent, we went back for our last class party today…. Yep, you guessed it! 13 of the most awesome, kind and wonderful kids ever all ran in together to congratulate each other on a great job. And what I heard was a bunch of sweet humble kids, pointing out their friend’s wonderful work on stage and loving and encouraging and congratulating each other. Every single kid there, was specifically and genuinely telling the others the greatest parts of what they saw in them and how proud they were of them. I didn’t note one of them looking around trying to spout off about themselves. Nobody in the whole group looked or acted as if they hadn’t been properly noticed and needed more glory or attention than the others. These kids went far beyond nailing their parts in the play. What they got the most right was being a human being who was caring, really deeply caring about another human being’s heart and soul.
So, if your pride/ego ever gets way out of control… or if you need to realize your inherent worth and feel totally accepted, go hang out around a group of 9 – 14 year old stage actors for awhile. They will straighten your stuff right out.
My littlest guy woke up at the crack of dawn this morning, ran down the stairs and threw open the front door. Several days ago, he dumped the contents of his money jar on the table and asked me if I could help him go online and order a new Lego set that he has been saving for and seriously, desperately wants. He hasn’t stopped checking the front door for packages since then.
I knew immediately what the next week of my life would be like. But, I also knew all of the jobs that my boy had been working hard at in order to earn the money for this toy. Aggggh. I kind of had no choice.
Having learned from a previous incident, involving an unexpected birthday gift card, some other desperately desired Lego set and an unprepared Momma he now fully comprehends that hitting the magic *confirm order* button, sadly does NOT mean that the toy will instantly appear out of thin air onto the table in front of your eyes. Nor will you find it after your tiny legs go running upstairs to check the toy bins to see if it could have possibly magically ended up there. That was a wildly emotional day, which we never want to repeat again. Ever.
This time, he was prepared for the idea of waiting some days for ‘shipping’ but for the love of Pete, the concept of time passing is SOOOO warped when you are super anxiously waiting (and x1000 when you are only 7) that I am now, sitting here willing to give all of my worldly possessions and possibly my own life blood if only the ever lovin’ Fed Ex man would show up post haste with that ever lovin’ Lego box. Holy Guacamole I am dying over here. That small child who is already a super good question asker (and if you can’t hear the sarcasm in those words, y’all need an ear check appointment) has asked me ‘how long until my toy gets here’? (or some variation of that question) at the very least, 6 bazillion times.
We started with ‘how long until my toy gets here’ which I adeptly stopped by drawing a little picture with boxes for each day and showed him how to mark the days off. (This momma ain’t no amateur) By that night he started randomly marking boxes off saying it ‘felt like 3 whole days had passed, but he wasn’t sure’. So I made a new little picture that I tacked high on the wall and made a rule that we would mark it TOGETHER after breakfast every morning. That day I was asked if we could have breakfast again about 700 times. As I would smack down one way of asking about the dang toy, he’d come up with new wording. How many days left, how long in a day, do sleeping hours count, why can’t you text the fed ex driver and ask him to really hurry up please?
We have finally arrived at the Blessed Delivery Day. Thank you Lord in Heaven. Unfortunately, past experience with this stuff is telling me what is coming. Besides every second that passes today, seemingly taking an hour until that truck pulls up, I’m pretty darn sure that the glorious silence of ‘busy playing with the new toy’ will last approximately 3 ½ minutes….4 ½ if you include unboxing and fussing with siblings on who gets to check it out first, after precious new toy owner is done building it. Which, due to the effects of the week-long hell of constant inquiries I’ve put up with, will time-warp-translate into only like 1.5 seconds of relative peace.
Hey toy makers (I’m talkin’ to you LEGO!), internet selling giants (you know who you are Amazon) and all of the delivery people (FedEx, UPS)…. If you guys are all in some sort of cahoots aiming for muddling the minds of the adults as we drown in tiny plastic pieces and cardboard boxes, you have won already, OK? Just stop it now. I’m begging for your mercy.
Chris and I were literally ships passing in the night. In the fall of 1998, before he and I had ever met, I’d been living on a little sailboat, up in the SF Bay Area. After much prepping and planning I sailed under the Golden Gate and was headed ‘South’ on my first longish-term cruise. I didn’t get very far. Ventura County was it for me. At that very same time, Chris had departed Channel Islands Harbor and headed North to San Francisco searching for Swordfish. We’d never met, but we actually were ‘ships passing in the night’.
Within a few months, I’d settled into life in Channel Islands Harbor and ended up picking up an office job at Channel Islands Boatyard. Chris’ boat happened to be in the slip one space over from where I lived on my little boat. I walked past his boat on my way to work every morning and every afternoon after his day of fishing, he walked past the boat yard office where I was working on his way home. I guess we had to meet eventually.
The family that owned the boatyard had quickly adopted me as one of their own. Kathy*, along with her husband Cliff took an interest in helping me to love living in my new town by keeping me up to date on local music, food, art showings….and eligible young men. Kathy had a ‘thing’ for trying to match me up with just the right guy. They also gave me an education on all things marine related, inspired me with their love for and pride in their harbor community and provided an up close view into what it looks like when a couple runs a business together. Let me say this; it can be LOUD. They were…. ‘passionate’ about their feelings. But, among the spats and yelling ~ they demonstrated to me a unique and incredibly strong and loyal love for each other. They were so very special to me, taught me much, and so, so kindly cared about me right when I needed it most. I didn’t realize it then, but I was being educated on all the things I would be needing for my future life by this vocal, amazing and huge heart-ed family.
When Swordfish season came to a close that year, Chris came into the office to have some boat work done. Suddenly everyone in the place started acting nuts. They whispered, they google-eyed me and slyly pointed to him… I thought they might be trying to signal to me to lock up the cash or something. Actually, they were trying to tell me he was single. Well, little did they know…. I had ZERO interest in being ‘coupled up’ with ANYBODY at that point. Plus, this Chris The Fisherman character was NOT my type.
But, earning some extra cash… that interested me. Chris introduced himself and with that big ol’ voice of his, asked me if I could in help him do some bookkeeping work for his Commercial Fishing Business. I was not a bookkeeper. I am still not a bookkeeper all these years later. Trust me on this…. this area is NOT my specialty. But, I was kinda broke and needed the extra money. So, I said yes. Thankfully, he wasn’t actually interested in my bookkeeping skills.
Within 3 hours of our first ‘meeting’ we were having our first dinner together. About 3 weeks after that, we were discussing our thoughts on marriage and children. Sometime around 3 weeks after that, we were sending out invitations to our Engagement party. Clearly, I had no idea previously what ‘my type’ actually was. On February 5, 2000, we said I do.
So many tides, moon phases and fishing seasons have since passed. This week we will celebrate 15 years of marriage. We’ve weathered our fair share of storms, reveled in many glorious days, changed course when needed. We may be a bit weather-worn, but we are anchored firmly, tucked away in our Harbor and happy as a couple of clams. Happy, Happy Anniversary to Us!
(*Cliff and Kathy Jarvis of Channel Islands Boatyard have both since passed away. May they both rest in peace, and have the wind at their backs and the sun on their cheeks. Blessings upon their legacy…their two sons, daughters-in-law and all of their beautiful grandchildren.)
We had a family wedding last week. If I were less obsessed with my own children I would probably write a nice little blog post about how beautiful the bride was, or all of the thoughtful details they put into the planning or the very touching speeches and toasts we heard. But instead, I cannot stop thinking about my own sweet babies. Something occurred at the wedding that I am still processing.
Here’s the scene: I’m already kind of teary just driving in the car on the way to the wedding since my sweet little girl (who was all dressed up in her flower girl stuff and looking very pretty) takes this moment to casually smooth down her dress and state ‘I wonder if Nathan*, you know, from acting class, would think I look pretty in this dress?’ At that second I happened to be attempting to merge over 3 lanes to catch the off ramp from the 101 to the 405, so I was driving/looking/processing/white knuckling/freaking out on what she just said all at once. What.In.The.World. did she just say? I made the exit and we did not crash. So, good….but I think I lost about 5 years off my life. Ummmmm….. my little girl is a LITTLE GIRL. She doesn’t like boys yet!! And who the heck was this kid she was practically running off and eloping with?? ACCCKKK! NO! I got a few exits down before I could be sure tears were not going to fall, realizing that she was telling me in her own way she was growing up…. and did I notice… and was she pretty?… and will the boys think so too?
Then, we arrive and everyone is blown away by how much my kids have grown and how amazingly grownup and handsome my biggest boy looked all spruced up in his suit! As a matter of fact, he looked SO grown up and handsome that one of the ‘Jr. Bridesmaids’ spent the entire 1 1/2 hours of photo time following him around and staring and giggling and acting well, a little like I was probably acting at her age (hey, honesty is best right). Thank God he didn’t even notice her…. or so I thought. It started to dawn on me, as I sat and watched this whole scene that the Groom at this wedding was the same age as my sweet little girl when he and his sister (who was my flower girl) at my wedding. And that was not THAT long ago. At least it seems that way. I rarely wear make-up. I didn’t think to bring anything extra. Now, I was really trying to change my thoughts so I didn’t start crying like some crazy lady, ruin my makeup and embarrass myself. I mean, the ceremony hadn’t even started yet.
Next, we’re leaving the wedding …. still being followed by that little hussy of a Jr Bridesmaid (I’m sorry, I am sure she is actually sweet as pie ~ it’s my Mom-Goggles, I am sure of it)… and we are on our way to the Reception. Now, it’s big boy’s turn. He casually asks me ‘Momma, am I allowed to ask other girls to dance? You know, besides you and sister?’ I answered with a confident YES, of course! So smug, I was. So very sure that my super precious, first born, total Momma’s Boy never even noticed that girl and could have ONLY meant dancing with Cousin Amanda or Aunt Judy… .right? SO, SO WRONG.
That little traitor of a kid sat on the edge of his seat, in a near panic until the DJ finally announced it was time to dance. He then made a lightening quick bee-line right for that little Jr. Bridesmaid and danced half the night with her, and then, the other half the night with TWO OTHER Jr Bridesmaids who giggled and flipped their hair and followed my precious sweet innocent little man all over and basically RUINED him forever!! It’s like he was slipped that horrible, forbidden poison known as Attention-From-A-Female and now, my baby is GONE and some new confident, to-cool-to-dance-with-mom, thankless, girl crazy beast has replaced him! I escaped to the bathroom to cry over my boy/man in private and was happy to see one of those air hand dryer things in case I really got out of control and had to muffle my sobbing. Thank goodness it wasn’t necessary…. barely.
And, for the record, Mr. Nathan* from acting class ~ you will NEVER EVER get a chance to see my daughter in that dress, or any other dress since she will now only be allowed out of the house in a sack. Or maybe footie pajamas with little rainbows on them so you can see how young and little and well, young she really is. And just FYI… if you think I’m bad, you oughta get a gander of her big, huge, mean Daddy! HA!!
I did have some consolation in this whole thing. My littlest man still has his heart set on marrying me. He’s pretty sure someday Daddy will ‘get tired of me’ ~ nice, right? ~ so he plans to step in then and marry me and live with me forever. Of course, he’s also pretty sure he would like to build a ‘Minecraft House’ to live in someday too…. Plus, my sweet girl still wants to sleep with me every night, and she’s sure that if she ever gets married she would just have her husband move into her room so she wouldn’t have to move away and miss me. And, even my big boy melted my heart yesterday by grabbing my hand in the parking lot at Vons, holding it as he talked to me until he was going to reach for a cart and realized he was holding my hand and then quickly let go. Dang. Why, oh why, oh why do they have to let go?
Two of my kids are participating in a family wedding this weekend (flower girl and ring bearer) where their cousin will be getting married. Micah is quite excited about wearing a Tuxedo and of course Anna is thrilled with all of the flowery dress-up plans and excitement about walking down the aisle.
All 3 of my kiddos also have only a few weeks until this year’s Shakespeare play. The kids have spent the last 5 months going over and over and over and over their lines and queues. We listen to them in the car. We’ve made flashcards that we drill endlessly. We are SOAKED in Shakespearean words and phrases. It’s all very exciting but does have a tendency to kind of take over every aspect of our lives. I go to sleep hearing the Shakespeare song and dream in Shakespearean talk.
So, we showed up to the wedding rehearsal last night in typical Williams Family fashion…. a little on the loud side and about 2 minutes late. The thing is, we’ve never been to a Catholic wedding before. Plus, the Church that my kids have grown up in is a VERY relaxed Non-Denominational church. Simple building, not completely out of the ordinary to have kids skateboarding in the parking lot and many of us showing up in shorts, tattoos showing. Clearly, not exactly a whole lot of fancy happening here. So……. large statues, gold leaf everything and tall, decorated ceilings and stained glass strikes AWE in my kids. Sadly, awestruck as they were, it did not affect their ability to speak. As I inexplicably chose to wear the most uncomfortable heels that were ever made in all of the history of torturous women’s shoe fashion, I walked in behind my kids by about 20 seconds and right into this scene:
The front half of the very long, and super ornate Cathedral was filled with quiet people, sitting reverently, listening to the coordinator who could have easily played the quintessential super-strict-Catholic-school-Nun/teacher. Nothing is getting past this lady.
Except for my kids. They were standing smack in the middle of the place, gawking like they’d just landed on Mars as they noticed all the ornate-ness in this Holy place…. and then immediately in their best and unfortunately loudest Shakespearean voices (great acoustics in that place) …….. ‘Alas! Good fellows!! ‘Tis a place quite finely furnished! Blow wind! Crack thy cheeks!’
Now, if it was over right there, we might have hoped to pull it all off with a little laugh and a quick ‘Please excuse us’…. Embarrassed smile…Sit quietly.
But my sweet little thespians have been brought up on the docks among a bunch of fishermen. So, when in my total embarrassment, I grabbed the loudest of them and whisper/hissed a quick threat upon their lives if they didn’t SHUT THEIR PRECIOUS MOUTHS AND SIT DOWN NOW…. The entire place was treated to a loud stage whispered ‘MOM? Why the H*LL doesn’t our Church have all these riches and gold!’
There is simply nothing left to say after that.
I so, so am hoping your week has been way less embarrassing and way more reverent than mine.
Here we sit, blue notepads poised and blood pressure beginning to boil, ready for furious notes and lists. Another season change is upon us. In a little over 2 weeks, Chris will step onto the deck of his temporary home and do what he does best….. land a whole bunch of fish. White Sea Bass season is about to happen. Though the official start hasn’t started, and even though we are now just fine tuning lists and ordering parts and not yet in the real thick of the switch over, I feel the stress and tensions rising. The whole family does.
This coming up season is a mixture of both super ultra excitement and LOTS of stress. Our financial success (or failure) for our business, our family, our crew and their family for the entire year rests completely on the first 4 weeks of White Sea Bass season and then on the first 8 weeks or so of Swordfish season. These 2 tiny parts of the year make or break us. No pressure there. Nope. But, when he starts catching and our dry as the Sahara checking account starts to be sprinkled with life affirming droplets, dear Lord what a relief. We are all dancing and whooping it up like we’ve never had a bad fishing day, ever. My goodness. What a life we’ve chosen. If only we could be sure of the outcome, of the catch rate and of the weather. If only.
I feel for Chris during this time. Actually, I feel for all of us. But him, more than us. He’s already been fishing crab for months (which is physically exhausting) and now he walks right into 24 hour days of WSBass fishing with tons of pressure to make a lot happen in a very short time, with of course zero actual control over how it plays out. The whole family is upended with the schedule change and having Daddy gone at night (and most days). During this time of year, he usually unloads here locally ~ but we will only *see* him for minutes at a time, most often while one of us is yelling directions or questions at the other from atop the unload pier down to the deck of the boat, trying to be heard over the diesel engine and the hydraulics. This is all happening with a large crowd gathered around watching the loads of fish being lifted off and the guys are documenting (more shouting) weights. It’s total chaos. The kids and I chip in where we can, but usually end up in the way. Then, we get a quick hug from a tired, smelly Dad. We hand off clean laundry and provisions and take away dirty laundry and bags of trash. We pray and wish them all a great trip and back out they go…..hoping against hope that the boat stays together, the weather cooperates and the fish are abundant. Hoping and praying.
I’m never sure when I will get the call. It can be anywhere between 4 am and 11 am. But everyday he calls. It’s quick and scratchy. He’s usually breathless from the hard work on deck. But the minute he can, he phones in a very brief update on how they are doing, in numbers. He will tell me how far into the gear they are (2 down 3 to go) and then the amount they’ve got so far, of course the bigger that number the better. Sometimes he’ll mention a price change, if there is one (meaning the price per lb we will be paid from our buyer ~ this number can totally make or break the whole load of fish. Yet, another thing we have zero control over) Sometimes he will toss in a food item request or an order for a part that needs replacing and end with what time we should meet him at the dock. Then, he’s off. The kids can tell right away how it’s going. I always, always, always say ‘He’s doing fine ~ everything’s OK’ but they can read me like a book. I try to practice ‘being grateful always’…. but it seems I always need more practice at that one. The kids and I pray a lot while he’s gone.
But, this week. This is when I get myself ready for the switch over. I will go back over the numbers from previous years to remind myself right there in black and white that yes…. no matter how it feels or seems, somehow God gives my husband the strength and courage and stamina he needs. And, somehow He sees us through and what is necessary comes in and we are covered. I don’t need to carry that. I remind myself and then need to be reminded again and again. Then, I start to perform my little ritualistic habits of OCD list making, and super crazy cleaning and organizing. Somehow these things make me feel better about the whole thing. The kids and I ‘talk up’ what we will do when Dad’s gone. We always do some little special thing the first few nights he’s away. Maybe grab burgers and watch the sunset at the beach or plan a visit from a grandparent or gather the library books and pile into the big bed with snacks for a read-a-thon. Something to make the not-so-great feel like it’s washed in fun while we settle into this season.
Compounding my stress this year, Chris has mentioned taking Max as a 3rd man on deck. He’s nearly 15 years old. This is NOT wayyyyy offshore fishing like during Sword season. He’s an experienced kid who knows his way around that deck. He really wants a chance to make some money. There isn’t a reason in the world he shouldn’t go with his Dad. Except that I have a gigantic list of reasons why that precious child should be right here with me. I know he will end up going. I know it and I’ve known it for the past few years as I’ve seen him shoot up like an arrow and as I’ve replaced pair after pair of XtraTuffs with the next size up. I’ve noticed Chris asking me to drop him off at the dock to help unload or change gear or clean up more and more. I’ve seen this coming. So I’m not shocked completely. Even with irrational thoughts of my boy’s safety shoved deeply aside, I’m just not sure how I’m going to feel about having more space in the big bed during read-a-thons or how I am ever supposed to carry all of those bags of groceries in without my awesome helper or who will get up early with me to pour over the weather reports when Dad is gone. Plus, is poor Tippy going to walk her own little doggie self? If I thought making a list of all the reasons he shouldn’t go would change things even one bit, I would do it. But, like I said, I know he will end up on that boat no matter what my list says. Instead, I will obsessively clean and organize his room. That should keep me occupied for pretty much the entire season.
The Fisherman’s Wife is taking the day off from writing…. Grandma is in town!
My mom has TONS of energy and she loves to cook. The kids always end up in the kitchen with her, preparing something yummy. Check out what they’ll be making tonight:
Greek Style Halibut
2 Tbsp EVOO, divided
4 Halibut fillets (about 4 oz each)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into wedges
1Tbsp ouzo, or other anise flavored liqueur
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
2 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh oregano
1. Heat a skillet to med-high heat with 1/2 the evoo. Rub the Halibut w/ half the salt and pepper, brown it for 3-4 minutes on one side only and transfer to a plate.
2. Add the remaining EVOO to the pan with the fennel and ouzo. Cook, stirring frequently until light golden and almost tender. About 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook about a minute.
3. Add tomatoes, 1/2 c water, chickpeas, remaining salt and pepper and the oregano and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer. Lay Halibut fillets, browned side up in the sauce and simmer until the fish is cooked. About 5-7 minutes.
My mom found this recipe on recipes. com. We’ll be serving it with a lovely Orzo Salad. I’ll let you know how it turns out!
The house next to ours has been empty for several months. Our previous neighbors had 2 kids, one whom was near my children’s age and would frequently hop over the backyard fence and play at our house quite often. Since they moved away, the kids (OK, all of us) have been wondering who might move in. Of course the kids have all been hoping for a family with some other nice to kids to play with.
With it being Swordfish season and all…. we keep some weird hours. Plus, some random items might be hanging around our house that aren’t always there. Plus, well ~ we are just a little different. Anywhoooo….. Chris came in very late last night and was unloading random fishing related items from his truck when our new neighbor drove up. They didn’t have an exchange or anything. But if the new neighbor was watching his new neighborhood (like I would be doing) he would have caught a faint whiff of fish, and in the shadows he would have made out the figure of a large man carrying a large stack of Swords over to the dark side of the house. If he had good eyesight, he would have noticed that the Swords were bloody.
This morning, our new neighbor was serenaded by my youngest, clad only in his tiny underwear, shouting from the balcony, “Awww….MOM! The new guy is old and he looks too ancient to have little kids!!” Dear Lord in heaven, please let it be that the ‘new guy’ is very hard of hearing. And also let him be very near-sighted.
As I dragged my little man off the balcony, I caught a quick visual and was instantly reminded that yes, by some quirky act of fate, this was the same man that we briefly met several weeks ago. This is what had happened: As we were all piling into the car (and any of you with children know how fun this task can be – and by ‘fun’ of course I mean 3 stooges like crazy) my oldest noticed this gentleman, his wife and their realtor looking at the ‘for sale’ house. Of course, we couldn’t just give a welcoming wave and move on. My oldest son bolts over, thrusts his hand out to introduce himself (OK, so far so good, using your manners – good job!) and immediately asks ‘Are you a Republican or a Democrat?’ Seriously, not kidding. The rest of the incredibly awkward exchange is a blur to me. Thank God.
A message for my new neighbor:
Welcome to the neighborhood, kind sir. If I wasn’t so humiliated, I’d introduce myself and try to explain that the bloody Swords are actually a school project and that when we last met you we were smack in the middle of studying US Government and Politics (and I’ve since explained to my darling son that ‘we simply don’t ask that question’) and also that my youngest son isn’t always nearly naked and shouting at the top of his lungs. Well, that last part would be a lie, of course, but honestly we aren’t terrible neighbors. Please give us a chance. And by the way…. can we soften the blow by offering you some fresh fish?