"Just now I did C Major," Myra chimes. She lopes through the kitchen, a cloud of red hair tied into a pony.
"Good," I say. I pull meat from a spiral ham and stack it on a plate for Craig.
"It's easy for me to do C Major," she sing-songs, her bobbing head an unwitting metronome. She trollies back to the living room, the tinkling piano keys lost in a Canasta tournament spread across the living room floor.
"Did you do all of it?" I say when she surfaces again. I try to replay the tinkle-tinkle of keys in my mind. "It didn't sound like all of it. Can you do all of it?"
"Yeah," she nods, "did it."
"Almost," I say. "Here, show me what you did."
I follow her to the piano. Her toothpick fingers pick out the notes one at a time. She starts on F. She strokes the keys in order, even slips her thumb under to play the last five notes.
"You did it," I say. The words slip out more like a question than a statement. "Wow." I grin. She hops on one foot. "Now just start here by the two black keys." I point to C.
"Okay," she says.
So it is, C Major lilts across the living room, second cousin to math facts and penmanship. The old fashioned disciplines become symbols of achievement.
5534. Family birthday party. Potluck gourmet, gifts and encouragement, we linger and laugh.
5535. Pizza night.
5536. Game night and popcorn.
5537. Jesse, Libby, and the gang come for dinner. The children bound through the kitchen and flop on the old plaid couch. They giggle and laugh, flash the lights, bury themselves in pillows. Dinner is almost an after thought in all the excitement.
5538. Craig and his brother cut up an old tree up on the mountain. They split it down to firewood size in the bitter morning cold and stack the old red pickup full.
5539. Craig and I make our third batch of clam dip. We start planning peppermint popcorn. He buys me the bulk supply of white chocolate chips.
5540. Onions. The gift of onions.
5541. Lucy challenges me in Canasta. A narrow victory, I win by 20 points.
5542. I finally finish knitting Lucy's Christmas dress.
5543. A week of bitter cold, the sun warms Sunday afternoon up to 40 degrees. The children dig a couple of beets yet in the garden. They still look good.
5544. We make plans to eat the beets and smooth the week into a nest egg of hard work -- prelude to Thanksgiving.