Sunday, November 27, 2011

In all sorts of stitches

We are thankful at Chez Reed for many things this holiday weekend. Among those things:

Health care

Let's start in reverse order. It had come to my attention (actually I knew about this but have been too lazy to fix it) that some people aren't on my photoshoot list on my laptop. So when I send the weekly update from upstairs, the people who live in my downstairs PC address book get left out. So I was trying to fix it while sitting at the kitchen counter.

Ali was cleaning her fish tank. Jeff came through and decided she needed to work harder. They were at the sink addressing the fish poop she'd left in the tank when she'd thought she was done. And then, a crash, a curse, a scream.

I twirl around to see Jeff holding a flailing, bloody, barefoot Alison. Approximately 1.5 gallons of fish poop-laden water and a pile of aqua aquarium rocks were rushing at me.

He was worrying (loudly) that she'd get her feet cut. She was panick-stricken and temporarily deaf. We got her out of the splash zone and I see what appeared to be a handful of slight cuts from arm to foot and a six-foot-long gash on her wrist. Maybe it was smaller, but I'm just reporting what I saw.

She was in the direct line of fire when the glass bowl had slipped from her hands and Jeff caught it quite firmly against the stainless steel sink. Hence, the crash, the curse and the scream.

My brothers have often used Super Glue for various cuts and scrapes, and we had some in the kitchen drawer, I opted, however, to dip into our health care plan.

Six Band-Aids, a bucket of tears and some terse exchanges after the fish bowl explosion, we were ready for a trip to the Immediate Care. That's when my cousin Lori showed up. We'd been expecting her. She was not expecting the reception. But like the good sport she is, she drove Ali and me to the Immediate Care Center while Jeff stayed behind to pick up glass and rock and fish poop.

Alison ended up with three stitches though she'd asked the doctor for "Instant Skin" instead. (She's been reading a lot of Harry Potter.) We'd told her she might not need stitches, but could instead have "liquid skin," a kind of FDA-approved Super Glue.

I'm sparing you some of the drama of how we went from flooded kitchen to stitched and wrapped wrist. It went on for a while. Hours after her recovery period in bed where she was resting her injury, she developed a distinct limp. It shifted from foot to foot as the evening wore on, so there was no follow-up trip to the doc.

This drama was preceded by a fabulous evening out with our friends Patricia and Patrick Jackson and followed by a fabulous evening in with our friends Duane and Kirsten Jasheway, all of whom we don't see enough.

The Jacksons get the prize for driving the farthest -- I first met them back in my Evansville news reporting days. Alison adores them both, and I suspect she and Patricia have some sort of mind meld.

We met for flatbread pizza at Napolese. If you haven't been there yet, you should go. Well worth the points, even on a holiday meal weekend.

So we laughed and reminisced well past Alison's bedtime.

On Saturday, Duane and Kirsten brought a sugar-free, fat-free chocolate pie that's been calling my name all day. I'm sure we had a lovely evening and talked about many sophisticated and silly things. But my mind is on that pie...

All this friendly frivolity, of course, was preceded by Thanksgiving. Team Reed doesn't often host because we rotate among my siblings and aunts, but it's always fun to do when we get the chance. I'm happy to report no trips to the Immediate Care Center were necessary on Thursday.

Jeff is still working a lot, so much of the day's planning and cooking fell to me. Always a risk. The gravy had more of a kick than it should have and the sweet potato souffles were better the next day, but it worked out and we had a great visit with most of my family.

Jeff deep-fried a turkey, I baked ham and turkey breasts. Yes, I confused cilantro and parsley, but the soon to be famous "green turkey" was kick-ass!

We all did miss our Aunt Joan, though, who passed away last week, joining Uncle Ed. You may remember him from previous posts that involved blowing things up with Jeff. They were two of our favorite people. Reportedly, their ashes are now resting side by side. His in a plain black box. Hers in a Depression glass cookie jar. Seems so fitting for the two of them.

We started the weekend on Wednesday with a visit from the Ogdens, and Ali just spent a few hours with them today. It's been a ton of work lightened with laughter and the warmth that comes from being with people who like you despite yourself. We're lucky to have all of them and all the ones we didn't actually see this week, but keep in our hearts. You know who you are.

And now, I think I'll have pie.

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