Ah, the memory is the first to go with senility. I can’t remember if I wrote about my peacock Christmas or not before, but in honor of my newest mystery, Murder at Peacock Mansion, my kids gave me a peacock Christmas. Jordan got marvelous black pants with peacock patterns on the legs and waist—they are at the tailor’s now—and Colin and Lisa go a metal yard sculpture of a peacock.
On Christmas morning, I looked down at the odd metal thing with lots of petals or something and wondered what it could be. Next to it sat a three-pronged metal thing with a sharp point sticking straight up. In some alarm, I said to Lisa, “One of the kids could impale themselves on that.” She laughed and called to Colin, “Your mom wants to know what this is. She’s afraid it will hurt her.” Turned out one of the peacock’s legs had broken off in transit and turned into a lethal weapon.
I brought it home and asked Lewis Bundock, the contractor who keeps everything, big and small, running in my household, if he could weld it. He could and brought it back yesterday, so now my proud peacock stands magnificent and colorful. He needs a name, though I haven’t come up with that yet. Eventually he will stand on the patio by my cottage, but I will have to enlist Greg’s help to make him stable and not subject to every wind that blows. Meantime I’m not sure where to put him, and he resides in my dining room. Sophie has shown no interest.
One of the problems with announcing you’re going to remodel, I’ve found, is that everyone expects it to move rapidly. If you’ve ever remodeled anything, you know that doesn’t happen. Tonight at neighbors’ night at the Grill people asked how it was proceeding, and the best I could say was slowly. We’re still waiting on full architect’s plans to submit to the city for a building permit. Meantime I’m worrying about the problem of new roofs for both the house and the cottage—like a niggly naggling something in the back of my brain. Please don’t ask—I’ll announce when work begins. Meantime, Lewis Bundock is proceeding with plans for blocking off the door between my bedroom and the guest room, which will become, respectively, Jordan and Christian’s bedroom and Jacob’s. I’m letting Christian deal with that.
A learning lesson for Jacob tonight: he went to a friend’s house, said they did all their homework, and was back by six. His Tuesday night chore is to empty the recycling bin and take the garbage carts down to the street. I asked at six if he didn’t want to get it done. “In a minute.” Finally he did take the two recycling containers and empty them into the cart. But he announced he would take the carts down when we came home from dinner. And no, he didn’t need a jacket—it wasn’t that cold.
When we came out from dinner, amazing how cold it had gotten. He was shivering and freezing and said he had to warm up before taking the carts down. That meant watch one video. Then he said he was just going to run and get it done—and he did, for which I’m grateful. With my ongoing back problems and new sore knee, I wasn’t up to it. So I thanked him profusely but I couldn’t resist saying I hoped he learned a lesson about doing things the first time he’s asked. He was sort of committal in his answer. I keep hoping.