Sunday, March 18, 2007

Contrails in the Sky

My radio is softly playing in the background. A hot kettle of water just got finished whistling loudly at a boil and I added a tea bag and set my timer for ten minutes. Maggie is lying on the floor after going outside for a bathroom break and is crunching on a pig’s ear and thoroughly enjoying the warmth of my gas heater. I have just finished washing my dishes after a breakfast of cheddar cheese grits with crumbled bacon, two bananas, and a large glass of ice cold whole milk.
We got off the phone after I talked to my father for a short while. He is just ecstatic about the new baby and is so proud. My father has his faults, but he is undeniable family man and adores his children and grandchildren.
Once again, I was up well before dawn as I completed my daily hike. The sun was just peeking over the horizon as I walked back into my neighborhood. The contrails of jets crisscrossed the sky highlighted in pink by the early morning sun. All was well in my little world.

I talked to my sister on the phone for a long time yesterday evening which is rare for me to do. We have probably talked less than three times this year.

“The baby has a full head of jet black hair and a tan,” My sister said sounding surprised.

I and my sister are fair haired, fair skinned, and freckled which explained her surprise.

“Does she cry a lot?” I asked.

“She tends to cry between 11pm and 2am,” My sister said as she laughed. “That would be just my luck as we are going to bed.”

“When do you start your oncology fellowship?” I asked.

“As soon as I get back from my five weeks of maternity leave,” She replied.

“Well, I am proud of you,” I said earnestly. “I still can’t believe I have a brother and sister that are both doctors.”

“Thank you,” She said. “Well, I better get back to tending to the baby. Dad is holding her now.”

“Let’s don’t go so long before we talk again,” I said.

“OK,” My sister replied. “I will call you again soon.”

We got off the phone after I talked to my father for a short while. He is just ecstatic about the new baby and is so proud. My father has his faults, but he is undeniable family man and adores his children and grandchildren.

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simonsays said...

I think that you are such a fair person, you have the unusual ability to look past the little (and sometimes big) things that can so easily get in the way of a good family relationship. You call a spade a spade and always tell it like it is. Often, you make my day with one of your blog entries. As always, thanks for sharing. Jamie

Cheryl said...

Good morning,
The sun is shining brightly, though it's cold and windy. That's OK...I've got the sun. I'm really glad you had a good conversation with your sister. I was reading over your post from a few days ago about your sibling's attitude towards you and your mother. I'm heartened to hear that you both do have a caring relationship despite that. Congratulations on becoming an uncle again.
I was just you ever have the opportunity to play the piano? You said you had a minor in piano performance in college. Do you still enjoy it?

abbagirl74 said...

Congrats Uncle Andrew. I am happy to hear you were able to talk to your sister. It's going to be a beautiful day in Kansas. Wish I could enjoy it with you.

Andrew said...


I have a practically brand new piano upstairs that was my late grandmother's and I never play it. When I came down with schizophrenia, I pretty much gave up everything musical which is a shame. The good news is that the piano was willed to me and will be moving with me to my new house. Hopefully, I will pick up playing again with a piano sitting in my new den. I have aspirations to start back. It certainly would be healthy as far as my creative and artistic side of my personality is concerned. Thanks Jamie and and Abba for the kind comments!


Xtemom said...

Afternoon Andrew!

I am now all caught up. I laughed a bit and cried a bit and could relate a lot to what you've posted in this blog of yours. I am glad to read you are getting back to your daily hikes as you seem to enjoy them mind, body and soul.

Congrats on the new addition, I hope you get to hold her soon.

I am anxious to go check out your Photo Blog as I've enjoyed the pics you've added to these posts.

But first a nap as I was up way late last night and then early this morning catching up...

Hope this day is a good day. xoxo

Eric Valentine said...

Hi Andrew, years ago I had a friend who had your same problem in life. He used to play piano, I love piano myself. This friend used to just blow me away with his talent ~ He could just about make that thing talk! I hope you do decide to play again one day.

fiwa said...

I'm so glad you had a nice conversation with your sister. I hope your relationship with her continues to improve - maybe the new baby will be the thing that brings you together.

Cheese grits...YUM! I love grits.

Augs Casa said...

Sounds like you had a nice conversation with your sister amigo. I have a younger sister who I am very close with but my older sister and I are not. I do not seak to her often, but when I do, I enjoy our conversatons. Congrats on the new nephew.

ursusdave said...

Ten-minute tea? I am strictly a 5-minute tea brewer. Tea brew times we don't have in common, but other things we do. Not all is in common to the same degree of course, but we have had enough similar experiences in our lives that it was good for me to find your blog. When I read your writings, it feels different from all the other reading of blogs and forum postings that I look at on the Internet. Your writing fits very comfortably into my head.

C.A. said...

Hi Andrew...It's so nice to hear about your Dad being so smitten with Miss Kathleen, and your having that conversation with your sister. I certainally hope youre enjoying your Sunday, along with Maggie. :)


Cindi Ann

mosiacmind said...

It sounds like a very nice start to your Sunday. I am glad that you got to talk to your sister. I did get out a bit today and it is sunny here and now it is about 40 degrees. I am so hoping to sleep tonight. I hope that the rest of your day went well.....

Jake said...

Hola...interesante tu blog.
: )
es bello el diseño y la composición
te espero por el mío.
desde argentina

Kristen said...

Hey there Uncle Andrew! I have not visited in a couple of days, and just caught up. Congrats! I am glad you had such a great talk with your sister and that you are again enjoying your hikes, I love reading about them.

Jenera Healy said...

Congrats on the new niece! I'm sure that is exciting! Sounds like your dad is happy as well.

I love the new look of your blog. How did you get the 'quotes' in the posts? I love that!


austere said...

You dont want to hear how we make tea in India. Boiled, sugary, lots of milk and spices,etc.

The baby is beautiful. thanks for the description.

-Lo said...

CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS!!! Uncle Andrew!!!
Sounds like a beauty!

Melanie said...

my first daughter was born with jet black hair and a tan...both sides of her family are pale-skinned and blonde. it was a shock! but the skin turned out to be a common case of jaundice and went away with some exposure to sunshine, and the hair changed rapidly to blonde over the first few months of her life.

i'm glad that you were able to share this cordial conversation with your sister, despite the strain between you. you seem a very fair and kind person, very forgiving.

also, i love reading your descriptions of what you eat, both what you fix for yourself and what you have at your parents' house. talk about truly Southern home cooking! cheese grits, pear salad, salmon croquettes, oh my! i was born and raised in New Orleans and you remind me of delicious, familiar comfort foods that my kids might have never tried before but were a daily part of my life for many years. it inspires me to fix things for them, and for my husband who is from up north, so they can get a little taste of home from my perspective.

i'll be driving my daughter down to New Orleans early in May, we're taking a little trip just the two of us, so she can see the place her mom grew up. i can't wait for her to try things like shrimp and grits when we get there. :)

thanks for the awesome blog, andrew. or is it jonathan? i get confused.