Friday, December 31, 2010

Holiday Update

I type while seated in my childhood room. There's a quilt over my legs that was made in 1932 (which I know because the quilters embroidered their names and the date on their individual squares). The clock reads 10:01 but I haven't moved from bed since I awoke two hours ago. A slick hip hop beat slides from my brother's room through the library and under my door. I imagine it's either Jurassic Five or Collective Effort, perhaps Johnson & Johnson. He might be working on his own beats; our cousin Shara gave him a few tips on mixing songs in different genres. Barron has sat me down a couple of times to show me exactly what she meant by one technique or another. I like to think that all three Ryan children have equal musical talents, but Barron has a patience for learning the technique that I don't possess. He's also perfectionist enough to stay with something long enough to get it right.

My mother is in the kitchen. I know it's her and not my father because everything is open and shut with a little extra force. If my mother were a cartoon character, she'd be a small creature like a rabbit, or a squirrel, or a terrier, something energetic and quick. She's in the process of reorganizing and cleaning. My grandmother passed away on December 19th, the very reason why I'm here rather than in Kameoka, and had been living in the master bedroom downstairs. My parents moved back downstairs, fumigated the entire house yesterday, and my mother washed every scrap of linen. Mom is a multitasker, which means she and I don't always work well together, and always has a To Do list. Correction: she always has multiple To Do lists, and if her children are at home we get a list of our own. My mother has her own kind of grace and sophistication, but it wasn't until I was in college that I'd heard her described as "cute." "You're mom's so cute," a friend told me after my parents visited me, I think in reference to the way my mother sat on the couch with her legs tucked beneath her. I come by it honestly, I guess.

I can hear my father's voice. Oral Roberts University is on break right now, so Dad's usual daytime commitments are at a minimum. He told a family friend last night that he works like a dog until Christmas, then takes it easy through New Year's. We call the room where all my father's stuff is the studio. I'm only just realizing how rare that is; my father doesn't have an office. He has a studio. I think the only delineation, though, is that there's a keyboard. If I walk past the room, Dad's either practicing with his headphones on—the only sounds are the fleshy plunk of the keys—or he's working on the computer. When my father isn't working he's running errands or doing the manly things around the house. He relaxes occasionally, both of my parents do, but it looks so different from what I do to relax that sometimes I can't tell the difference between leisure time and work.

My sister is back in Washington D.C. now. She and I reached Tulsa on the same flight from Dallas. I got home and took a long nap. She went to meet some former coworkers and got a new job in Tulsa. My mother was so excited that she jumped around the house for a good twenty minutes. I have never, ever seen my mother behave like that. Safe to say that it put a different spin on what would have otherwise been a solemn reunion. Gillian has been away longer than I have. Sure, she didn't move countries, but she was in San Antonio for college, Kentucky for grad school and promptly moved to D.C. afterward. That's about 8.5 years away from Tulsa, plenty long enough to get worldly and decided that home isn't all that terrible. I'm excited because she'll be living on her own in a place that I can easily visit. I'm making a list of decorating blog articles to send her.

It's 10:55 now. I was going to write a list of everything I've done since being home, but that would take too long and I don't have any pictures to add. I need to go get ready for ice-skating outdoors in 70 degree weather.

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