Regina Redux

First of all, can I just say that e-check-ins are the best thing ever. That and no checked baggage. I am never checking baggage again. It’s so simple – you just get off the plane and go out of the airport. Even if, in future, I have to transport a body, I’m calling it a homoncophone and bringing it carry-on as a musical instrument.

Also, security’s still a little hinky. OK to wear my belt and boots in Vancouver and Calgary, but not Calgary on the way back. Contact lens solution goes in the little baggie in Vancouver, but not in Calgary, where they tell me my mascara has to be bagged. No one made me stay to test my birth control pills, so that was all right.

Regina: A balmy -15 at the coldest, so that was okay. Can I just say, though, those folks know about insulation. Compared to them, Vancouverites are like bears wandering in and out of drafty caves.

E’s 14-month-old nephew. Nickname, Kun-kun. Very cute, into everything, and so doted upon by both grandparents that there was an unprecedented amount of breathing room for me to read. Except at naptime.

E’s parents continue to be hilarious and baffling to me. They speak constantly but never seem to be listening to one another/whoever they are talking to. Example:

E’s Mom: Who’s going in the taxi?
E’s Bro: Me and Annette and Kun-kun.
E’s Dad: But we…haven’t called it yet. (He pauses in the middle of sentences sometimes.)
E’s Mom: Well, Eric and Liz could go in the taxi. Bill, where are your keys?
E’s Bro: I called a cab. We’ll get the cab and meet you there.
E’s Dad: Are Benj and Annette taking Kun-kun in the taxi?
E’s Mom: Bill, do you have your keys?
E’s Bro: Yes. Annette and I are taking Kun-kun in the taxi.
E’s Dad: We could drive in, ah, two shifts.
E’s Bro: The cab will be here in about twenty minutes.
E’s Dad: I wonder where my keys are. We could go three in one trip and three and Kun-kun in another trip. Or maybe we can fit three in the back seat.
E’s Mom: Are Eric and Liz going in the taxi?
E’s Dad: No…I think…wait. Maybe they are. Have you seen my keys?

Etc.

Also, E’s mom was mortified that neither E or I like Christmas cake. We took a couple of pieces to be polite, but then felt our duty was done. And yet she kept serving it. After every meal! We kept politely declining. When pressed, we confessed that neither of us cared for it. She kept lamenting, “Oh, this is a terrible Christmas for you!” (Baked-goods-wise, it was. The other dessert option was shortbread that had I thinkbaking powder in it. That may have been the most puzzling thing of all.)

Another weird thing: E’s mom kept deferring to my expertise in making a turkey dinner. She kept on exclaiming how difficult it must be to cook for 12, 0r 15, or 20 people. I tried to explain that there are three or four people in the kitchen when we cook for the orphans, and we all keep an eye on timing things and who does what. Was she intimidated by the fact that my friends and I can cook in bulk? I did wonder why she wanted to wait until the turkey was out of the oven to begin boiling the potatoes, but managed to hurry her up a bit on that. Potatoes can wait for turkey, but not the other way around. Also, I bulked up the gravy when she wasn’t looking. A half-cup of gravy just isn’t going to stretch to six adults, no matter how frugal we’re being.

E and I are back home now, in our drafty bear’s den, exhausted but unscathed.

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