Birthday Parties and Color-coded T-shirts

Last Thursday, I gutted my daycare room in a massive dejunking effort, and cleaned even the sludge from the tops of my kitchen cabinets.  On Friday before I had to leave for class, I  gutted every cabinet in my kitchen upstairs.  (Since moving up there a year or so ago, I’ve just been throwing dishes and groceries into whatever cabinet happened to have room. It would take me longer to find a paring knife or a cheese grater, than to make an entire dinner.)  Saturday, I was in class until four in the afternoon, and then had meetings from six thirty until nine thirty that night.

Naturally, I decided to have company for dinner on Sunday, exploded cabinets notwithstanding. They were my parents and my youngest brother; they can handle it. Although, there’s something about having company over for dinner that will get the organizational juices flowing again and subconsciously I probably realized that. Still not finished, but the counter tops were clear, I can tell you where my pasta is.

Anyway. The occasion was my brother came down from Canada and he was twenty five on Saturday–still single, but starting to think about the significance of that fact.  He’s eight days short of being precisely ten years younger than me and therefore his is the only birthday of all my siblings that does not require mental  math on my part. (Although, for all my groaning about math over the years, I began a new class this weekend about teaching math to little people, and I’m surprised to like it as much as I do.)

I meant to take pictures, I really did, but we’ll have to settle for one from a reunion three and a half years ago–two of my siblings are missing, we’d been camping, and we are all decked out in identical green t-shirts, but since I was too lazy to retrieve the camera let alone get all Nazi with it yesterday, this is as good as it gets. He’s the half-breed:

Kidding about the half-breed bit–he’s just always looked the part. He’s as Caucasian as the rest of us. You have to admit, I look more like my brother than my sisters, no? My youngest sister–Curlylocks, on the right there, lived just down the street from me  and shared dozens of the same acquaintances and friends for years before they figured out that we were related.

I took this brother out for lunch last year when I was in his college town taking my entrance exams and found it a little disconcerting to drive along behind someone whose reflection in their rear view mirror looks like my own. Just in case you were wondering what’s up with our fashion sense, take a look at this:

Yeah. That’s the idea. These are the grandparents with 97 (possibly 98?) great grandkids and the powers that be wanted to color code us for the family picture. And no, they aren’t all there. The greens are my parents and siblings and and our kids. That strange little logo on the shirts (ours was on the back) is a silhouette of Chief Mountain, which my grandmother has painted in acrylic for decades. You can see it on the horizon in this photo I took from the top of Grandma’s hill:


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