Dec 19, 2008

holiday happenings

Posted by Mary |

What is the face of evil?

This, my friends. At work today, we had a white elephant gift exchange, and that man stole my gift! My dvd of Office Space - the special edition with Extra Flair! I'd call him a dirty rat bastard, but some of my coworkers read this blog. I seized the opportunity to take advantage of the an-item-can-only-be-stolen-three-times rule and finalized the ownership of The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead.

In entirely unrelated news, I decided to send my mom an e-mail letting her know the Christmas package was on its way. But, what with my personality, this is what came out:

Fort Fairbanks
December 18, 1863

Dearest Mother,

I write to you today to inform you of a recent package sent via Pony Express. It contains tokens of my affection which I hope will help my family to remember me while I am away during these holidays. Please do, at your earliest opportunity, open the parcel, for it contains some goods which may not last until Christmas morn. I speak, of course, of a small gold tin, which contains baked goods for my beloved sister, Jeanne, and her husband. I fear if not given early, these tender morsels of my affection may be bitter and inedible by the time the holiday celebration dawns. Also in the package, but not disguised by the normal trappings of Christmas finery, are two small discs which contain a multitude of music for both my father and my sister and her husband. I rather think they will find these discs a most wondrous invention, for though they bear none of the grooves of our old records (and fondly do I remember those wintry days of my youth when we would listen to records for hours) yet still they issue forth melodies. I dare say I do not understand how such devices create the sounds, but hope that all present might enjoy them.

I had hoped to send monies to you for the purchase of some local spirits for my sister and her husband. Alas I discovered only after my parcel had been taken forth from this place that I had neglected to send the cheque. I will, at my earliest opportunity, send one payable to your order, so that you should not face any unnecessary hardships during these times.

As we are fighting on the front lines, our local command sergeant has seen fit to raise our combat pay, and I entreat you to spend $50 on spirits. The local shopkeeper would surely know of a suitable drink, though if he does not or is a teetotaler (as many these days are), I pray you ask of him for some nice red wines. Don't let him fool you with cheap goods, as some tricksters are wont to do, but rather insist on an Argetinian Malbec or a Shiraz or Red Zinfandel. I have heard also that some white wines are quite pleasing to the palate, though our supply lines have been cut off in the winter and I cannot reasonably advise on any.

The time wears slowly away, though my superiors tell me that the end approaches plainer to view. We are now slowly and surely closing ranks along the city and in a few days I think a glorious victory will be won and a bright day will dawn upon our afflicted company. I still cannot get my colonel to grant a furlough, else I would be home with you for the holidays. I hope these few lines may find you enjoying good health. I remain as always, your affectionate daughter.

Mary V. Haley
Corporal, Company H
17th Alaska Regiment

And her reply?

Beloved daughter,

I received your missive and was happy to hear that all is well with you. I have just finished stringing the cranberry and popcorn for the garland. This forenoon I made several French meat pies and readied a stuffing for our Christmas turkey. This year with conditions such as they are, there is nary a goose available to grace our holiday table. At present we are in the midst of a heavy snow storm. The snow is falling at about 2 inches and hour so there is much shoveling to be done. The Lebanon stables were not prepared for this storm so the horses will not be available for our use until perhaps a day or two.
For now I will busy myself with some knitting. Sister Mary I presume is still knitting her scarf. She seems to have great difficulty in maintaining a pattern. However, I have often told her not to worry. As long as the scarves are nice and warm, no one will notice a few errors in pattern. One must give her credit for her perseverance in mediocrity. I will be working on an afghan to lay over the bed warmer.
Your uncle James is in the vicinity of Fort Griswold in Groton. We are presently unsure of his condition and can hopefully assume that all is well with him. Yesterday I spoke with your grandparents. They too are in Groton. Your grandfather is doing his part in securing his domicile. He stands watch generally from early morning until evening. Your grandmother is still working on the quilt she began about 15 years ago. It should be a work of art if she ever manages to complete it.

Your father was unable to get to New London today. The roads are impassable so he was disturbed but agreed he could only stay home. Your sister did go to her office this morning but was back home before lunch. Her husband was unable to get to New Haven. In good weather, it is a very long trek so it was unthinkable that he should attempt it in the midst of a storm. Your sister is doing some holiday baking while her husband tends to the wood stove and the roadway.

I bid thee farewell for now and will let you know when we receive your package.

We send you all our love and fondest wishes for a wonderful holiday.
Father and Mother

Yeah, that stuff seems to run in the family.


Craig said...

That's too bad. I know how you must feel, though. I was also at a white elephant gift exchange today and somebody stole my Zombie Survival Guide! That's my book!

I was all ready to spend the rest of the day sulking over my three pound chocolate bar until that up and left on me too.

Now all I'm left with is a flying saucer lacking the horsepower to take me home.

Glad to see Office Space was a hit, though :D