How Christmas was supposed to go

Kids wake up well after sun fully risen, open their stockings.

Parents get up, begin breakfast.Dad leaves to do chores.

Kids sit down to breakfast but first open a special present.

Dad goes to bring the black lab/boxer mix dog named Lucy who we adopted in secret three weeks ago to the house.

Kids, who are at home opening one dog-themed present each, are confused but silent as they open the first, then second presents.

A collar? one of them will say. Why are you giving me this?

A leash? another will inquire. What’s going on?

A rubber bone? the third will query. Why do I need this?

None of them will dare guess because there have been no signs that a dog is coming, no hints, no warning. We haven’t been talking about it, they have not been asking again for one.

Dad rolls into the driveway.

The kids are now talking to each other about what they got in their stockings and look out the dining room window casually to see dad pull up. They resume talking, drinking cocoa and eggnog. Dad comes in but he isn’t alone. In bounds a shiny black dog with a tag that says Lucy. At first, nobody moves. Mom and Dad are watching for reactions. Lucy, too is frozen for a moment. Then, everyone begins talking at once.

Oh my gosh!

I can’t believe it!

Is she ours?

Her name is Lucy.

This is awesome!

Where’s she been all this time?

Thanks, mom and dad!

So that’s what the presents were for!

Oh, now I get it!


How Christmas actually went

Kids wake up well after sun fully risen, open their stockings.

Parents get up, begin breakfast.Dad leaves to do chores.

Kids sit down to breakfast but first open a special present. Dad goes to bring the black lab/boxer mix dog named Lucy who we adopted in secret three weeks ago to the house.

Parker opens collar.

“Catherine’s cleaning the poop,” he says.

No one hears him, because he talks so much all the time, nobody pays attention to him. I am videotaping this, so I say loudly,

“Hey, Harry open yours!”

Harry opens his: a matching leash. He looks at Parker who has not stopped repeating his sentence.

“Catherine’s cleaning the poop, Catherine’s cleaning the poop,Catherine’s cleaning the poop,Catherine’s cleaning the poop.”

“Shut up, Parker,”  Harry says. “Mom, wait a minute. What is this for?”

“Let Scout open hers, ” I say.  Somehow Scout hasn’t heard Parker, thank god.

Harry says ” No way, I way asking for like three years. Tell the truth, Mom, what kind is it?”

Parker, “Catherine’s cleaning the poop.”

Harry,” Dude,shut up.”

Catherine opens the box with a dog brush and other dog stuff. She gets very excited.

“Catherine, you’re cleaning the poop,” Parker says.

Dad rolls into the driveway.

Catherine grabs the leash and the collar and goes out into the driveway to meet her new dog and Harry goes out, too.

He has no coat on, so he stays in the mudroom.

The cat comes into the mudroom from wherever it hangs out at night.

Harry steps out to greet the dog.

Cath hands him the leash, walks into mudroom, says hi to cat, gets ready to introduce him to the dog.

Harry walks the dog into the mudroom.

Dog sees cat, lunges barks like crazy which echoes in room with tiled floor.

Cat sees the dog, freaks out completely.

Cat literally leaps to ceiling trying to get away.

Dog is barking with excitement. Cat is scrambling in terror.

Catherine is screaming to the cat to calm down and crying for Daddy to save the kitty. Doug is hollering at dog to ” Cut the ^%$!”

Harry is pulling leash with all his might, yelling “Holy crap! They hate each other already!”

Parker, who has not moved from the dining room table and who can see all this through the window into the mudroom, is laughing so hard, he is doubled over in spasms and tears are rolling down his face.

I get up and push stop on the video recorder.

Another Beaupre Christmas.


You’d think I’d be used to it by now

“Go check out a lesson.” These words were spoken to me by a riding instructor who has been teaching my daughter for three years at a nearby stable.  I was considering whether to try this new one out and the current teacher was encouraging me. Me, a city girl who has never been on a […]

…and this time I mean it.

When I first moved to the woods aka the Upper Connecticut River Valley, it was summer and I was pregnant. I liked the casual way everybody dressed. I threw on whatever I wanted and got on with my day. Eventually, my friends got tired of me wearing pajama pants, rainboots and the same long sleeve t-shirt day after day, […]


To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite books. Strange that a Bostonian should enjoy a book about the Deep South.  Stranger still that an African American should like anything set in the Jim Crow era.  It’s about hard truths of racism, and I like it anyway. It’s long in the way great books […]


One day at the beach, a woman came over to me and said,” Your kids are burning.”  I jumped up in alarm.  The kids were exactly where I’d left them-in front of the lifeguard with enough floatation devices on them to help them levitate.  I squinted at her.  “They’re getting sunburned,” she explained.  I had […]

my commute, such as it is

Tomorrow, like a lot of us, I go back to work. I drive on a two lane road, pass one blinking light, go through a small town, go into a small city, turn at one real light, pass through several more real lights that only turn back on at about 7 am, drive on 4 lanes […]


I  moved to northern New Hampshire about 16 years ago willingly.

I like the landscape. I have learned to like the weather- to cross country ski, to have a flower garden, to at least look at horses, to know the difference between corn to eat  and corn for sileage.

I know what sileage is.

It took me all this time to get  where I am  and this blog is about that journey. Sometimes I will have new experiences to share, but most of this stuff already happened. It’s mostly funny, none of it is hostile and any anxiety was usually mine. You’ll soon see why.

Gonna try to take the NaNoWriMo challenge and post daily here and in my other blog teachermother.

Thanks for reading.