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December 14th

Stúfur – Stubby

Today’s Yule Lad and the ones a-coming have in common they sneak about the kitchen doing disagreeable things to the kitchenware. The third Yule Lad is Stubby, a precise if not too imaginative sobriquet as he is the smallest of the brothers. It is not clear how short he is (or how tall are the others). You would think after centuries of them showing up every Christmas time somebody should know the stats by now. Stubby uses his stature to hide and snatch bits of food and fronds left over in the frying pans. Sometimes he’s known as ‘Pan Scraper’ and I don’t blame him for insisting on that name. No man wants to be known as ‘stubby’.

I made the decision to go to Michigan in next month. After a year of careful and proper covid19 protocols I am plan on doing one of the worst things possible: get on a airplane. I am not looking forward to this,  but I feel it is the right thing to do. Father’s poor health has been very draining on Brother #3 who is providing 24/7 care. Brother #2 and #4 come in at times to help out. It’s my turn now, not only to provide care but give Brother #3 a much needed break. I think both of them are cracking a bit and some ‘counseling’ (or at least a shoulder to cry on) is indicated. I hear Father is already looking forward to my visit, so just the news itself has helped raise his sagging spirits. 

Nowadays I have a funny role in the family, sort of the odd-guy out. Once upon a time I the eldest was the crown prince, the apple of the parents’ eyes. This all changed when the grandchildren arrived hohoho. I also moved away from the Michigan while the others remained ‘nearby”.  Add to the formula Brother #2 and SIL#3 are ‘proper doctors’ whom the parents called rather than me whenever they had medical questions. The dynamics are shifting again to become more of the older brother and oldest son in charge and rock. 

I go won’t sleep much for four days while I am there and I pray I don’t show up with the plague in my carry-on luggage. As stated, it feels the right thing to do. It sucks, which is often a sure sign I am doing the right thing. 🙂 

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