Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December 2nd

I planned almost all the activities that involve going somewhere for Tuesdays because I bribed Jon into coming with us (he is usually a fuddy duddy anti-social type) and that's his day off. Thus when Aleks opened Envelope Number Two, it read...
"Visit the Christmas Story house."
Somehow, when reading the A Christmas Story House website, all I saw was that they were open all year from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and failed to notice that they were only open Thursday through Sundays. Ultimately, that didn't matter too much as we got there 13 minutes before 5 anyway.

I asked Jon to look up the location. He said it was in Ohio City before looking up the directions, but did not tell me that he'd discovered it was in Tremont after looking up the directions. I wasn't driving, but for some reason he still went to Tremont via Ohio City, which is rather out of the way for us and missed several simple turns to get to Tremont. He said it was an adventure when I complained. He asked what time they closed as we were pulling up. I told him five and our clock read 4:59, but I reminded him that our clock was for some bizarre reason 12 minutes fast.

Then we noticed that Sebastian had fallen asleep. I wanted to go in to check it out, as did Aleks, but Jon was not that interested. We got out of the car to freezing temperatures and raced across the street to the gate, which read,
"Begin your A Christmas Story House experience by purchasing tickets at our ticket booth and gift shop across the street."
So across the street and down a bit further we went, things looking rather empty and dead. That's when I noticed the CLOSED sign with hours clarifying the Thursday through Sunday schedule. We didn't mind too much since it was so cold, though, and quickly took photos, noticed the mailbox where Ralphie gets his Little Orphan Annie Secret Decoder Ring and the security cameras on the porch (Aleks' observation), and fled the freezing outdoors for the safety of our car, replete with the NPR monotone running. Aleks refused to smile for the photo, due, I think, to the cold.
Then Jon took a wrong turn for the highway and we took a bit of a tour of the Steelyard. He pointed out this massive train car which used to carry molten steel. He once saw four of these lined up being pushed by a train engine, the heat causing ripples in the air, the train engine struggling. He went on a tour of the city as part of a graduate seminar last year and found all these fascinating historical tidbits which he periodically imparts on us (when I can drag him out of the house). He also pointed to The Leader Building downtown, which was the city's Republican newspaper during the 19th century. Jon spoke of reading the old papers for his dissertation. I joked that he knows all this history of a city he never sees.
We drove all through the industrial wasteland, admiring the massive smokestacks and rustbelt architecture.
Stopping at the Co-op on the way home, the boys all stayed in the car while I gathered raw veggies and herbs to treat a lovely case of pinworms. Aleks took this picture while they waited. He also insisted on having Papa put in the "Mizowski" CD (The Big Lebowski soundtrack) so he could listen to his current favorite song The First Edition's Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In), a song about LSD. [sarcasm] I'm so proud our six-year old is already into drug culture. [/sarcasm]

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