We drove up to Moscow, Idaho last weekend for my sister Natalie’s high school graduation. I graduated from Logos in 1999 and had always been bugging my little sister to go. She never seemed that convinced. Picky, picky. Well her senior year she basically had the choice between that and Deary High. And she still had to think about it. Seriously? In any case, eventually the deal was sealed and she had to do her time as a Logos senior. Which apparently involved all kinds of horrible things, topped off by a 22 page thesis presented orally before a panel of judges. She spent all of her free time doing homework and thinking bad things about me. But she did good.
She graduated Summa Cum Laude (3.98 or higher GPA) and received the Logos Faculty Award. Which means she was voted unanimously by all of her teachers as being a total suck-up. You know, one of those cheerful, hard working, optimistic, over achievers who you want to punch in the face. I pointed out to the superintendent, “You never saw me getting any faculty awards.” He replied, “Yeah…I wasn’t going to say anything.” I was forced to conclude that we’re not related. My real sister wouldn’t be caught dead ordering the study materials for standardized tests, much less purchasing them with her own money. Who does that? The graduation was held at the University of Idaho Administration building. The children are now all die hard Vandals. “Nice yard! If we go to school here can we play in it?” All you want son. Natalie may have tried hard to blend in and pretend she wasn’t actually a redneck. But she had a harder time camouflaging her friends. Her classmates had been receiving their diplomas to somewhat stolid applause until Natalie was named. And then people all over were standing and screaming while the audience swiveled in their chairs trying to figure out who let the Clampetts in the building. When it was over I asked Natalie if she was sad she only got to go to Logos for her senior year. She looked at me like I was an idiot and said, “If I had to do this one more year I would drop out of school.” My friend Mackenzie begged to differ, “Whatever, she’d be valedictorian.” In any case, I’m very proud of her for sticking it out. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And Natalie is built pretty solid. 😉
Natalie at her reception in a dress sewn for her by Idgi.
The following day my mother hosted a lunch out at the family shack. I like how in Blandings Freddie uses that term to refer to their castle. But in this case the phrase ceases to be idiomatic.
Jael and I picked up Natalie some Jimmy Choo perfume at Macy’s.Reuben was not impressed. “What kind of present is that?”He obviously knows how to buy cooler presents. Like study Bibles.Wait, that’s not a Bible. That’s a gun. “Reuben, what are you doing buying your little sister something she can kill people with?”Reuben specified, “Kill anything with.” Like bears. Seriously. A Ruger SP101 .357 magnum, what every little girl needs.He even fitted her a custom holster and plans on making her hardwood grips for Christmas. What a nice brother.My dad sharing some verses he picked out for NatalieYes, the man in the kilt with the long hair is my pops. Cool, I know.My grandpa offering Natalie an undisclosed amount of money….Or a truck. She took the truck.
Later the mystery check was appropriately disposed of. With a torch. Natalie’s LOUD friends. 😉 Some serious cute baby. The baby’s mama. Don’t you like it when they make it look so easy? Round two of presents. Emily Post’s book of etiquette. I wonder if there is a chapter in there on how to politely knock off would be assailants. “I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to shoot you now. And unfortunately, this gun only takes really large bullets.” The little people.
Brother and sister. The last two (very) eligible Germains. You should get one. They come highly recommended. And if no one takes the one on the right they could very well become extinct. Someone has to do it. The ride home. My sentiments exactly.