I talked to my Dad over the holidays and got the update on my family in Florida. I called Jon after I hung up with my Dad and passed on the news:
What is wrong with your family?
What do you mean?
When we call home to Minnesota we hear about so and so's new job, or a new baby, but pretty much everyone's fine. Just fine.
You spend 10 minutes on the phone with your father and learn that he's getting new body parts, your cousin has a disease, and your aunt's house blew up. That's just not normal!
So let me explain. My Dad has bad knees and is getting new ones in March. He's a regular Mr. Potato Head. My cousin in NYC has been recently diagnosed with Crohn's disease. That really sucks. They've had bad luck lately as her father, my uncle, fell out of his hay barn over the summer because of heat stroke. They say it will take him 8 mos to recover. He's the one who chopped off his thumb last year. And that brings us to my Aunt and her house. Her husband, Uncle Soprano, was trying to light a fire in the fireplace downstairs when he knocked over the can of kerosene he was using (don't ask me why). Blew up the house. My aunt was had to be rescued by the firefighters as she was stuck on the balcony of the second floor and couldn't get down. They are ok but the house is really damaged and it totally destroyed their home office where they run his business. We are not the luckiest of families.