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We have a bright orange sign on our lawn. It says YES on 1. Dad and Richard have one, too. Some people around here have signs that say NO. They say we have to protect marriage. I don’t understand how my dad and Richard getting married would hurt anybody. I like what my next door neighbor, Mrs. O, says: Families are families and love is love.  I think she’s right. I wish kids could vote.

I hope people say YES.

When it rains during school vacation week, my sled looks FORLORN, which is my new favorite word. It sounds so forlorn…which means sad and lonely. I also like JUBILANT and last night we were! Dad called Mom and we thought it was an emergency because he hardly ever does, and it was just the northern lights. Mom and Tofu and I ran out into the field behind our house. The sky had cleared, and it was like the sky was singing…white beams of light and green shimmering. It made us feel small and also jubilant.

Maine abbreviated is ME. I love that!

Mrs. Ordinance likes to welcome the new year wearing pearls, so she did, even though it was just me, and Mom, and Colby in our plain old house. And Tofu of course. Still, she looked very nice, and we all wore those funny birthday hats. In a way, it is a birthday: the NEW year is born. Colby and Mom made a new year’s painting together, while Mrs. O and I baked cookies in the kitchen. The house smelled great: oil paint and chocolate. I called Dad and Richard and they let me talk to Bird. She said, “dumpling” for some reason. I don’t know if she was talking about herself or the new year.

HoHoHo

I like both my houses at Christmas. Over at Dad and Richard’s, Beatrice Strawberry Bird went missing and scared us all for a while. We always worry she’ll actually get out of the house. That wouldn’t be good, especially right now since it’s winter. But we found her when we heard opera coming at us from the top of the Christmas tree!  Maybe she thinks she’s an ornament?

A Summer Song in December!

My Dad makes jam from all the summer berries. He freezes them, first, then waits until now when it’s cold and standing over a steam bath of canning jars on the stove feels good.

“You do this with surgical precision, Andrew” says Richard, which means that Dad is really good at not spilling, and at getting all the jars to seal up tight. Also, he IS a doctor, after all. I love Dad’s blueberry jam best, but also the strawberry, since I helped him pick some of those berries way back in June. Jamming means we get summer in a jar, all winter long. Besides, Bird is in Bird Heaven, since we let her have some berries to peck at. “Fat Berry” says Beatrice Strawberry Bird. Maybe she is talking about herself?

I wanted to be Hawaiian but it snowed.  So I had to wear my puffy jacket and it looked ridiculous. I snuck out of the house with no boots, though. Only flip-flops. (My toes think this might have been a mistake.) I went with Colby. He was a surfer dude. But then he had to take Darby and Cece, two of his sisters, home before we’d really gone anywhere. I kept going by myself, and of course I ran into Amanda and her friends and looked like a lonely loser in a stupid costume. So I went to Mrs. O’s house, which I always save for last, on account of the cookies, and a tall werewolf opened the door, and I screamed. Tricks can be so embarrassing if they happen to you. (Fortunately, I did get a lot of treats, too, including bubblegum.)

A week ago, Dad and Richard and I harvested their pumpkins. I got to pick one to take back to Wolfgang. It was easy to pick since they only got three pumpkins (one got eaten by squirrels). I picked the one that grew in the tree! For some reason, its vine snaked up the trunk and produced a pumpkin. Richard helped me get it since he’s really tall. Not too many people have a pumpkin tree. It looks like a regular pumpkin, even though it grew way up high. Maybe I’ll carve it into some kind of bird. (It’s a good thing we harvested when we did, since it actually SNOWED yesterday. A lot. I hope it melts before tomorrow night, since I don’t want to wear winter boots with my costume. Which is secret for now.)

There’s a toad in Dad and Richard’s garden. He loves to hang out by the tomatoes. Some people think toads are ugly, but I do not. So what if he’s warty? What’s cool is, he can dig himself down into the soil and pretty much disappear. I wish I could do that, especially when that nosy neighbor comes by all the time and asks me silly questions!

My dad and Richard took me to the fair.  Dad was helping collect signatures in support of marriage equality. He had to sit at a table for an hour, so Richard and I walked around without him. We saw the world’s biggest cow, and watched a really smart sheepdog herd some pure black sheep. Then it started to rain, so we got cotton candy. It’s fun to watch them make it. Little sugar threads spin round and round and it looks like nothing, but  suddenly you have a sugar mountain on a stick. The only problem is, rain kind of makes cotton candy wilt (but it still tastes good). When we got back to Dad, he and the other volunteer had collected sixty-one signatures already. I wish everybody would sign, but some people just walk by and don’t even want to think about it. That makes me sad. Then it stopped raining and a new volunteer came, and Richard and Dad and I rode the Ferris wheel. “You can see all the way into next year from up here,” joked my dad. “Is there marriage equality there?” asked Richard. “YES!”I yelled, and I sure hope so.

My name is India McAllister and these are my true, random, sort of secret thoughts.

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