Today is my littlest sister’s birthday. Normally, this would be cause for much family hoopla and celebration, but at the moment, my littlest sister is in FRANCE.
Which is still kind of hard for me to believe. Because even though she has been to France many times, and even though she speaks fluent French and even lived there for several years, I still think of Betsy (Elizabeth to everyone outside the immediate family) as a little tot with jelly on her face and uncombed hair, wearing her favorite hand-me-down green Peanuts sweatshirt. Damn she was cute.
She’s still cute, but much taller now, and her fashion sense has improved dramatically. She's also very clean, usually.
So anyway, I e-mailed her some happy birthday greetings already this morning, and she will be back in a few days, at which time the hoopla and celebration will commence in earnest. In the meantime, in case you underestimated the level of Little House insanity that happens in my family on a regular basis, I give you this recent e-mail from my baby sister, who is now very tall and well dressed in France:
“I think I may have just watched one of the worst Little House episodes ever! It was like a train wreck from beginning to end. Does anyone remember the episode where Mr. Edwards (who really hasn't been spoken of for five years) suddenly reappears?
‘Grace’ is played by the crazy mother of ‘Ellen,’ who took Laura hostage and tried to feed her birthday cake in the cellar about three seasons prior. Ironically enough, the first scene is her bringing out a birthday cake for CARL (who isn't really Carl), which had me really confused for a while. Drunk Mr. Edwards ruins the party and gets kicked out and suddenly appears in Walnut Grove. He almost kills Albert while driving his wagon drunk, and ends up living with Laura and Almanzo because Pa kicks him out.
Laura, for whatever reason, keeps... talking... really... slowly... thoughout... the... entire... episode.
Mr. Edwards miraculously sobers up though some intense plowing therapy, but is tempted to drink after receiving a letter from Grace/Crazy Mom saying she has met someone else named Sims and wants a divorce (awful quick little hussy! And didn't Miss Beadle marry a guy named Sims??).
Thankfully, the Mercantile closes at 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays, so Mr. Edwards is unable to buy cough syrup or vanilla extract and decides instead to go to the church.
Who remembers that Rev. Alden was an alcoholic?!? Well, he apparently was! As Mr. Edwards is praying aloud, Rev. Alden comes in and confesses that 30 years ago he was in the exact same situation but found God and was cured. Convenient!
The icing on the train wreck comes from our favorite little actress, Carrie. In the final scene, where Rose is baptized at Plum Creek, during a close-up pan of those in attendance, Carrie looks DIRECTLY into the camera not once, but TWICE.
Maybe they should have left her in the well!”
Happy birthday Bettina! You are awesome and I adore you!