فصل 12

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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متن انگلیسی فصل

12

On December eleventh Grandma sailed on a three-week cruise to the Caribbean. She went every year. She had a bon voyage party in her room on the ship. This year I was allowed to go. My mother gave Grandma a green silk box to keep her jewelry safe. It was very nice-all lined in white velvet. Grandma said thank you and that all her jewelry was for “her Margaret” anyway so she had to take good care of it. Grandma’s always reminding me of how nobody lives forever and everything she has is for me and I hate it when she talks like that. She once told me she had her lawyer prepare her funeral instructions so things would go the way she planned. Such as, the kind of box she wants to be buried in and that she doesn’t want any speeches at all and that I should only come once or twice a year to see that her grave is looking nice and neat.

We stayed on the ship half an hour and then Grandma kissed me good-by and promised to take me along with her one of these days.

The next week my mother started to address her Christmas cards and for days at a time she was frantically busy with them. She doesn’t call them Christmas cards. Holiday greetings, she says. We don’t celebrate Christmas exactly. We give presents but my parents say that’s a traditional American custom. My father says my mother and her greeting cards have to do with her childhood. She sends them to people she grew up with and they send cards back to her. So once a year she finds out who married whom and who had what kids and stuff like that. Also, she sends one to her brother, whom I’ve never met. He lives in California. This year I discovered something really strange. I discovered that my mother was sending a Christmas card to her parents in Ohio. I found out because I was looking through the pile of cards one day when I had a cold and stayed home from school. There it was-just like that. The envelope said Mr. and Mrs. Paul Hutchins, and that’s them. My grandparents! I didn’t mention anything about it to my mother. I had the feeling I wasn’t supposed to know.

In school, Mr. Benedict was running around trying to find out what happened to the new choir robes. The whole school was putting on a Christmas-Hanukkah pageant for the parents and our sixth-grade class was the choir. We didn’t even have to try out. “Mr. Benedict’s class will be the choir,” the principal announced. We practiced singing every day with the music teacher. I thought by the time Christmas finally rolled around I wouldn’t have any voice left. We learned five Christmas carols and three Hanukkah songs-alto and soprano parts. Mostly the boys sang alto and the girls sang soprano. We’d been measured for our new choir robes right after Thanksgiving. The PTA decided the old ones were really worn out. Our new ones would be green instead of black. We all had to carry pencil-sized flashlights instead of candles.

We practiced marching down the halls and into the auditorium singing “Adeste Fidelis” in English and Latin. We marched in two lines, boys and girls. And naturally in size places. I walked right behind Janie because Ruth had moved away. My partner turned out to be Norman Fishbein. I never looked at him. I just marched looking straight ahead singing very loud.

A week before the pageant Alan Gordon told Mr. Benedict that he wasn’t going to sing the Christmas songs because it was against his religion. Then Lisa Murphy raised her hand and said that she wasn’t going to sing the Hanukkah songs because it was against her religion.

Mr. Benedict explained that songs were for everyone and had nothing at all to do with religion, but the next day Alan brought in a note from home and from then on he marched but he didn’t sing. Lisa sang when we marched but she didn’t even move her lips during the Hanukkah songs.

Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret. I want you to know I’m giving a lot of thought to Christmas and Hanukkah this year. I’m trying to decide if one might be special for me. I’m really thinking hard God. But so far I haven’t come up with any answers.

Our new green choir robes were delivered to school the day before the pageant and were sent home with us to be pressed. The best thing about the pageant, besides wearing the robe and carrying the flashlight, was that I got to sit in the first row of choir seats, facing the audience, which meant that the kindergarten kids were right in front of me. Some of them tried to touch our feet with their feet. One little kid wet his pants during the scene where Mary and Joseph come to the inn. He made a puddle on the floor right in front of Janie. Janie had to keep on singing and pretend she didn’t know. It was pretty hard not to laugh.

School closed for vacation right after the pageant. When I got home my mother told me I had a letter.

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