IF I DON’T time it right, I’ll never get into my own bathroom.
As if the two adults and two teens of my family don’t make time in the bathroom a precious commodity on any given day of the year, we added two more teens to the equation for winter break.
That makes six grown people sharing one toilet, one sink and one shower.
To be sure, households all over the West End have been going through the same scenario.
After all, it is winter break, a traditional time to get together with family and friends.
It’s a time to welcome people into our homes and be happy.
It is noteworthy though, that spacious and roomy do not describe many homes on the West End.
The more frequently applied adjectives to homes are cozy and darling.
The land might be described as spacious, but with temperatures in the 20s, the focus stays on the inside.
Kids sleep on the floor.
Adults sleep in kids’ rooms.
Futons and air mattresses are set up and every blanket, sleeping bag and pillow in the house is put to use.
In our house, we even had to devise a shower schedule.
The washing machine and dryer seem to go all day long as does the production of dirty dishes.
The temperatures Christmas weekend ranged between 22 and 40 degrees.
So, unlike summer break, a person can’t send the kids outside and expect them to be happy until they come in at dark.
What does a person do with kids who are underfoot or online more than usual?
My friend, Lorena Mena, had a different idea this year.
In late November, she said she wanted to do a play featuring the kids over winter break.
We got permission to stage the private production for friends and family at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Forks.
I and two other mom friends, Thao Truong and Sandra Velasquez, agreed to join in Mena’s plan to coach ours and several other friends’ kids — more than a dozen — through simple productions of Noah’s Ark and Samson.
Velasquez is drawing on her love of stage acting.
Truong has been the costume designer from the beginning, and Mena is gathering props and filling in with lots of encouragement.
Somehow, I got tapped to write the scripts.
The laughter has been endless.
Most of the actors are teens or early 20-somethings, so the ad-libbing and side commentary from these kids who have been lifelong friends is nothing short of hysterical.
The toddlers add to the fun with their unique and sometimes unpredictable ways of interpreting their parts.
Anyone caught in the vicinity has been enlisted to fill parts whose actors miss a practice.
Keeping it fun has been easy, but it is hard to know what the final outcome will be like.
It will all come together Saturday for a performance for family and friends.
Between practices there are meals to prepare for house guests, with or without all the ingredients.
The dishes get dirty and they get washed again, with a water fight here and there.
The light is always on in the bathroom and more often than not, the door is closed.
Someone is usually in the hallway banging on the door.
These are how fond winter break memories are made; one silly situation after another.
Zorina Barker lives in the Sol Duc Valley with her husband, a logger, and two children she home-schools.
Submit items and ideas for the column to her at zorina firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone her at 360-327-3702. West End Neighbor appears in the PDN every other Tuesday.
Her next column will be Jan. 10.