Friday, November 25, 2005

Giving Thanks

All aspects of holiday festivities, from planning to cooking to execution of plans for my clan have been passed to me recently. After so many years of watching football with my dad and brother while my mother and grandma handled such things, I've now accepted all future holiday gathering responsibilities. My only assignment growing up was to instantly sing the commercial beer tune of whatever beer was named. Now this may be terrific entertainment for a proud papa but sure doesn't provide the needed skills in getting a decent meal on the table. I was 23 before I finally began to learn to cook but moved far away by 24 so never really got to wow everyone with my new skills until the last couple of years.

My dad says my being given holiday meal duty is just like buying a truck. You know darn well when you buy a truck that everyone and their brother will be calling you when they need something hauled so you have accepted this responsibility by purchasing the truck in the first place; I went and learned not only how to cook but how to prepare meals for large numbers and get it served up hot so I deserve my new title within our clan whether I like it or not. I like it just fine and I totally appreciate the na na na na na dances that my dear dad and brother perform for me as they pass through the kitchen on their way back to the football game. With yet another cold beer. They still haven't figured out why at least one spews all over them before they leave (mwahahaha).

This Thanksgiving my parents weren't able to make it. My dad's sister passed away after a long illness a few months ago and for the first time in many years all of his many brothers and sisters came together for her funeral. They decided at that time to try harder to come together more often under happier circumstances while they still can. They are spread out far and wide all over the U.S. so this was a really big deal for them all.

Travel wasn't an option for me because my grandma has a cough that I'm desperately hoping will not turn into bronchitis or pneumonia and my brother had already agreed to share his "father/son" time with his ex wife because it was also their son's 5th birthday so he couldn't travel this year either. We decided to just grow up and make the best of a smaller, shorter, holiday gathering. My dad's getting to visit with his brothers and sisters on this happy occasion was definitely something to be thankful for. My brother and his son's mother always treating one another with kindness and sharing nice is something to be thankful for as well.

All in all our Thanksgiving was good. My nephew always entertains with such lines as "My fadder finds me ambidguous" and "Daddy, you heavern, you know I gotta go church wif mommy n get my wewigion". All with the most pronounced southern accent that I've ever heard in my life. (Dorky random fact- There are at least 5 different southern dialects in NC alone, and that's just among whites.) Easter festivities were cut short last spring because the poor kid shoved a little unidentified something so far into his nose that he had to be rushed to the ER. Not laughing about that was tough going, my dad and I made a pact to not laugh at my brother over it all until later via telephone, after we found out for sure that the boy would be ok, though we were already pretty sure he was exaggerating the situation. He was and we surely did. Even his then 4 yr old son with something shoved up his nose thought his hysterical theatrics were amusing. My mom thinks the fact that we calmly discussed when we'd laugh while my brother was stressing out and staring up his son's nose with a flashlight was funnier than the whole "OMG, OMG will he die?!" scene. I'm torn, he almost cried.

Anyhow, Thanksgiving wasn't perfect but it was very good, lots to be thankful for. Nothing caught fire, nobody got anything stuck in their nose, and my parents are scheduled to stop by for desert today. I can live with that.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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