Busia Barb’s Invitation

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With Thanksgiving quickly approaching my thoughts are on our annual family dinner. Last year, I announced after grace that this was our final host of the feast, it is time to pass the baton to the next generation. A year has passed and now I regret passing the torch. My family tradition was always to have holiday celebrations at grandma and grandpa’s house. That is not unlike 90% of American families.

My deceased wife Barbara taught me well how to prepare for a first class sit down. Barb had rules for her guests, and heaven forbid someone should break a rule,, and come late. For instance, if she said we are eating at one, it meant the food hits the table at one. When I received an Email from my buddy Ed titled “Grandma’s Invitation,” I opened it immediately. Then I began to laugh until tears flowed from my eyes. The title could be  “Busia Barb’s Invitation.” Who ever penned this piece totally understands families and family dynamics. You will understand when you read it, and see your own family within the words. I know that if Barb didn’t vocalize or write these rules, she sure was thinking them.

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Grandma’s Invitation

Dear Family,

I’m not dead yet. Thanksgiving is still important to me. If being in my Last Will and Testament is important to you, then you might consider being with me for my favorite holiday.

Dinner is at 2:00.
NOT 2:15
NOT 2:05.
Two 2:00

Arrive late and you get what’s left over.

Last year, that moron Marshall fried a turkey in one of those contraptions and practically burned the deck off the house. This year, the only peanut oil used to make the meal will be from the secret scoop of peanut butter I add to the carrot soup.

Jonathan, your last new wife was an idiot. You don’t arrive at someone’s house on Thanksgiving needing to use the oven and the stove. Honest to God, I thought you might have learned after two wives – date them longer and save us all the agony of another divorce.

Now, the house rules are slightly different this year because I have decided that 47% of you don’t know how to take care of nice things. Paper plates and red Solo cups might be bad for the environment, but I’ll be gone soon and that will be your problem to deal with.

House Rules:

1. The University of Texas no longer plays Texas A&M. The television stays off during the meal.

2. The “no cans for kids” rule still exists. We are using 2 liter bottles because your children still open a third can before finishing the first two. Parents can fill a child’s cup when it is empty. All of the cups have names on them and I’ll be paying close attention to refills.

3. Chloe, last year we were at Trudy’s house and I looked the other way when your Jell-O salad showed up. This year, if Jell-O salad comes in the front door it will go right back out the back door with the garbage. Save yourself some time, honey. You’ve never been a good cook and you shouldn’t bring something that wiggles more than you. Buy something from the bakery.

4. Grandmothers give grandchildren cookies and candy. That is a fact of life. Your children can eat healthy at your home. At my home, they can eat whatever they like as long as they finish it.

5. I cook with bacon and bacon grease. That’s nothing new. Your being a vegetarian doesn’t change the fact that stuffing without bacon is like egg salad without eggs. Even the green bean casserole has a little bacon grease in it. That’s why it tastes so good. Not eating bacon is just not natural. And as far as being healthy… look at me. I’ve outlived almost everyone I know.

6. Salad at Thanksgiving is a waste of space.

7. I do not like cell phones. Leave them in the car.

8. I do not like video cameras. There will be 32 people here. I am sure you can capture lots of memories without the camera pointed at me.

9. Being a mother means you have to actually pay attention to the kids. I have nice things and I don’t put them away just because company is coming over. Mary, watch your kids and I’ll watch my things.

10. Rhonda, a cat that requires a shot twice a day is a cat that has lived too many lives. I think staying home to care for the cat is your way of letting me know that I have lived too many lives too. I can live with that. Can you?

11. Words mean things. I say what I mean. Let me repeat: You don’t need to bring anything means you don’t need to bring anything. And if I did tell you to bring something, bring it in the quantity I said. Really, this doesn’t have to be difficult.

12. Domino’s and cards are better than anything that requires a battery or an on/off switch. That was true when you were kids and it’s true now that you have kids.

13. Showing up for Thanksgiving guarantees presents at Christmas. Not showing up guarantees a card that may or may not be signed.

In memory of your Grandfather, the back fridge will be filled with beer. Drink until it is gone. I prefer wine anyway. But one from each family needs to be the designated driver. I really mean all of the above.

Love You,
Grandma.

Holland Where Healthcare Is Free For Everyone

English: Oktoberfest, Munich, GFDL, from Ukrai...

English: Oktoberfest, Munich, GFDL, from Ukrainian Wikipedia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Something happened today that has been playing on my mind since ten this morning. Peg and I were running errands and one of them was to drop off some documents with my financial advisor Joe. We stopped at the post office to buy stamps, and to post a document by Priority Mail. Joe’s office is just around the corner from the P.O. so I drove there to save a stamp and drop the asset inventory he asked for. I was looking for a parking space when a man stepped out from his car, it was Joe. I rolled down the window and handed him my package. What’s this he asked? It is the information you asked for. “How was your trip to Oktoberfest,” I asked?

“Eighteen days of hell,”  he answered.

“How so,” I asked?

“I had walking pneumonia the whole time, fever, and all.”

“What did you do about it?”

“I  stayed in Holland with a friend who took me to the local urgent care facility.”

“Free health care, how did it work?”

“They told me to put five tablespoons of sugar into some warm water and to drink it.”

“What? Are you kidding me?”

“Nope.”

“You came home with pneumonia and had it treated right?”

“Yes, and now I feel fine, but the trip was a total disaster.”

We wished each other a Happy Thanksgiving and he went to work; Peg and I continued our run of errands.

What has bothered me all day is the treatment he got in Europe, the fabulous continent, where health care is free for everyone.  Our Hope and Change President who is transforming us into Europe is on a path to treat us all with sugar-water, and to charge us a huge premium to do it.  I hope I can sleep tonight.

The Ghost of Thanksgiving Yet to Come

Thanksgiving at the Trolls

Thanksgiving at the Trolls (Photo credit: martha_chapa95)

An interesting futuristic story of Thanksgiving written by Arnold Ahiert of the Canada Free Press. The theme of the story is much like that of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. This is the greatest Thanksgiving situation as implemented by Progressives.

The Ghost of Thanksgiving Yet to Come.

Dear Lord, We Thank You For. . .

I wish all  my friends, relatives, enemies, a very happy Thanksgiving.

You cannot eat healthcare.

Learning the Meaning of Dysfunctional

Dysfunctional Family

Dysfunctional Family (Photo credit: Chris Pirillo)

Many times I have read a movie description which proclaimed the film to be about a dysfunctional family or couple. I never truly understood the meaning of dysfunctional until a few days ago. Peg and I were planning our thanksgiving meal.  You must understand that Peg and I are widows who married. We have two sets of kids, two sets of grandkids, two sets of traditions, two sets of nationalities. This marriage isn’t like our first ones when we married young and stayed with our partners until “death do us part.” Because we started young we grew up together as a family. We adopted the good from our parents and families. These became traditions for us. It wasn’t long before I adopted the traditions of my young wife and she modified the traditions of my family to fit in. Together we set up a new tradition that was exclusively ours. Peg did the same with her husband.

Here we are in our mid-seventies trying to make everyone happy. Simple things like “what time should we serve?” become a major debate.

“My kids all have to work and can’t come until late.”

“Well, my kids have young children and they can’t stay late.”

Suddenly, the meaning of dysfunctional began to roll through my mind. Is this what they mean? Suddenly, two families merged into one begin behaving outside their norms. Will we ever live long enough to create a new tradition that melds the two families together?

If we do succeed, it will be because Peg and I will concede and drop hosting the holiday meals by delegating the job to our children and grandchildren, who I am positive will make us happy by providing our favorite traditional dishes from all nationalities.

I look forward to this year as the most dysfunctional Thanksgiving ever.

Twinkie Diplomacy

I’m too busy preparing for Thanksgiving to add many words. I think the picture tells the story.

Political Grace Before Dinner

The Thanksgiving holiday is over, and I made it without a mental breakdown. Grandma Peggy and I entertained the kids and the components of their families that could make it. The highlight of my day was saying Grace.

I went off the deep end and veered into the political arena, but recovered quickly. I thanked God for the current President who is  teaching us how fragile our liberty is. We have lost liberties throughout his tenure. One of the worst is the government take-over and ultimate ownership of two car companies, and some banks too. How about the President firing the CEO of a major car company? The entire Board of Directors at GM lost their rights on that one. The Constitution does not cover that detail anywhere, not even between the lines. I recently re-financed my mortgage and had to sign several documents pertaining to the Department of Homeland Security. A pure waste of paper, and probably the time of several bureaucrats hired to review the document; for what?  I’m sure I could put together a pretty good conspiracy, and pull it off before anyone at Homeland Security can detect a problem by the review of those documents.

Anyway, after my political Grace, I got down to thanking God for the food on our table and editorialized the fact of how lucky we were to have food at all because I had personally delivered food to a family in need just a few days earlier. They were desperate and very grateful to have that which I delivered. Finally, I got to:

Bless us oh Lord and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord. Amen

The food on our table:

Turkey, stuffing, corn, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy, lasagna, tossed salad, cucumber salad, a relish tray, wine, and desert too: Cherry pie, apple pie, brownies, cinnamon cookies, a giant chocolate chip cookie, ice cream cake, and more.

No, we didn’t have cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie.

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