Four-thirty! Four thirty in the A.M, and I am waking, to the sound of scurrying feet, human, feline, and rodent. The chinchilla, for all my desire to see it other than a big squirrel, is somehow under our bed – bracketed in by curious cats and Sheri at the opposite side. Five minutes after I join the commotion, the chinchilla is backed into Sheri’s arms and plopped back in the cage.
Good morning! If you have ever read “David Copperfield” you would instantly recognize that I live in his home. Where once I was in an irritated, agitated, and unhappy political and social conservative, calling fumigators and cheering cats ability to catch rodents, I now tolerate them as pets and have cats not on duty, but on the bedspread. What next is to happen in my social fabric unraveling? Oh Lord, please do not let me start reading the touchy-feely animal -rights blather! I need a good dose of Sean Hannity or perhaps some Rush Limbaugh , before I rush headlong into my mid-life crisis, a red corvette and a timeshare in the desert!
Pleasant family memories at Thanksgiving gatherings in America are part of lore – native Americans sitting down with Pilgrims, settlers who first worked the world’s breadbasket, astronauts toasting America with freeze-dried turkey packets from orbit, and servicemen and women protecting freedom in dusty remote lands while enjoying turkey and cranberries. On the other end of the spectrum, some relatives can make some at a family Thanksgiving seek a corner, a couch, car keys. After fifty Thanksgivings, some family gatherings are part of my fondest memories, others I missed for military service and some I would rather forget, but none have been newsworthy nor subject for television.
This time had all the makings of a good time: food, drink and good cigars.Sports: NFL and a few contests of pool.Conflict: apparently the husband of one of my inebriated (and feisty) sister-in-law’s nieces had her in some headlock as an outcome of a drinking contest.Reunion: seeing everybody I’ve missed in the past year. Time spent reminiscing around the fire pit late at night.
Still, I would like to have had the younger members of always expected to have parents and children together at holidays. But I have come to expect this as the exception rather than the rule. I even rented a Ford the household accompany Sheri and me to the in-laws in Arizona this year. It’s Expedition to drive there – since I learned we would have my sister-in-law and kids along too. This was a far cry from the days driving to Arizona in a Jeep with the young boys constantly fighting right behind my ear – to the point I wanted to expel them into the desert. Now there are lessons to be had when driving for a length of time with family. Not even the cockpit luxury of riding in an Expedition can long suppress the expulsion urge I get with family – but I was very lighthearted this time in spite of some who chattered incessantly for 180 miles about her. There is not much lore that is made from the self-indulgent and self-absorbed. Lessons for next time: rent the Expedition again; bring a change of clothes, and perhaps a gag or more snacks to medicate the feisty chattering one – or myself.