Our house will soon be engulfed in chaos as about 30 people we love arrive to celebrate Thanksgiving. My wife selected this holiday years ago as the one where we would try to gather the entire family to express appreciation for one another, count our blessings, and, of course, watch football. Truthfully, I think my sons much prefer the annual Turkey Bowl where we play football to intermittently watching it on television.
Evelyn patiently endures the football in exchange for exercises or games that require everyone to participate. We have explored family history, watched old home movies, and engaged in a number of contests that include nice prizes. This year, each person was asked to write a letter that included such thoughts as the five most influential people in our lives, our seven defining moments, and the most interesting things we have ever done. Even the youngest children are involved, although those that can’t read or write required parental assistance. Knowing my wife, we will listen to all 30 essays before we can even turn on the TV.
I thought I was being very cooperative by sitting down a week or so ago and writing my letter until Evelyn informed me it wasn’t good enough. She said it was a nice letter, but it didn’t answer all her questions. The penalty for not doing it right is that I will not receive a prize for being one of the first to respond.
Following the essay readings, the feast, and the football, the crowd slowly disperses; some go to in-laws while others go home to recover. Our house stays full until Sunday, and I just learned that my Saturday will be spent in Sweet Home watching two of my grandsons wrestle. I remember with some affection my youngest son’s last wrestling match and the happy realization that I would not have to travel to distant gyms in icy weather to sit on hard bleachers and watch kids try to humiliate and/or harm my kid. Now I get to enjoy this experience with my grandsons. I’m excited.
I will arrive home in time to watch the annual Civil War, although there is usually nothing civil about it. I do not believe we have any adult Beaver haters in the family, but we are all confirmed Ducks. Roland, my 12-year-old grandson, has matured from the days when he would write “Go Ducks” on all his school papers and get into occasional fights with Beaver classmates. He has grown into a really considerate young man who excels in schoolwork and sports. I am particularly thankful that our partisanship did not scar him for life.
My seven-year-old grandson, Owen, may not be so lucky. My daughter, Owen’s mother, could not find her cell phone last Monday and began calling the number in an effort to locate it. Eventually the principal’s office at his school answered and informed my daughter that Owen had brought her cell phone to school. She went to retrieve the phone; and when she asked Owen why he had taken it, he responded that she threatened to call Grandpa (me) and tell him not to take Owen to last Saturday’s Duck game if his behavior didn’t improve; so he did the only thing he could do.
I wish all who read this column a happy Thanksgiving! Owen and I had a great time at the Duck game, and I hope we enjoy the Civil War just as much.