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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Trimming the Family Tree

This past weekend, we not only got to celebrate Christmas with the warden’s folks, but also their 65th wedding anniversary. Now that is an accomplishment that very few achieve. The whole family got to attend with the exception of one married grandson and his family and one great grandson. All others were in attendance! It was a grand occasion by anyone’s standards.

First we met at the Inadale community center for dinner (lunch for any “city people” who may be reading this) where the two were given the honor they deserved. There was turkey or ham and all the trimmings with pies and cakes and several different puddings for desserts.

There, they sat, surrounded by their precious loved ones ranging in age from 13 months to those of us who are now classified as “senior citizens”. And I couldn’t help but remember the song “Please pass the biscuits”. Everyone was talking, eating and laughing so much that you couldn’t get anyone to pass the food! Luckily the honored couple sat in the center so they could at least reach the food!

Then we went to the Salem Lutheran Church for candlelight services where the clan made up more than half the gathering. There was singing, carols, laughter, chatter and lots of well wishing along with plenty of congratulations. And the crowned couple beamed with pride.

From there we journeyed back to the farm to surround the family table filled with leftovers and finger foods before Santa arrived. When the doors to the “parlor” were opened the grandkids and great grandkids found stockings hanging inside that were filled with goodies and toys. More laughter, more chatter and more “remember when’s”. Then back to our separate quarters to spend a short night.

Sunday morning started with all coming together at the church for Sunday worship. After services the family gathered in the fellowship hall for a relaxing family gathering that lasted the full afternoon.

That’s when I first noticed, this family tree was really getting some different ornaments! Let me try to explain, none of the bunch are “bad” people. But this is sort of a redneck family. A lot of hats and boots. Agriculturally related, farmers and those of us involved in closely related industries. “Red-state” so to speak. But there are a couple of ornaments on the outer branches that kind of stand out. The sad part is, no one in the family knows how to talk to them!

One has a Mohawk hairdo, pierced upper and lower lips, tattoos and tunnels in his ears! Now, in case you are wondering, tunnels are large piercings within the ear lobe so big you can put in a one-inch pipe! I am not joking, when I was a kid I used to read National Geographic magazine. There were always pictures from deepest darkest Africa with people who did the same things. Now the kid seems bright and intelligent, but with all that metal in him, I sure don’t want to stand beside him during a lightening storm! Come to find out, he’s a “Network Engineer” for a national IT company!

Another one had never touched a calf, knew nothing about farming, was on his first trip to Texas and thought a cotton gin was some sort of a brewery. He too is an intelligent sort and works for a major international company. His work requires him to travel internationally and speak two languages. Kind of makes the ole homespun feed salesman look pretty dull!

So, I guess all in all, having a few shinny ornaments on the tree amidst the “home made” ones adds to the glamour of the family tree!

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