Saturday, November 24, 2007


Yeah, I know. Thanksgiving was Thursday.

But I'm commenting today, because I just spent time with my chosen family. And for that I am truly thankful.

Today, after ringing up toilet paper and Christmas wrapping for the good people of Southwest Missouri, I went to my second feast of the week-late, but in time to clean up leftovers.

I want you to meet them.

The Matriarch. She reminds me repeatedly that my hair has gotten too long and I need to wear it short again. I'm also told I'm going a little gray. I also took on too much by offering to bring the mashed potatoes and the gravy and the stuffing. I'm working two jobs-I don't have time for all that.

'Chelle-Daughter 1. She brought the burnt pies and set up the craft table. No one wanted to build foam snowmen, but we did anyway because we love her. She also spent the majority of the time griping because, "Mom can't get her shit together! We were supposed to eat at two and it was after three before we even got started." Husband showed up late after he got off at the garage. He had to stop home first and get The Incredibles for the girls. Did I mention the gingerbread man making?

Joy-Daughter 2 and my BFF- "Quit yer bitchin! All of yuz!" She's single and will be everybody's aunt for the rest of her life. She's got a huge loyal heart. She'd like a mate. But she honestly believes that no one could live with her and then sets out to prove it by lashing out at men before they get the opportunity to spurn her. It's a pity really because she's stacked. ...and from what I hear men like that sort of thing.

Pauline-Daughter 3- She and husband live up Kansas City way. We've had the opportunity to spend time with them there and when they come here to visit the matriarch. Those cute little girls belong to them. As we were leaving tonight, Pauline and Husband were screaming at each other over an erased tape in the camcorder. They always keep the party lively. I think heirloom dishes were broken this evening.

Fin-Only son and Big Daddy's BFF. Fin and wife are the picture of stability. When not turning into a hermit in the wilds of SW MO, he can be found lifting his leg and farting on his sisters (of which I have now been christened). He's 42. Of course I could try to convince you that this type of behaviour is eschewed. But it makes us laugh like idiots every single time even as we run through the house to escape it. Is there really something funny about farting or is it a redneck thing?

(Personal aside here. I will belch like my belly's exploded and nary blush a wit, but I WILL NOT fart in front of anyone if I can help it. In fact, I've convinced myself I don't fart at all. It's a comfort to me. Even though the aforementioned BFF reminds me that a belch is just a fart from the mouth.)

The patriarch has passed. Pauline's husband's mother joined us today as did Fin's wife's parents.

'Chelle's boy and Fin's girl are both 18 and were born a day apart. Both were present for the festivites which gets harder to do the older they get. Big and Little were both there too. Though the minute I arrived, Big took the car in order to get to Taco Bell for his 5-12pm shift. They all pitched in though to help the little girls make those beautifully ugly gingerbread men. We've got photgraphic evidence.

How do the Britches fit into this lot?

The usual. We met at work and spent the next 20 years becoming a family-of which there are many types:

The one you are born into who will be there for you through thick and thin....or not.

The one you marry into that sees you as angel or devil depending on the direction of the wind.

The one you create-the sons and daughters you bring into this world. Remember when you looked at your children for the first time and saw them as real people with thoughts of their own? When they were no longer just your babies. Remember the awe?

The one you choose. The friends that become more than friends and yet more also than family.

What defines this grouping?

I don't know. I just know that on this day, in the year of our Lord 2007, I sat in the middle of this mayhem and thanked my God for these people. That I have the honor and privilege of knowing them and loving them.

...and being their family.

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