Tuesday, November 20, 2001

Florida For The Holiday's

As the holidays began to approach, my mom began to ask if I was going to come to visit for Christmas. Well, I already had planned my recent trip to Las Vegas, so a trip to Florida in December seemed like a bit much to pull off, so I was noncommittal but did like the idea of spending Christmas with the folks.

During a call to mom a couple of weeks later, she mentioned that my sisters were thinking of going to Florida for Christmas and it sure would be nice if everybody could come. Well, my sister, Suzanne lives in Southern California and sister Leigh Ann lives in  Alabama, so if they were going to go, then it would be nice to see them and it has been a long time since we all spent Christmas together.

On the next phone call, I was told that both my sisters were definitely going to Florida for Christmas and were making plane reservations or other travel arrangements right away. Well, if my sisters were going to find a way to go to Florida and since I certainly did not want to be the selfish, ungrateful sibling who could not make the trip, I committed to going to Florida for the holidays. All of us in the same house at Christmas would be great fun!

All was fine and dandy, and everybody was happy until .... my sisters and I began to call each other to talk about the trip. Each phone call between us seemed to go the same way. "I am so glad we are all going to be together for Christmas! I really can't afford to go to Florida right now but when I heard that everybody else was going, I did not want to miss out on the fun or be the bad child who would not go." Well, we may all be morons but it did not take long to figure out what had happened. We had been scammed, played off each other by our very own parents to get us all to go to Florida for the holidays. Each of us had received the same phone call informing us that the other two children were coming and how it sure would be nice if we all came. I am not sure who the mastermind of this plan was, but I'm putting my money on dear old Dad, it seems to fit with his style. I don't know who was the first of us to figure out what was going on but will credit it to Leigh Ann. She said that when she confronted Pop with the accusation he did not deny it and let out an evil little laugh.

So the whole family will be together for the holiday's, but some form of retaliation must be done for the blatant manipulation from those nice people I call my parents. We are still working on a plan but so far the best we have come up with is to go and eat all their food and leave the house messy when we go.

Thursday, November 15, 2001

My Seafood Feast

Living in a small town in the middle of Nebraska has a few benefits, but if you have ever lived someplace with a few more things to offer you can find yourself shall we say hungry for something else. Well, that is exactly the problem, I am hungry for some decent food! In my town, you can get a great steak but outside of that unless Pizza Hut is your idea of fine dining you are out of luck. So my little vacation to Las Vegas was a big thrill for me in several ways. Yes, I got to visit with family, but the chance to eat some good food was what kept me awake for the 18 or so hours it took to drive. 

Las Vegas may be in the middle of the desert but they go to great lengths to accommodate millions of visitors with anything they want and that includes some great food. I ate large quantities of great food in several fine restaurants and even a couple of fast food joints that are not available in my area. The highlight of my eating binge was the night my stepson Dave and nephew Kevin took me out for seafood! 

Raw fresh oysters are a favorite of mine and Dave had found out which casino the "Oyster Man" was working at, so off we went. This casino was having a seafood buffet that included fresh oysters, crab, shrimp, several types of fish and other assorted seafood selections. I was in heaven and quickly filled a plate and ran back to my seat to enjoy. At the table next to us was a nice couple who seemed as thrilled as I was at the selection of goodies. On my second trip to the buffet, I was standing next to the man from that table as we both were deciding where to start next. This man was a foot taller than me and was easily twice my size, he commented that he would try and leave a little food for me. I took this as a challenge and told him I thought I could keep up with him. This got him to laughing so hard that I was able to get a head start on the oysters before he noticed I was gone. When he got back to his table he was so busy laughing and pointing me out to his wife that I was able to finish and get back to the buffet for visit number three just ahead of him. I managed to match his plate for plate for some time, but to be honest he was piling more stuff on his plate than I was. After many visits to the buffet, I had eaten all that I could handle and went over to acknowledge my defeat to the big man. He was working on a large plate of crab legs and was very entertained by my effort. He told me I was a worthy opponent but better luck next time. Yes I was defeated, but full and happy, and there WILL be a next time.

Monday, November 12, 2001

Making Fun Of The Son In Law

On my little trip to Las Vegas, I got to spend some time with my son in law. The 10 or so days I was there was the most time I had ever spent with the guy. In fact, this visit may have included more days around him than all of my previous time with him combined. It's not that I don't like my son in law, but just that he lives far away and my trips are normally short and focus more on my daughter than her husband. So far I like Ryan and as long as he keeps my daughter and granddaughter happy and healthy I will let him live. He was very polite and generous to me and my wife while we were visiting, as he should have been keeping in mind my protective nature towards my girls (wife, daughter & granddaughter).

The entertaining part of our visit, at least to me, was that my son in law is very into his new daughter and tries to do as much as possible to care for her. I know that sounds like a good thing, but in his overly ambitious effort to be as helpful and nurturing to his daughter as possible, he was asking for some serious trouble. Poor Ryan had failed to notice that the house also contained a new mother and grandmother who were in full on mommy and grandma mode respectively. The worst of which is a grandma who has to go home far away in a few days.

Being older and wiser and having lived with these women for some time I played it safe and held my granddaughter when she was handed to me, looked after her when asked, feed her when requested, but otherwise kept safely out of the mommy and grandma's way. Ryan, on the other hand, was taking his daddy role seriously and on several occasions walked right into the danger zone. Well, he is young and loves his daughter so I could only watch as he set himself up for the verbal abuse dished out to him after both mommy and grandma had reached their limits. Some things must be learned first hand.

So the fact that I found some entertainment in his getting yelled at by my girls and did nothing to prevent it, I will just consider it a perk of being the grandpa and hope I can be smart enough to avoid the same.

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