Tag Archives: family

Family Pub – Part 4

(Continued from yesterday.)

A Good Man

“William Benson and Layton Sexton June 7, 1798,” Layton said.

“And read further,” Bernard said.

“June 7, 1799, If a Sexton has no place to call his own he will always find a home here, even if it is 200 years.”

“What is the day, lad?” Bernard said.

“June 7th 1999,” Layton said.

“Now think, think hard,” Bernard said. “Why did you come here?”

“Just before my father died, he said I was named after my ancestor that came to America in 1799.” Layton said. “He told me he had nothing to leave me, but if I found the place of my ancestors I’d find a treasure.”

“And you have, lad,” Bernard said.

“Indeed,” Layton said. “This place is like home to me. I really never wanted to leave. I thought if at least I didn’t try you’d all think of me as a ne’er-do-well. I’m educated and qualified to instruct, but to my detriment I want to be no place but here and now I know why. This place is in my blood. I was meant to return. I was born to return.”

Bernard smiled broadly. “Now sit, lad and I shall go on.”

Layton sat. “I feel the best I have ever felt. We must drink the brandy till it’s gone and stagger the streets of the village like William and Layton must have. So what is it you want to go on about?”

“Layton Sexton left this place 200 years ago with a beautiful lass of the Benson stock,” Bernard said, “William’s sister. She was with child. They had a son in America. That was the last our family heard of the Sexton’s. You see our family owes your grandfather a dept of gratitude. This place was passed down from generation to generation.”

“It seems strange that of all the places I could have found work it was this one,” Layton said. “And I never wanted to go anyplace else. I was satisfied here and now I know why.”

“There is more,” Bernard said. “Let me pour a bit more brandy.”

“Am I related to the queen,” Layton quipped.

“Oh no,” Bernard said. “Not that dirty bunch. Each year, you recall, a percentage was deposited in the trust. It collected over all these years and had collected interest. I suspect it is a handsome sum at this point and it belongs to you.”

“How much is there?” Layton said. “Do you have an idea?”

“It has to be a tidy sum,” Bernard said. “After all it’s been 200 years. There have been some lean times, but it has always been steady. The sum is not mine so I’ve never kept track. “We owned the B & B next door and sold it several years ago to keep this place afloat without going to the lenders.”

“Well,” Layton said. “If the sum is anywhere near what I think it should be we should buy the B & B back. After all we’re partners.”

Bernard smiled. “My ancestors always spoke well of Layton Sexton and I shall not be hard-pressed to pass it on.”

The End



Filed under Short Stories

A Family Secret

Modern Families

If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?

Not a good question. It eliminates many. Not all families have shocking elements, perhaps intriguing or interesting would do just as well.

Let’s say my Grandfather Jim (father’s side), who died in 1933, suddenly sprung to life. I could ask him a question about something recently discovered about he and my Grandmother, his wife. “Grandpa, I noticed something; Grandma was just a little more than three months past her 15th birthday when you two married. It was just beyond seven months when she gave birth to your first child. How did you avoid jail time, given the fact you were 24? Just curious. I know Grandpa, you should be turning in your grave right now.”

Here is the link to my short story for the day, The scent of a Woman and Coffee.


Filed under Daily Prompt

Pride and Joy: Relationships

Pride and Joy

What’s your most prized possession? GO!

Admittedly I don’t take the prompts serious. I have fun with them. Fun has its limits and never would I want to give a false impression for the sake of being funny. This is, to me, a serious subject.

My most prized possessions are relationships with people. I really like them. That’s why I aspire to be one someday.

First there is my wife. If that doesn’t exist life is somehow a little less full. There are times I look at here and see the girl I dated as a teen ager. Her hopes, he dreams, her vulnerabilities, her fears. She makes me smile and feel not so alone. She knows my thoughts, my feelings, and who I am (and loves me still).  Then comes my children. I really like them. Of course I love them, but they are really likable. (This includes grandchildren, sons-in-law, and daughter-in-law, it’s a package deal.) They are easy and enjoyable to talk with. My mother, who is now 100 and at present not doing well. But we talk daily and it means much to both of us. I have friends far and near. One I call perhaps once a week and others less often, but that in no way indicates any less attachment and regard for them. Most importantly is my relationship with my Creator. Without his direction, examples, and teachings none of the above would even be remotely possible.

Here is a link to my daily short story, The Kellen Moore Selfie at Billy Bronco’s.


Filed under Daily Prompt

Feeding The Monster

th3WNX6F0SBert picked up the phone. “Hello.”

“Guess who?”

“Hey, Sis,” Bert smiled. “What’s up?”

“Hang-up the phone right now and get over here right away,” Sis said. “And no questions. Just get gone.”

She was too jovial to be serious so Bert’s drive to his sister’s home was not with a sense of urgency.

Bert’s sister was 8 years older. She was the one who looked after him as an infant, a toddler, an until he started school. At times she was the scolding disciplinarian and at other times a doting aunt. It all seemed like the perfect balance.

Bert mused about the time Sis gave him the beating of his life. They never had a harsh word. “I had it coming,” Bert mumbled. Bert was so wrapped up into memories and the mystery behind the invitation he didn’t bother to knock at Sis’s door. He walked in. Sis gave him a hug and pulled out a chair at the kitchen table.

“I’ve got a surprise,” Sis said and placed a huge bowl of ice cream in front of him.

“Is this it?” Bert said.

Sis raised her eyebrows and said gleefully, “This is it.”

“The color is perfect,” Bert said. “Beyond pink, but not quite red.”

“Do you remember how we relished it as kids?” Sis said.

“Oh yes,” Bert said.

“And you even got the small chunks of cherries in it,” Bert said.

“Taste,” Sis said eagerly.

Bert dislodged a sliver of ice cream from the mound in the bowl. He brought it to his mouth and enveloped it like a snake. He allowed it to melt slightly and the flavor burst in his mouth and raised like incense into his nostrils.

Bert swallowed and smacked his lips. “It’s perfect.”

“I found the owner of the Red Rooster and threatened him with bodily injury if he did not give me the recipe,” Sis joked.

“Did you get it from him?” Bert said.

“No way,” Sis said. “I looked up former employees and they didn’t know what the recipe was. They said the only guy who knew was the owner. You won’t believe how I’ve experimented over the years and now we have it. We can enjoy our own Redheads.”

Bert chuckled. “Remember Saturday afternoons Mom and Dad packed us kids in the car and we drove out to the Red Rooster for ice cream. Me, you, and Mom we got the Redheads and Dad and Lucy got the Brown Cows.”

“We always got the Redheads,” Sis smiled and reminisced. “Those were the days.”

“Sit down here, Sis,” Bert said patting the chair next to him. “Get a bowl and let’s live the moment together.”

Bert and Sis savored the ice cream and the moment. They spoke cheerfully of old times.

“What is the secret ingredient?” Bert ask.

Sis leaned close. “Cinnamon oil.”

“You’re kidding me. How did you come up with that?” Bert said. “Did you tap somebody’s wire?”

“One of his old employees told me he bought supplies from a local candy maker,” Sis said. “I found the candy maker at a nursing home. He was reluctant to tell me, but I pretended to be his wife and he told me everything; even some things I didn‘t want to here, if you know what I mean.”

“You’re a conniver,” Bert said and smiled. “And evil.”

“All for the taste of a Redhead,” Sis said. “No one would do this for vanilla or chocolate.”

“I think it’s deeper than that,” Bert said. “It’s guilt for the beating you gave me.”

“What!” Sis said. “You were a monster.”

“Yes I was,” Bert affirmed. “And you did a good job of taming me.”

“You have two choices with a monster,” Sis said. “You either beat him or feed him.”

(365 Writing Prompts)

(This is also a Daily Prompt. My sisters were my heroes.)

Heroic Bloggers

  1. Morning milk delivery | Vintage Photography
  2. covet | yi-ching lin photography
  3. Where were You – the Power of Forgiving | A Teacher’s Blog
  4. Siegfried Sassoon, Hopelessness and Iraq | As I please
  5. Feeding The Monster | The Jittery Goat
  6. daily prompt: heroic | aimanss…
  7. Daily Prompt: Heroic « cognitive reflection
  8. DP Daily Prompt: Heroic | Sabethville
  9. Daily Prompt: Heroic | Incidents of a Dysfunctional Spraffer
  10. 5 Year Old Hero – The Engine that could. | L5GN
  11. Heroic | Geek Ergo Sum
  12. Daily Prompt: Heroic | Finding Life
  13. The Portal – A Friday Flash Fantasy | My Little Avalon
  14. Heroic Visions | THE OVERCOMING
  15. Tail Business and Heroes! Daily Prompt… | alienorajt
  16. A Little Girl’s Hero « My journey to qualify for the Boston Marathon…and everything in between…
  17. Daily Prompt: Heroic | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  18. The Dad Who Didn’t Have To Be | theauthorwhoknows
  19. Daily prompt: Heroic | laura-in-china
  20. My Childhood Hero | all my likes
  21. My Dad, My Hero | A mom’s blog
  22. Daily Prompt – Hero. | My Beautiful Messed Up World.
  23. Even Heroes Can Wear Thin « Mon Cache
  24. Are You A Hero in Your Home? | Ako Si Ehm Blog
  25. The Dark Knight | Sébastien Grobelny – Photography
  26. Hanging with the Guys | Nicetomeetyou:I’mCourtney
  27. Daily Prompt: Heroic | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  28. Of becoming your own hero/ heroine. | Concentrate On Yourself
  29. Mr. Rogers Was My Hero
  30. Moon, Moon on the sky…….Watch Me Die | Shadows Of The Divine
  31. Daily Prompt: Heroic | Basically Beyond Basic
  32. My Heroes | Flowers and Breezes
  33. Still my hero | Life is great
  34. Heroic : My 5 Year Old Self. | ♥Barb’s Magical Land Of Oz♥
  35. Who Says Heroes Have to Wear Capes? | meanderedwanderings
  36. The Forgotten Hero | Dance with the Rain
  37. Lawrence of Arabia/Daily Prompt-Hero | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  39. babusya | peacefulblessedstar
  41. Daddy | The Magic Black Book
  42. Still my hero | From Five to Fifty
  43. My First Post-marital Blog Post | Vagabond
  44. Five’s Hero.. | Relax
  45. A Father’s Enduring Love | Lisa’s Kansa Muse ~ Dreamy abstraction in a 100 year old Four Square Farm House
  46. Heroic | The Story of a Guy
  47. I don’t remember being five | dreaming of melville
  48. Hero | LOQUACITÉ
  49. 9/11 Heroes | Daily Prompt: Heroic | Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me
  50. Brianne Writes
  51. Heroic | The Nameless One
  52. When Being a Mommy Supersedes Being You | Transforming Mommy
  53. Super Mario can do anything | “The Ish,” presented by the Bohemian Rock Star
  54. Heroic behaviour | Fictionalism
  55. Heros all | Exploratorius
  56. Neil Armstrong — RIP and Godspeed | Exploratorius
  57. Dying A Hero’s Death | Parents Are People Too
  58. There’s No Such Thing As Superman | Must Be This Tall To Ride
  59. First Hero | Dreams to Reality !
  60. Heroic | Just for Fun Drawings
  61. Looking Up | HAPnHAP
  62. OUR HERO… | The Christian Gazette
  63. Daily Prompt: Heroic | Nicole Sloan’s Writing
  64. Underdog | Bright Tuesday
  65. Daily Prompt: Heroic | The Uncustomary Housewife
  66. Oh Captain, My Captain! | Daily Prompt: Heroic | A Room of One’s Own
  67. Heroic | Wicked Words
  68. Finding Hero | The Sex Bandit
  69. Become Your Dog’s Hero: Photo Friday | Dog Leader Mysteries
  70. Daily Prompt: Heroic | Occasional Stuff
  71. Astro Boy – Hero of Manga and Anime | Travel with Intent
  72. Daily Prompt: My Four Legged Hero | Reclaiming My Narnia
  73. S. Thomas Summers | The Wisdom of Trolls
  74. Heroic | Life as a country bumpkin…not a city girl


Filed under Daily Prompt, Short Stories

A Hero’s Welcome Home

This is reality of war not the surprise classroom visit of Dad or Mom coming home.

This is reality of war not the surprise classroom visit of Dad or Mom coming home.

We see it all the time. Everyday; the cameras and media are on hand to capture those moments when that special someone comes back from deployment.

We are all happy to see families reunited. It’s heart warming. But let’s view it for what it really is, propaganda. These are private moments exploited by the government and military to deflect the reality of war. The media gives it attention because it boosts ratings.

The real story about war are coffins being delivered to sobbing families. No number of happy reunions can erase one tear from the eye of a child whose father or mother was lost in war.

My Favorite Person

My favorite person is my wife. When inducted into the Army there was about a two month period I did not see her (basic training).

If we had known she was pregnant with our first it is likely I would not have had to go into the Army. Being young, naïve, and scared I thought it would be impossible for me to get out of the Army once I was in.

From that point on everything possible was done to make certain I was never away from my family. And during my entire four years during my military service my family was always close by.

(January 6: My favorite – What’s the most time you’ve ever spent apart from your favorite person? Tell us about it.)

(Also submitted as a Daily Prompt.)

Simply The Best Bloggers

  1. A Distracting Ramble Through Nowhere in Particular | As I please
  2. A Heroe’s Welcome Home | The Jittery Goat
  3. My bed is the best spot | Now Have At It!
  4. DP Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | Sabethville
  5. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | Awl and Scribe
  6. The best place | Pen And IPen And I
  7. Daily Prompt: Simply The Best | Another Blog
  8. My insane mind | all my likes
  9. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | Under the Monkey Tree
  10. on a wire, happiness | y
  11. daily prompt: simply the best | aimanss…
  12. My best thinking: no exact time, neither exact place, but exact conditions. | Write for learning
  13. Unafraid? | alienorajt
  14. The Best Ideas | Edward Hotspur
  15. All good really, aside from the prunage… | thoughtsofrkh
  16. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best « cognitive reflection
  17. Think, Thank, Thunk. | Short and Feisty
  18. Daily Prompt: Thinking Cap | One Starving Activist
  19. Back to Reality… And My Couch | The Janie Doh Daily
  20. Daily Prompt : Best Thinking | Code Name Incog
  21. I Think, Therefore . . . When I Can! | meanderedwanderings
  22. A Certain State of Mind | SouthRiverside
  23. Simply the Best | Geek Ergo Sum
  24. Walking a path to better writing | Jeremy Podolski
  25. Thinking | Flowers and Breezes
  26. my brain and I | Steinsdotter`s Saga
  27. Emotionally Simple | tembalimbo
  28. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best. | ginnysblogspace
  29. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | Misifusa’s Blog
  30. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  31. Simply the Best | The Story of a Guy
  32. Daily Prompt: Photography: My Best Senior Portrait Work | Daily Prompt & Blogging Progress
  33. Daily Prompt: Simply The Best | Finding Life
  34. Bring on the night | Pen Kisses Paper
  35. Warning: Loading Inspiration. Do Not Disturb. | Blue Loft
  36. The best time to write | MC’s Whispers
  37. Thinking? HA! Mom’s don’t get to do that, what are YOU talking about sir? | From One Crazy Life To Another
  39. When Everything Aligns | Liv(e) Photography
  40. The Best | 40again’s Blog
  41. While thinking today | life at random outlook
  42. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | Basically Beyond Basic
  43. cleansed | peacefulblessedstar
  44. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | thejimmieG
  45. Epiphany musings and my thought patterns | Sue’s Trifles
  46. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)
  47. Think? / Daily Prompt | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  48. A Blessing in Disguise… of a Curse! | An Upturned Soul
  49. 3 Paragraphs on Productivity | The Thoughts Less Traveled
  50. Daily Prompt: Best | Nicola Kirk
  51. The Best | A mom’s blog
  52. Unravelling Thoughts | Retrofocus
  53. Meditation Inspiration… | Haiku By Ku
  54. Simply the Best | The Nameless One
  55. Daily Post: Inspiration | readingwithafeather
  56. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | Gradual Thought
  57. Immortalizing Fragile Emissaries (Daily Prompt: Simply The Best) | Simply Silent
  58. S. Thomas Summers | On a Leather Chair With a Pipe and a Cup of Tea
  59. Simply The Best | No longer unemployed, no longer a bride…
  60. Making our mind up | Le Drake Noir
  61. Inspiration Paradox | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  62. Daily Prompt: Simply The Best | Chunky Brain
  63. Daily Prompt: Simply The Best | Lifeinpawprints’s Weblog
  64. I think on paper | writemybrainsout
  65. Catching waves in the closest ocean | Rob’s Surf Report
  66. Two Trees | A Teacher’s Blog
  67. Update, Sync and Reboot…..(wp daily prompt) | Daily Observations
  68. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | Incidents of a Dysfunctional Spraffer
  69. Congestion | zaniwright
  70. Daily Prompt : Simply the best ! | Mon beau manoir
  71. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | MonkeyGirl18’s Blog
  72. The Daily Post Zero To Hero Challenge that is Simply the BEST Cliffhanger | The Playground
  73. In pursuit of true love | TJ Barker in Seattle
  74. Dirty Dishes: Simply the Best! | Active Army Wife
  75. The thinking game | Emovere
  76. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | A Room of One’s Own
  77. A Time to write and a time to think… | TheWildFlower
  78. Simply the best…thinking | Life as a country bumpkin…not a city girl
  79. New Year, New Way of Thinking: Daily Prompt | Designed by Three
  80. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | To Breathe is to Write
  81. It’s a Compliment, Really | Scraps of Paper
  82. Thoughts About Thinking | Notes by Natalie
  83. Daily Prompt: In My Mind, All the Time | Morrighan’s Muse
  84. Quiet in my Brain | The Silver Leaf Journal
  85. When and Where I Do My Best Thinking, I Think | 365 Days of Thank You
  86. Of my time for thinking. | Concentrate On Yourself
  87. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | Occasional Stuff
  88. Thinking about thinking… | The Armchair Socialite
  89. Simply the Best | Wicked Words
  90. O momento ideal ao pensamento | Sonhos desencontrados
  91. brain, what’s wrong with you? | m e d u s a
  92. Clarity in A Hot Place | Journey Thru L
  93. Simply The Best | LeahJ’s .Word Trip
  94. Daily prompt: Simply the Best | La chica de la burbuja
  95. I’m thinking…I’m thinking | Emotional Resonance and Rocket Launchers


Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

The Fact We Live May Be An Accident

Daily Prompt: By the Skin of Your Teeth

Share a time when you narrowly avoided disaster.

I was 5 years old. My parents, two older sisters, and I were driving home from the auto races at the Allentown Speedway in Allentown, Ohio just few miles west of Lima, Ohio.

The races had been cancelled because of rain. Mom drove. We were stopped at the light at the Old Westinghouse plant on Lima’s south side on old Route 25.

I was asleep in my dad’s lap. It was hurting my dad’s knee so he asked my sisters in the back seat to take me.

“Oh, dad, can’t you keep him up there,” Char said.

“We’re all stretched out,” Becky said. “There’s no room back here.”

“We’re almost home,” dad said and lifted me over the seat. “So take him.”

My sisters grabbed me and sat me between them.

A little more than a minute later I heard Mom scream. I’ve never heard a scream like that before or after. I stood and saw headlights coming toward us.

The next thing remembered I was walking aimlessly around the wreckage of our car. There was an eerie silence interrupted only by the rain patting on the pavement and the sound of windshield wipers. There were no human voices. I began crying. I thought everybody was dead, but me. Suddenly Mom moaned. My sisters began crying.

Dad made no sound.

In time the ambulances came. Dad was the first to be taken away. Mom was told that he was likely not going to live.

Dad recovered. Injuries to his chest were massive; every rib was broken.

That was my narrow escape from death. Recall moments earlier my head was nestled in my dad’s lap and he handed me to my sisters in the back seat. Likely, I would not have survived the impact.

That’s been over sixty years ago. In this very strange way I’d like to go back and hold that dysfunctional family of five close to me and tell them everything will be all right, but there is a lesson; life and family are precious.

Life is a remarkable design. What happens after that seems like a series of accidents that take our lives or extends it. People loose there lives by reason of accidents, but I suspect many more of us are living because of accidents. By accident we were not at the wrong place at the wrong time. It probably happens more times than we care to think about.

Bloggers With Close Calls

  1. Unwritten.. | gypsy thoughts ..
  2. Daily Prompt: By the Skin of Your Teeth | RealMoney
  3. By the Skin of Your Teeth | Geek Ergo Sum
  4. Daily Prompt: By the Skin of Your Teeth | Awl and Scribe
  5. of aggression « Anawnimiss
  6. The Great Escape | The Ambitious Drifter
  7. Narrowly avoiding disaster | Angel Frouk
  8. Escape | Momma Said There’d Be Days Like This
  9. The Fact We Live May Be An Accident | The Jittery Goat
  10. My Teeth’s Skin | charlottesville winter
  11. S. Thomas Summers | I Bid the Trees to Move
  12. If I want some serious adventure I will watch an R18 film | thoughtsofrkh
  13. T-Bone Steak | Eyes Through The Glass – A Blog About Asperger’s
  14. Daily Prompt: By the Skin of Your Teeth « cognitive reflection
  15. CRASH! Daily Prompt | alienorajt
  16. It’s a Big Deal If It’s Your Problem | The Thoughts’ Outlet
  17. Almost Normal Takeoff | Kansa Muse
  18. Daily Prompt: By the Skin of Your Teeth | Basically Beyond Basic
  19. No One Gets Out Alive | Finale to an Entrance
  20. The Lurker’s List | An Escape and a Lesson
  21. Curse of the Bed Bunk! | The Number FiftyTwo
  22. LIFE CHANGING GIFTS | hastywords
  23. Daily Prompt: Skinnin’ | One Starving Activist
  24. Daily Prompt: By the Skin of your Teeth | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  25. Daily Prompt: Close Calls | A Good One
  26. The bus and my bag | Life is great
  27. My Old Dog Fell Down the Steps But He Got Up
  28. Near Mishap | Flowers and Breezes
  29. Beauty & Innocence | Broken Light: A Photography Collective
  30. Daily Prompt: By the Skin of Your Teeth | A Mixed Bag
  31. Daily Prompt: Photography Challenge – ESCAPE | Nicola Kirk
  33. Facing Danger | A mom’s blog
  34. The Escape | I Write Therefore I Am
  35. Dear Addiction, It’s Time To Say Our Final “Goodbye”……. | *Recovery Ramblins Blog Of ~ Author Catherine Lyon*
  36. Bus slipping away | crookedeyebrows
  37. By the Skin of Your Teeth | The Nameless One
  38. Almost… | Retrofocus
  39. Escape Has Many Faces…..(wp daily prompt) | Daily Observations
  40. Surfer Rob does not always think things through | Rob’s Surf Report
  41. Death waits all | Emotional Fitness
  42. Escape | johnny ojanpera
  43. Escape- Daily Prompt | The Rider
  44. How Smoking Saved My Life | 61 Musings
  45. Almost . . . But Not Quite | meanderedwanderings
  46. Dear Addiction, It’s Time To Say Our Final “Goodbye”……. | *Recovery Ramblins Blog Of ~ Author Catherine Lyon*
  47. The story of MM, Helga and the flying car. | Multifarious meanderings
  48. The Great Escape | It’s a wonderful F’N life
  49. Peril Atop Mount Timpanogas: An Adventure to Last a Lifetime | Odds and End Thoughts
  50. Daily Prompt- By the skin of your teeth | hippiebitch420
  51. By the Skin of My Teeth | Kerry C. Mitchell’s Adventures
  52. Daily Prompt – Crashing | My Gap Year Adventure
  53. I Think That Field is on Fire | Manresa, Maine
  54. It’s December. | The Land Slide Photography
  55. Daily prompt: Avoiding disaster – best tip | helen meikle’s scribblefest


Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

A Thanksgiving Mom Won’t Forget

Daily Prompt: Memories of Holidays Past

What is your very favorite holiday? Recount the specific memory or memories that have made that holiday special to you.

Dad’s dream was to own his own business. That’s sort of everybody’s dream, but Dad wanted to own a bar (actually ‘bar’ is too sophisticated; “beer joint” would be more apropos).

This was what my Mom had in mind when it came to Thanksgiving.

Dad’s business plan was to sell beer. Food was something he would offer to keep the customer there to drink more beer. On the other hand; Mom’s plan was to provide good meals and the beer would come as a compliment to the food. Dad wanted a bar/restaurant and Mom wanted a restaurant/bar.

This sort of tug of war is nothing unusual. Everything is perspective and one trying to accommodate the other, but frankly accommodation was the furthest thing from Dad’s mind.

Dad’s first year in the “beer joint” business, like all businesses, was tough. The first big holiday to come along was Thanksgiving. He knew that week would be bad. In the “beer joint” business it’s all about the weekend Thanksgiving takes the weekend away.

We all have an idyllic view or memory of Thanksgiving; a farm, a field with a dusting of snow, and a warm home full of the aromas of food and family.

Traditionally our family had Thanksgiving dinner at Mom’s sister’s home. They lived on a farm and had plenty of room to accommodate the entire family. There is nothing more pleasing and heartwarming than a Thanksgiving meal on a quaint bucolic farm setting; fields with a dusting of snow and walking into a warm kitchen full of the aroma of good home cooking.

Dad envisioned a big Thanksgiving meal at the bar where the beer flowed freely: an open invitation to all patrons and their families. Mom wanted to spend Thanksgiving with her family; in thankful grace and reverence.

Dad won out.

Mom invited her family.

Mom’s Father, Mother, and Sister belonged to the Church of the Brethren. There was no beer, no cursing, and no farting at the table.

Dad thought there was nothing better to be thankful about than a bar full of beer drinkers.

Mom and Dad arranged that the family could have a large room separate from the hedonistic bar clientele. What was great about this room was that not only was it more than large enough for all the families; it had a shuffle board, two pinball machines, an old honky-tonk piano, and a jukebox. Mom’s family opted for the more traditional setting. Mom’s sister played church music as bad as anybody on the piano and if there was one thing that old piano needed was some religion – even if off-key.

As it turned out Mom’s puritan and prudish family decided at the last-minute a bar on the seedy side of town was not a proper place to give thanks. When Mom said, “Maybe we can do it for Christmas,” there was silence.

Mom prepared three turkeys, a ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, Mom’s signature cranberry relish, and pumpkin pie. Not only did the family shun us, but not one patron showed up for the Thanksgiving meal.

When it became clear no one was showing up; Mom called a local homeless shelter and donated some of the food.

My two sisters and I missed our cousins, but it was one of the few meals, if not the only, I remember as a family.

When we gathered with Mom’s family the meal was started with a blessing. This privilege was reserved for my younger cousin. He mumbled it so fast I never understood him. I always wondered what was the difference in that, than saying what our family normally said; “Let’s eat!” Was he truly thankful or just as anxious to eat. Come to think of it; he always got the first scoop of mashed potatoes.

During the meal Mom was quiet. I saw a tear or two roll from her eye. After the meal Mom, my two sisters, and I played a couple games of shuffle board. Mom was really good at it and smoked us all. Dad sat at the table having his traditional Thanksgiving drink; Burger Beer.

It ended up being a pretty happy time. We listened to Hank Williams and Hank Snow on the Jukebox. My sisters were eight and ten years older than me. I was seven. They danced with me. Dad danced with Mom to their favorite song, “Now is the Hour.” We cleared the table and washed dishes. As nightfall came we turned on the TV that sat above the bar. Dad, Mom, my sisters, and I sat at the bar on bar stools with our beverage of choice watching TV.

That was not the traditional Thanksgiving setting. Dad fixed Mom a highball (gin and Squirt). It seemed to chase the blahs away.

As I was writing this I gave Mom a call and asked her if she remembered the Thanksgiving our family had at the bar. She said, “I sure do; nobody showed up.”

It was a great Thanksgiving for me. I wasn’t under the critical eye of my grandparents. I wasn’t upstaged by my younger cousin who knew one repetitious prayer (I knew all the words to Hank Williams’ Jambalaya), my Dad didn’t have to watch his bad language, my sisters got to do jitterbug, and Mom showed us a few Charleston steps.

I’m sure Mom’s family had a good time, but to this day no one is more thankful than I for having Thanksgiving in a bar: excuse me – beer joint on the seedy side of town.


Filed under Daily Prompt, Mom