Carrying on an old family tradition


A lot is happening this weekend, one I can tell you about tomorrow when I know more details, the other being that it's time once again for my kuntry family reunion, y'all! The one located in the armpit of the Ozarks. Really though, it's beautiful country out there, so long as you overlook a few lilly-white rednecks and my Aunt Paula's hair lip. This weekend we'll drive a couple hours south to spend the afternoon with extended family in a town which reveres a semi-stray, three-legged dog named Tripod as its mascot.

I am betting that the potluck buffet will include at least several buckets of fried chicken, which is the FOOD OF GODS. The whole thing is organized by one of my great aunts, a sweet but bossy woman who is the apparent strong arm of the family. Chris used to harbor a paralyzing fear of my family reunions, only because my family drama is legendary. It's like Dallas, but without the oil or money. Or ten-gallon hats. Now he sees it as entertainment. Everyone is always on their best behavior at the reunions because my family has one unspoken rule that they only follow when gathered together: Don't fight with your own. If you do choose to fight with your own, everyone takes it upon themselves to get involved because there isn't anything that anyone likes better than a good fight. Should you be an outsider and pick a fight with my family while in their Ozark stomping grounds, the entire town gets all hillbilly - mostly because my family is the biggest family in the town, about 80% of the 368 census.

It reminds me of an evening which took place years ago, related to me by my mother: My mother, my step-dad, and various aunts and uncles went to a saloon - again, no pubs or bars, taverns and saloons only - and after a few brews some stranger may or may not have made a pass at my mother's sister while my mother used the loo; when she returned she saw her sisters, brothers, and in-laws throwing chairs and fighting while Nazareth's "Hair of the Dog" blared on the jukebox.

(My step-dad would be so proud of the Hank Jr. reference.)

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Dana asks: "Thanksgiving Traditions: Yours or Your Mother's?"