Woo-hoo! I made it through another Christmas! The house is still standing, most of my relatives (with notable exceptions) are still speaking to me and Life Flight crews in this part of the state are breathing a little easier, having been spared 'the Church Experience', although a few of the less experienced among them expressed annoyance that they didn't get any hazardous duty training. No shootings, only one stabbing (and we think that may have been unintentional, the result of an unfortunate and ill-advised wager about who could skin a catfish the quickest), and other than a couple of minor skirmishes among various warring factions on my wife's side of the family, the day was a non-disaster for the most part, and by Church standards, that is about as good as can be reasonably expected.
There were a few expressions of joy that might have been considered inappropriate, but Uncle Jamie always gets a little frisky after his first quart of Wild Turkey. Honestly, Jolene has to share a little of the blame, too. It's nice that she's finally found a job she likes, but her exhibition of pole-dancing skills was a bit much. We probably could have survived quite well without the second hour or the lap dances, even if Jolene did say the dollar
bills would all be donated to charity. Somehow, I'm not convinced that the Salvation Army would approve.
I'm also happy to report that the damage to the garage isn't as extensive as we first thought, either. Parents, let me pass along a little hint that apparently got past my brother-in-law: A grenade-launcher isn't age-appropriate for ten-year-olds, I don't care if they have been subscribing to Soldier Of Fortune for the past two years.
Lots of babies to kiss and kids running around, the sounds of laughter and pure joy filling the rooms... not a terrible way to spend a few hours, all in all. As I looked around the room, I couldn't help but wonder who I might be talking to for the last time. There is comfort in not knowing, I think.
Oh, and whoever fed my dog the chocolate pie? You better hope that God takes you before I find out who you are.