A Thanksgiving Story

Murphy Henry

Murphy Henry

(No bluegrass here!)

Red and I, along with Chris and Casey and three-year-old Dalton, spent a lovely Thanksgiving weekend in Charlotte, N.C., with my sister Laurie, her husband David, and their son Andrew. That is, it was lovely once we got down there. We tried to leave Wednesday---in the middle of that raging snowstorm---but got only as far as the Strasburg exit on I-81 before discretion got the better part of valor and we turned back. Red and I spent the night with Casey and Dalton and vowed to try again the next day.

Small, but essential aside: Laurie had emailed early in the week asking if there was anything special we needed. After requesting "coffee and Corona" I added, "And just one more thing. Dalton has a few special words he likes to say to get a laugh. They don't mean anything particular but they all came from stuff we were doing. Long story. The words are: opossum, cross that marker bridge, and whoa Nelly. We always laugh. If you can laugh, that will be great. Thanks!"

Throwing those snowballs!

Throwing those snowballs!

Thursday morning found the roads clear and dry. We had an excellent trip down, stopping at the Hillsville exit in Virginia for a picnic lunch. There was plenty of snow still on the hills, so Dalton and Gran (that's me!) had fun making and throwing snowballs. That is, I did the making and the throwing while His Benevolent Highness dictated where to get the snow and where to throw the snowball!

However, the point of this blog is not to give you a day-by-day account of our trip. That's worse than watching 1960s vacation slides! The story I really want to share is this:

Friday night at Laurie and David's house we were having yet another meal of yummy Thanksgiving leftovers, supplemented by some excellent barbeque ribs David had grilled. By now everyone present, including sister Nancy, her husband Rad and daughter Natalie, had heard a few of Dalton's funny words, and he had gotten a few laughs, but I wasn't sure David had witnessed any of this or participated. Which was no big deal. David has a quick and pleasantly warped sense of humor, which is sometimes dry, always clever, and occasionally biting but never mean. In other words, he's a funny guy himself. I just wasn't sure he had noticed Dalton's little one-liners. Or maybe I just didn't notice that David noticed. Whatever.

Now, at our Thursday Thanksgiving meal, David had given a lovely toast, offering a few well-chosen words about being thankful for those present, those absent, and those who had gone on before whose lives made our family possible. I was moved and impressed with his toast-giving talent. So when time for the Friday-night toast came, I was looking forward to whatever words of wisdom David had to bestow. So imagine my surprise when he lifted his glass and said, "I just want to say one word.......................................................................

opossum!" He brought down the house! Huge laughter from everyone at the table, including a delighted Dalton. It was the perfect toast.

So, a great big THANK YOU to David. You made my Thanksgiving! Opossum!

One thought on “A Thanksgiving Story

  1. Martin Bacon

    ‘Possum in the ‘simmon tree
    Raccoon on the ground
    Raccoon says “you son of a gun
    Shake some ‘simmons down.”

    Boil ’em cabbage down
    Bake them hoecakes brown
    The only song that I can sing
    Is Boil ’em Cabbage Down.

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