Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Back from the hinterlands of the Ozarks after having a lovely time at the family reunion. I heard lots of family stories and a bit of family gossip, which is sometimes amusing, sometimes tragic, and nearly always entertaining. This was my maternal family, and the reunion I mentioned in the previous post was paternal family, so this is a whole other kettle of fish.

My maternal Grandpa died in 1987, but he had a younger cousin who is now in his early 80s who comes to these shin-digs who looks remarkably like Grandpa. Only problem is Grandpa never had his teeth in my lifetime, and it freaks me out to see his lookalike with a set of chompers in. Someone marveled to me at the efficiency with which Grandpa ate corn off the cob without teeth. Yes, I come from a long line of very accomplished folk! Also, the lookalike has been to the Donald Trump Institute of Hair Arrangement™ and must have about 10 hairs that are a mile long each and looped endlessly like a big bun of cotton candy on top of his head. What's amazing is that somewhere along the way he started dyeing his hair and so the rat's nest is a bit variegated with sections of silver, salt&pepper, and strawberry blond. Still, he's a cute old man and a sweetheart, so I can forgive the peculiar vanity.

I got to see my other Grandpa, who of course is missing my Grandma. He's almost completely deaf now, which means that he believes that if he can't hear his own farts, then no one else can. He lets it rip like nobody's business and never even acknowleges the ill wind he has set afoot on the planet. Then again, he's about 90, and at that age, maybe you just don't give a rat's ass. Let the man fart, I say. Still, the carefree pealing of rolls of thunderous flatulence have a singular ability to discompose all the other folks in the room. Oh well.

We went up a day early to drive through the mountains, and we spent the night at a little mom and pop motel called Red Bird Inn in Greer's Ferry. The little inn was cute and furnished with an assortment of mid-ce
ntury modern and home-spun wood furniture, which made for a quaint experience. There's a lake called Greer's Ferry Lake, but they haven't had an actual ferry for more than 20 years, apparently. There was also a fantastic old steel bridge spanning the lake, but a tornado took it out a while back. I think one of my hippy cousins got married on that ferry barefoot in the 70s. The marriage ended in tears, by the way. I complained to the people at the state park that it was sort of false advertising to keep "ferry" in the name, and we all had a good laugh about that.

It's great to be home. I'm probably heading out next weekend to Hereford and Amarillo Texas with my mom, so long road trips two weekends in a row. Should be a hoot. Nice to see you all again!


Ben Heller said...

Glad you had a nice weekend with the family phlegm. And if Grandpa wants to let rip, let him, I would have been pissing myself laughing.

phlegmfatale said...

Thanks, ben, it WAS good to see the family. Yeah, life's too short to fret over it, one way or another.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I think hearing Grandpa lettin'er fly should have been license for everbody in the room to join in. And then you could just blame Grandpa.

Dick said...

Since I'm partially deaf, I rip off some seriously nasty farts whenever I'm around Kelly.
I'm almost certain she never notices. ;)

Jay Noel said...

Sounds like you're going to be very busy with all these road trips.

Eat corn on the cob without teeth??? That IS talent. He must've had gums of steel.

Tam said...

My family is of midwestern Lutheran farming stock. We're duller than watching paint dry. It's a noteworthy occurance if someone has to ask for the potato salad twice at a family reunion. We talk about it for years afterwards. We had a nice aunt of Italian Catholic stock marry into the family once. She ran screaming after about twelve years. Something about the lack of hugs. Or yelling. Or any visible emotions at all.

I've always been jealous of my friends with colorful relations... Sigh.

phlegmfatale said...

barbara - excellent suggestion!!! Next time, I will make myself comfortable and blame grandpa!

dick - after all, Kelly is a lady and too polite to point out your grave social error, I'm sure!

phoenix - the road, she is calling me! I think grandpa had a mad abiding passion for corn.

tam - does your family play pitch? *L* I have enough colorful relations to bequeath some on you. Would you like to take my cousin on death row? How about one of my cousins with multiple illegitimate bairns of questionable parentage?