Saturday, January 08, 2005

A Humorous Family

I'm a lucky guy because of my great family. I'm sure everyone else feels the same way about their families. I guess that's what makes life so enjoyable. Having families that you can share experiences with and talk about them years later is the stuff memories are made of. That's the stuff LIFE is made of.

Of course, friends are good. Sometimes friends become families. But blood is blood, nothing's thicker than blood. Over the years I've been with other families that I thought I wanted to be a part of. You know how it is. You visit some close friend who introduces you to their family members and you think, Wow, now this would be a great family to be a member of. Because when you stop to think about some of the warts of your own family you decide that you want to apply for citizenship into another.

But not me, I'm so happy to have the family I have. I wouldn't trade any single one of them for another person. And my family appreciates humor. I love humor. I guess I grew up with lots of funny people. This struck me as we celebrated my uncle Richard and aunt Trudy's 50th wedding anniversary. Every family member that got up to 'share a few words' was funny, really funny.

My dad kicked off the celebration. He used the poor-me-younger-brother strategy to curry favor with the attendees. It worked. Since he was the third of the children he got the hand-me-downs from big brother and was generally tormented by him he claimed.

Dad said he was visiting with several here in attendance (there were 100 in all) and some had questions, especially about my uncle Richard. So dad compiled the ten most frequently ask questions. Leveraging a story someone else told about Richard acting mentally challenged when going with them to buy a car, one of the questions was:

Q: Is it true Richard acts mentally challenged when purchasing a car so as to get the best deal. Answer: No, he's always been like that.

And a few more:

Q: Is it true that Richard built a room for Paul (his son) out of the family garage for only $280? A: Yes, but guess who did the work?

Q: Why do you think all these friends came tonight and say good things about Richard and Trudy? A: Because of Trudy.

Q: How did Trudy end up with a guy like Richard? A: We do not know, but the family is very happy about it.

Well, you get the idea. Mom got up and had some touching things to say about Trudy. And each person afterward gave a brief experience or heart wrenching story of how either or both had helped them in their life.

Steve and Paul, my cousins, MC'd the show and they were also funny. To fill in time just after the cake cutting Paul says:

'I can tell you a little about the cake. This is a three-tiered cake, sometimes called tri-layered. It's got icing, white icing, and it's a cake, a white cake. The exterior of the cake is white. That's about all I know about the cake, other than it's a three-tiered or tri-layered affair, delicious in nature I believe. You may be getting some later tonight.'

Then it was Richard and Trudy's turn to get up and 'say a few words.'

Richard's first words were: 'Thank you for coming, and on the way out please feel free to pick up the wallet-sized pictures of us and sign the book for the free botox consultation opportunity.'

And Trudy says: 'Thanks for coming. We really appreciate you being here to share this event. There were many we wanted to invite but you are special to us, just think you were in the top 100!'

Naomi and Mary arranged to have this celebration on a golf course in a Spanish villa-like building complete with wrought iron gates that separated the main dining area and the bar. The tables had linen table cloths with gold sheer coverings and candles. Tall glass center pieces wreathed in green vines gave an elegant touch to the room.

Finally the kids, Steve, Paul and Naomi presented a 20 minute slide show, with music, of Richard and Trudy's history. Starting with each of them as children, the slides showed them growing up and then the kids growing up, and finally the other Terry families good times together. I was in a few of the frames, ah, because I'm a Terry I guess, and it dawned on me then what a great family we have.

From the Death Valley trips in the three Cadillacs to the back yard BBQs there was always fun to be had with the family. We never lacked anything materially and usually had more than our share although we were not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination.

There is so much more to tell but suffice to say, a great family is the stuff life is made of. (Would that be a great quote?)

Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city. -George Burns (1896 - 1996)