A lighter view…The blizzard

A lighter view…The blizzard

By Karen Morris

By Karen M. Morris

Freelance Writer

A blizzard dropped 24 inches of snow. Supposedly, an inbound arctic jet stream from Canada caused this catastrophic storm. But I knew the truth–heaven’s revenge. I warned my relatives this was going to happen if we didn’t stop mucking up the holidays.

Every Christmas, my sister invites all the relatives for 10 days of glorious fun at my house. Cars with flatbed trailers, motor homes and one big rig form a convoy loaded with suitcases, summer sausages and spare parts. Invariably, around mile marker 152, some poor dolt’s radiator bursts or engine explodes, necessitating a rescue party.

Once everyone’s retrieved, we uncork a barrel of Aunt Beulah’s special eggnog to celebrate. While we’re laughing at each other’s lumpy noggers (mustaches), someone’s vehicle is relieving itself on my driveway of oil and anti-freeze.

After Beulah’s brew, it’s crunch time for the porcelain palace. Uncle Buddy grabs a four-pack of two-ply rolled gold, then serenades us with the butt horn. He performs without a fan, human or electronic. Cousin Barbie drains our 50-gallon, hot water heater…mistaking the hot tub for Godzilla’s bidet. And cousin Benny twirls two plungers like nunchukas, yelling, “Vengeance on the throne of blue water!” In less than five minutes, we’re out of hot water, toilet paper and thrones.

Never say, “My home is your home” with this crowd. Buddy immediately begins boxing up all the food on the counter like it’s Chinese “take out” (including the toaster, dirty dishes and mail). And Beulah orders a satellite dish service when she discovers we only have basic cable.

Benny starts walking around in his underwear, while Dad rifles through the drawers, looking for red Saran wrap to fix a broken tail light and Mom starts doing a load of laundry.

Barbie, the bidet queen, changes baby Ruth’s diaper on my new white divan…without a net, while her preschooler finishes off the matching chair with a tumbler of grape juice. I reassure Jill the new purple and baby poo brown color scheme is just what the room lacked (a gag reflex).

The bathroom becomes a full-service pharmacy with pills, potions and powders, by Mom, who reminds me, “Your cooking gives everyone heartburn.” I thank her for sharing and suggest she stop eating after three helpings. Wayne’s razor is used to remove fuzz balls off Beulah’s sweater, and my toothbrush disappears.

While the men gather in the garage to lie about their gas mileage, the women discuss meaningful issues. Beulah claims Benny is borderline gifted (passed home room), and he’s modeling (was an extra in a local floor tile commercial). It’s grueling work…he has to smile, keep his tongue in his mouth and not pick his nose on camera.

My sister, Esther, reveals she’s started a new “crisis intervention” weight loss business. You call her, and she comes over and eats all your food before you do.

When I brag that my three children are in the church choir, Grandma starts beating her chest like it’s a weed whacker with a pull start. Then she yells at me for not telling her I have three children. Barbie leaves to change the baby again–seems salsa and pepper cheese upsets the little pooper’s bowels–who would have thought?

After feeding the four dogs, a pregnant cat and a gerbil that accompany this troupe, it was time for us to feast. Buddy and Beulah bagged their stuff. Esther grazed. Mom and Dad polished off anything they could reach.

Barbie and the kids weren’t hungry–maybe it was all the head cheese and sausage they devoured. I lost my appetite when the cat peed on my leg–she couldn’t squeeze under my chair where the litter box was conveniently located.

After dinner, we gathered in the family room, to exchange gifts, count our blessings and enjoy “quality time.” “What’s the matter with your tree? Looks like a dead stick.”

“No surprise, she bought it before Labor Day.”

“Buddy, put that stringed popcorn back–it’s decoration.”

“Where’s the gerbil?”

“I love this sweater, did you keep the


“No, Benny! Stop! It’s a tie tack, not a nose ring.”

“A flashlight….great, now I own five.”

“Someone gave me coasters, I thought we agreed to spend at least $5.”

“You made this entirely from twist ties? Unbelievable.”

“Check the baby, I think she torched one.”

“That’s not funny, Dad.”

“What’s a nose hair clipper do?”

“How special, Beulah, you enrolled me in a CD club and even picked my 12 selections –heavenly hillbilly hits.”

“I love it…what is it?”

“There must be some mistake, I am not a size 16.”

“Toilet paper, very thoughtful, Buddy.”

“Kitty had an accident, I’ll just use this sweater to clean it up.”

Eventually, the crew launches for home. And as I wave goodbye, I notice a tiny snowflake floating to the ground.

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