Whew! What a get-together!

Laugh Tracks in the Dust

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Nevah and I passed an big milestone last week — two months early. Let me explain. Our 60th wedding anniversary is coming up on August 16. But, on that date, our dispersed family members couldn’t get together for a celebration. But, they could all flock to our new home in June … so that’s what happened.

All 21 direct members of the Yield clan — three generations worth — arrived for the early celebration. That included our two daughters, two sons-in-law, six grandkids, three grand sons-in-law, two grand daughters-in-law, and one great granddaughter, 5, and three great grandsons, 4, 3 1/2, and 1 1/2 years old. Then throw in two sisters-in-law and a brother-in-law for good measure. That brings the total to 24.

The out-of-staters traveled traveled from Zebulon, North Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; Sparta, Tennessee; Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Westminster, Colorado, and Utopia, Texas.

Our activities for the 60-year nuptial celebration covered the waterfront. Of course, a segment for formal and informal photography was mandatory at wonderful local outdoorsy location. Keeping the four little great-grandkids focused for photos was a laughable challenge.

The group members mix-matched to play an assortment of traditional family card games, played the corn-hole contest, played dominos, and had a birthday party for the 5-year-old great granddaughter.

This old great-grandpa even introduced the three oldest great grandkids into playing cards by “inventing” a couple of super-simple card games. Hopefully, they enjoyed enjoyed whupping up on me so much they’ll cater to card games for the rest of their lives.

As you’d expect, our caloric intake soared with an assortment of meats, veggies, sweets and beverages. The group got served a primo serving of creamed new potatoes and peas from the garden and green salads from the garden. Nevah even splurged and made two gallons of vanilla and chocolate homemade ice cream.

A sizable portion of the family patronized a new Mexican restaurant that opened locally recently.

When the festivities ended, the family scattered like a covey of quail. A pair is headed to Portugal for an artistic event of some kind. Another pair is headed for a month-long collegiate study in Spain. The rest returned to their respective states.

Summing up our 60th anniversary get-together, we couldn’t have asked for more. But, I have to concur with a saying I heard long ago that there’s nothing to make the heart soar higher than the sight of the dimpled, smiling faces of your little great grandkids running up the sidewalk to see you — and there’s nothing more relaxing than the sight of their little dimpled butts headed down the sidewalk leaving.

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I’m writing this column on the longest day of the years. So, winter is heading our way. However, I know that summer is here now becuz I got my first big dose of chigger bites the last few days. I know that every living thing is supposed to have a purpose on Earth, but the only positive purpose I can think of for chiggers is what a relief it is when chigger season is over for the year.

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I mentioned my garden earlier and I can report that it’s getting into high gear. All the spring plantings are either at harvest or getting close to harvest. A grand son-in-law helped me finish a drip irrigation for all the garden not in raised beds. So, from here to fall planting, my focus is on harvesting, canning and freezing.

So far we’ve eaten radishes, leaf lettuce, spinach, onions, peas, new potatoes, green beans and our first ripe tomatoes. Still growing are sweet corn, sweet potatoes, pole beans, dry beans, zucchini, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers and Jerusalem artichokes.

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OK, enuf about me and our family. Sorry to bore you. How about a little humor?

A cash-strapped farm couple gets into an argument about keeping the farm and family’s personal and bizness checkbook balanced. Finally, the exasperated wife tells her red-faced hubby, “I tell you what. I’ll give you a day to balance our checkbook before I look at it to see if you get it balanced better than I can.”

Her hubby agrees. He spends hours the next day poring over stubs, invoices, and various figures. Finally, he tells his wife, “I’ve done it. I made our checkbook balance.”

Impressed, his wife sets down at the kitchen table and takes a look at her hubby’s bookkeeping work. She notes that the monthly payments are all properly recorded. But, her brow wrinkles when she sees the last checkbook entry for “ESP, $812.”

So she asks him, “It says here ESP, $812. What the heck is that?”

“Oh, that,” her hubby says sheepishly, “That means Error Some Place.”

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A crop farmer was interviewing a job applicant who claimed to be a very fine mechanic on expensive farm equipment. Towards the end of the job interview, the farmer asked the applicant, “Are you one of those guys who drops his tools at 5 o’clock and rushes out the door.”

The applicant earnestly answered, “No, sir! By 5 o’clock I’ll have everything put away properly. And, I’ll be washed up and ready to go home.”

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Personal words of wisdom for the week: “For a weekly columnist, sometimes the ol’ think tank comes up empty.”

Have a good ‘un.

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