Back from the rents

I just got home from my parent’s house. I was only supposed to be there for three days, but my mom didn’t have to work hard to convince me to join them for a 4th of July cookout and add two days to my trip. As a bonus, my sister was also able to join us for the weekend. So, it was like the old days. All of us were gathered under one roof. I also took work home with me, and that was pretty much like old days too. I basically got none of it done.

After being with the family for the weekend, I feel culturally enhanced. Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but one of the primary activities at my parent’s house is watching TV. That’s  a change of pace for me because I don’t have the TV on all the time here, and I don’t have cable. We watched several episodes of Swamp People, leaving me with the determination to never, ever travel into a Louisiana swamp. There are way too many alligators there; when people can toss upwards of 20 alligators into a boat in just one day, that’s about 20 alligators too many. Swamp People rolled over in the Shark Wranglers, which wasn’t all that interesting except for the fact that my mom might now join protests to speak out against the finning of sharks, which was pretty vulgar to watch. (For those unfamiliar with the practice, sharks are commercially hunted and then the hunters slice off just their fins and toss the rest of them into the ocean to die, leaving the rest of the shark wasted). After raising our awareness, Shark Wranglers changed into an Ice Truckers marathon. Those guys astound me since they walk around in temperatures dropping below 0 without even putting on gloves. We also introduced my sister to American Pickers, a show that follows around two guys on the hunt for old advertising memorabilia and other cultural artifacts. My sister, who is the least sentimental and least cluttered person I know, was appalled at the “collector’s” yards that the pickers go through, and I think it’s hilarious that my mom thinks she and my dad should go on the reality show based on people’s abilities to recognize valuable cultural artifacts. She reasons that between my dad’s historical knowledge and her shopping skills, they’d have it made. The last time I saw those two interests mesh together was when he used to let us shop at Gettysburg, so we’d leave him to enjoy the historical aspects in peace. (Of course, in hindsight, I wish I’d visited a few more of the historical features as well).

I did tear us away from the TV to gather around the card table where we played the quickest game of UNO ever since I was crushed in about 6 hands. It was ridiculous. Our family is different from most. We keep score after each round of UNO; my sister and I grew up doing this; we couldn’t imagine not doing it. But, we’ve gone on to play UNO with many friends who just play round by round. What’s the point??? I’m not competitive, and even I enjoy the sustained challenge. We also had to play a rematch game of Hand and Foot today. Last night, I dominated my sister at the game, and she hates losing games. I grew up having her win most games we play, so I shake it off. But, if I win, we have to play rematches until she wins. However, by the time we played today, my dad had already learned to settle into the strategies, and he wound up beating us all.

Now, it’s time to get back to work tomorrow. Summer is flying by. Just three more weeks before I have to go back to teaching. I can’t believe I made a list of back to school supplies that I want to pick up at Staples this week. Yuck. I don’t want to talk about that anymore.