Thanksgiving – The Year I Was Shot

Song of the Day: Feel Good Drag by Anberlin

Thanksgiving –a time to give thanks for the people in our lives, our accomplishments, our successes and failures, and our bounties, that which makes us stronger.

Like many, I have a patchwork of memories that weave a fabric of nostalgic moments in my life.

When my grandparents were still alive, every year the family gathered at “the farm” for Turkey Day. We reflected on the amazing tales my grandfather told of the wars he fought. We shared loads of laughter during the wild storytelling of my father and his siblings’ antics –some of which include wasps, pyromania, and cat poop. We ate dry turkey, drank watered-down instant tea, and dodged rolls that were not passed but rather lobbed (helmets at the table were optional). Those were invariable staples of our holiday.

No thanksgiving would be complete without some sort of chaos. Every family experiences them. Right? Riiiight? The obese uncle who, after his second trough-full of food, scares the family into believing he was having a heart attack. A trip to the emergency room confirmed it was just indigestion. How about the turkey that sat in the oven for hours only to be discovered as everyone sat down at the table that the oven hadn’t been turned on. Or the food fight, not surprisingly, started when a wayward roll bounced off the wrong head. I might add that coconut pie (not the chocolate pie as we never, EVER waste the chocolate pie) is a nightmare in long hair.

My favorite memory includes my bronco-bustin’, ninja-trained, flyboy cousin who was home for the holiday from the Air Force. Seems he had taken up a new hobby. Competition Paintball.  And he had brought his high-power guns. Looking back in hindsight, I’m convinced my cousin waited until after the big turkey dinner to play paintball because the rest of us were slow moving targets. Combined with his ninja skills, he hunted us down, picking us off like screaming monkeys in a barrel. Not one of us made it out “alive”.  I won’t lie, getting shot by a paint ball HURTS!!!! Even when wearing jeans. I had a bruise the size on Montana on my thigh. Diving and rolling for cover looks so much easier on TV. But I didn’t get it as bad as hubby. He got nailed in the middle of his forehead as he peeked up from his hiding place. It was HILARIOUS!

Ah…good times… good times.

Do you have a funny Thanksgiving story to share? What family traditions do you have? I’d love to hear from you.

9 Responses to Thanksgiving – The Year I Was Shot

  1. Well my Thanksgivings were about as different from that as Mars is to Earth!! Sounds like it was a lot of fun…even being walloped by a paintball.
    Family stories like yours were relegated to the summers for my family. We’d come home for 3 months and the familiness of it all ensued during that break- including sticking fire crackers in cow patties and fire ant hills then running like crazy! (It’s all fun until you couldn’t outrun the ants or poop!!)
    Since we lived overseas, our friends became our close family and our community became the distant aunts and uncles that seemed to always be there but everyone forgot how they were really related.
    Our day would start with going to the Anglican church and then a group would head back over to our house. It was usually around 10 or more folks. My mom would sit down at the piano and play hymns and we’d all sing for awhile.Being so far away, it was good to hear the old hymns and sing them together. This was always done with a lot of talking and reminiscing about stories of childhoods remembered through time and thousands of miles away.
    After the meal, we’d usually go outside to play volleyball or badminton- we had a very large yard up on a hill next to the jungle so it usually had a breeze and the view was pretty spectacular. Just when we got really hot and the humidity made it hard to breathe, our man who made cold drinks showed up on his motor scooter. He had this amazing juicer on the back and would run fresh fruit through it and pour it into plastic bags filled with ice. My favorite was pineapple, apple!


    • jbrayweber says:

      I’m envious of you, Stacey. You have led a very full, interesting life, being able to participate and acclimate to other cultures and still maintain American heritage. Wow. Most people don’t get that kind of gift.

      Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!


  2. Susan Muller says:

    Jeeze, Jenn. I knew my family was boring, but you don’t have to rub it in!!!


  3. jeff7salter says:

    That paintball episode sounds dangerous. Hope y’all were wearing masks. Don’t forget (as we’re reminded repeatedly in “Christmas Story”) … “You’ll shoot your eye out!”


    • jbrayweber says:

      Yep, Jeff. We all had masks on. I’m quite certain that some of us WOULD shoot our own eyes out, otherwise. HA! But without other protection, we each had war wounds we could brag about. 🙂


  4. Suzan Harden says:

    I think paintball would still be better than real bullets. Male members of our family would use innocent rabbits as target practice since white tail season starts the Monday after Thanksgiving in Ohio.

    But when you get married, new traditions start, right? Unfortunately, Thanksgiving has become kind of a bad word at our house. DH has spent three T-days in the hospital, GK two. I refuse to cook turkey on T-day. It’s bad luck.


    • jbrayweber says:

      Suzan, you must cook the turkey thoroughly before serving. LOL! Just kidding. I would be staying away from the turkey, too, if I were you. So, you are having Chinese this year, huh? However you guys are celebrating it, I hope you have a great holiday!


  5. Suzan Harden says:

    LOL Actually, the hospital staff accused me of just that the first time I took DH to the ER. But finding the cancer tumor during emergency surgery exonerated me.

    No Chinese though. I bake sausage alfredo lasagna.


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