Family pic stick-in-the-mud

crazy family pic

Thanksgiving was fun. All of our kids were home along with new spouses and friends.

Our meal preparations were lively as the bustle around the kitchen was full of laughter and stories and conversation and an overabundance of excellent cooks.

We moved the dining room table into the living room, added the leaves, pushed the breakfast table next to it and seated fourteen all together. It was delightful. That was Thursday.

Saturday, we planned to make a family picture. Family pictures tend to become aggravating events–worth it, but aggravating.

This year’s picture will probably be memorialized among my clan as the year that dad (that’s me) displayed my own lack of self-control. If the saying is true that “You can tell the size of a man by the size of the things that upset him,” then I was the smallest one in the picture.

Holidays should be free from stress, but we were invited to watch the Alabama/Auburn Iron Bowl at 2:30 with friends. A late brunch, multiple pots of coffee, a drop-in visitor, and changing clothes ended with this result: 40 minutes to drive downtown, take the picture and then drive back to catch the kickoff. I stressed.

I suggested changing the location. A warning look from my beloved. Silence in the room.

The awkwardness of the moment that I had created called for an executive decision. Guess who the executive was! Yeah, me. I decided that I could redeem the situation by deciding just to get going downtown as fast as possible and get it done. One van and one car. Off we went.

Now I was asking questions like, “Where are we going to get the picture made?”

The answer was “At the square.”

“Which one?” I asked.


Then the other car called and said that it would be by the ivy wall. I had seen an ivy wall downtown, so I headed there. Judith and her car saw us, and followed. The leader (me again) was clueless. No ivy wall.

We passed Cathedral Square. Good enough. We parked and found a suitable background. I glanced at the time–running late.

I vented.  informal family pic

Maria’s brother Jaime was taking pictures. He said, “Smile.” Yeah, right.

We took several shots, making sure the trip–and my anger–weren’t wasted. Then back to the van and car, a silent trip to our destination, so all could “enjoy” football, fellowship, food, and fun.

Later that evening, after returning home, we took time to pray as we try to do when we are together, but something wasn’t right. O, yeah, me . . . again.

Do you think it hinders our relationships when our attitudes are out of whack? Do you think it hinders our prayers when our relationships are out of whack?

Yeah, me too.


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