Howdy Padnahs, your ol’ pal COWBOY CRIB KEEPER here to finish my tale of temporary Ranch life that I began in my previous post, A Very Angry Thanksgiving (read it NOW if ya haven’t, this post will be waiting for you when you’re done.)
When we last left off, I told you we decided to throw a Saturday night party at the pavilion. I closed with a delightful drink recipe…I wonder if you’ve tried it yet? So without further Adieu I present to you, the grand finale of my Thanksgiving adventure in the country.
A Very Angry Thanksgiving (Part 2.)
I always assumed the night I finally got my Mother in law drunk would be at a seedy Bingo parlor or All-Male Strip Club, Le Bare. Never in a million years would I expect to be knocking back booze with her in the comfort of family and friends. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
Saturday Afternoon Lover fo’ Life took my mom in law’s truck back to the real world. I planned this for two reasons:
1. He took an entire week off for Thanksgiving, because he is such a HOSS at his company, he needed to catch up on email/ prepare for his week ahead on Sunday. It didn’t seem fair for him to drive all day Sunday only to have to report to the office at 7:30 the next morning. He needed some decompression time.
2. Angry Baby’s Great-Granny came down for the Holidays. Since she will be here until January, she brought her Cadillac down for the month. My Mother in law was set to drive her back down and would need someone to drive back her truck that she drove up in the first place.
3. I wanted Lover fo’ Life to experience the sweet bliss of an empty house and get a full night’s sleep all to himself. PURE LUXURY!
So as we packed him up Saturday Afternoon and I kissed him farewell, L4L huskily whispered into my ear, “Don’t get too drunk tonight, you have to drive home with a potential screaming kid for 5 hours in the morning.”
“Ok, DAD.” I snapped back.
As the family began to arrive for the evening festivities, we began to get thirsty. So, naturally I began tending bar. Did I mention I am heavy-handed with the booze? My cocktail was ice-water because Angry Baby was all my responsibility. Usually L4L is there to be the responsible parent, this was not the case so I refrained until it was her bedtime.
“Big Jeff,” a longtime aptly named (he’s 6’8) family friend was the first to come barreling through the bunk house door. He instantly was crowned griller in Charge. As Jeff got to work on the BBQ fire, the rest of us worked on the Pavillion fire. Once both were roaring, the business at hand was getting down to fun! The ladies sat in the bunk house great room nibbling on various cheeses and drinking 10 different wines while the guys gathered at the pavilion and drank beers. After my belly was filled with fine cheeses and wines, (I even drank some CHOCOLATE WINE!) I decided to go outside. My mother in law was already out by the fire snuggling with Angry Baby, who I had previously dressed in her warm coat and clothing. Side Note: There’s a special place in my heart for all you moms who live in cold, snowy climates. I don’t know how you
fight dress little ones in all those layers of clothing several times a day…Y’ALL ARE THE REAL HEROES!
As my warm and not yet buzzed self walked across the courtyard to the pavilion, I had a premonition: “tonight is gonna rule.”
I was greeted by “Smokin’ Jimmy G.” (my past rattle snake-killing savior) playing guitar and singing classic country by the fire. Angry Baby was digging every note. My little dancing, grooving little monkey was singing along (in her own special language.) I took a comfortable chair, she teetered over, smiling and dancing the whole way.
“Angry Baby loves music!”my mother in law loudly proclaimed. “I know. I’ve only been telling you people that since she was in my womb,” I mumbled under my breath.
For the next hour Angry Baby danced, laughed, sang, and worked the crowd. She finally asked for her granny to pick her up and moments later while mid sing, passed out asleep.
Armed with a sleeping little cherub, I made my way back to our room and her makeshift nursery. By the time I set her current favorite lullaby, The Vince Guaraldi Trio’s Soundtrack to a Charlie Brown Christmas, she was out cold.
As I made my way back to the Pavillion to collect any toys left behind, my mother in law asked me to do her a favor, make her a Rum and Coke.
My mother in law is many wonderful things, but a drinker is not one of them. Not even kidding, in all of the almost TEN YEARS I’ve known her, I’ve seen her drink maybe 3 margaritas total. So, I did what any good daughter in law would do, I made the lady her Rum and Coke. And I wasn’t chinsy with the Bacardi.
I also made myself
a solo cup full of Vodka and Olive Juice a Martini.
As the night began to hit its stride, we were 14 people strong and the beers were flying out of the cases (it was cold and windy enough on the porch that they didn’t need refrigeration.) Our Ages Spanned from 61 to twenty something, and let me tell you…we had fun. Every last one of us were singing, laughing at stories, joking and drinking. It was surreal to see all of these folks from different lives come together so perfectly, like a huge, FUN, family. The wind raged on and with it brought a deep chill across the glittering sky, but the covered, and protected pavilion was warm in both temperature and sentiment.
I could end this tale here and it would be a lovely Idyllic ending to a wonderful week at my favorite place on the planet with some of my favorite people on the planet, but I would be doing you all a disservice. Read on if you like being scandalized. To my mother in law and all others involved, you might want to go run an errand or something.
Just as your ol’ pal the Crib Keeper was reflecting on the wonderful group before her, my mother in law requested a refill, this time, the Rooster’s husband Hank went about tending bar for her. He returned with another rum and diet coke, she sipped on it quickly and Hank quietly laughed to me, “Dude, you are getting your mother in law drunk!”
“I’M not, she’s choosing this herself!” And as if on cue, my MIL leaned over and said, “I’m feeling pretty good, relaxed and I’m having fun!” I laughed back, “I know!!!!…MEEE TOOO!” She joked, don’t you tell my Boys about this! To which I replied: “What happens at the Ranch, stays at the Ranch!” And for the first time in our 10 year friendship, she hi-fived me.
As a bottle of “Liberty Lemonade” aka whisky was passed around, EVERYONE took a “country shot” aka mandatory swig. Even my MOTHER IN LAW!!!
I braced myself for a wild ride, I wondered where it would end.
What would my brutally honest and never sugar coat-y mother in law have to say to me with the veil of civility removed? Would she call me out for my many indiscretions and flaws? Nah, she would’ve told me sober if she had any issues with me.
Perhaps some seedy confessions or old family dirt would surface…who knew what delightful revelations awaited to spring from her lips!?
Whatever it was, I sat ready and nosily waiting to hear her every drunk word.
As we all ended the group sing-along/ campfire jokes, cousin Stace turned on music and began to gyrate like a Disney Cartoon from the 1930’s. Her cousin, a young Marine (9 TOURS Y’ALL!) and his wife (who is in the airforce) began to talk “Cajun” which really just consisted of a bunch of grunting and mumbling. The three of them seemed to understand every word. Each sentence made them laff harder than the previous. I had to crack whatever drunk code this was.
And after another drink, I began to understand it. I now was speaking my first “Cajun” words, the crowd cheered. My best friend, the Rooster was feeling good, so good in fact, she failed to notice the pillow she had with her next to the fire on the hearth, was starting to melt. When she rested her hand on the pillow, she had no idea it was smoking hot. She burned her pinky. (Don’t worry, she’s fine…and felt no pain the entire night.) As she was in the house getting her aloe and bandaid on, the party collectively decided that “Since the dang pillow hurt the Rooster, it had to die.” The pillow was tossed on to the fire, once again the crowd cheered.
Upon her return and good fortune of not being hurt, the Rooster was greeted with more group “Country Shots”…she was touched by our tribute (and pillow assassination by FIRE squad.) The music and booze began to take hold. So what did all the Texans on the Ranch in the Texas Countryside do?
“The Stanky Legg.”
Every last one of us (save the Rooster’s husband Hank who was documenting it all on his camera) got on the dance floor and danced. As the night wore on, dancing turned to line dancing, I made my way off the floor and took some photos.
When they began to dance the “Cupid Shuffle” in perfect choreographed harmony, I felt like I was in a Bollywood movie. It was sublime and incredible. Between dances everyone laughed, joked, drank and tended to the fire. As the night came to a close, my laughing and in love with life mother in law looked at me and said, “You know…”
I braced myself for the dirt/drama/confession/crazy prank idea
“Come the revolution, we’re going to need Trey (the decorated Marine and new father. He’s got some survival skills and knowledge we’ll need here out on the Ranch.”
Fun Fact: The Ranch will easily convert into a secure family compound come disaster or mass chaos.
“Yes he does,” I agreed. She then proceeded to tell him as much. Ever the good conversationalist, Trey came over and shared some tips and tricks and told us stories of his training. What the troops go through to keep us safe and happy with our families, is awe-inspiring. THANK YOU SOLDIERS AND FAMILIES OF THE MILITARY!
So in the end, a bunch of us got together, drank just enough to let loose but not too much to have us packing for the road hung over. Stories were swapped, stanky legs we taught and I finally got all liquored up with my Mother in law, a fellow skank from a different shark tank.
While the party was so fun it bordered on surreal, the next morning we all found ourselves free from hangovers. At least no one was showing signs of a hangover as we cleaned out the bunk house and packed up for the road.
I said my goodbyes, hugging each and every person there, promising to count down the minutes until we met up again.
The Rooster and I set off on our 5 Hour journey home with El Rey and Angry Baby in tow, spending the entire car ride recounting every last moment of the night before. Laughing at revelations such as when I suddenly remembered
yelling telling my mother in law: “I NEED TO LEARN HOW TO CAN, WILL YOU PLEASE TEACH ME HOW TO CAN!?!?!” And of course, I had to regale the vigilante justice we dealt to the smoking pillow that dare harm the Rooster. As I dramatically recounted the ceremony, she exclaimed: “I just love the Ranch, I can’t wait to go back.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Until next time my lil’ buckaroos!
Cowboy Crib Keeper