Gearing up for a Tennessee Schrock Stampede

Categorized as 12/13/10 Goshen News column

Even as menus are being finished and kitchens are buzzing, the schedule is still being tweaked.  In the beginning, I thought it was real simple and laid it out like this:  “Day one.  Women go shopping, men watch kids.  Day two.  Women go shopping, men watch kids.” Seeing exactly where it was going, an astute brother-in-law hopped in with, “Day three.  Men watch football, kids lost in mountains.”  Clearly, we still have work to do.  There are a few things we have agreed on.  First, the air hockey table will be a-hoppin’.  I’m seeing a playoff there.  Second, there’s bound to be a mini golf tournament at the small course in the lodge basement.  The quick-thinking uncle quoted above has declared himself the champion going in, and I know at least two nephews who are determined to unseat him.  I predict a heated Tennessee Open with some serious action on the greens.  Third will be football.  With multiple screens throughout, the men really are intending to go comatose, stirring just enough to change the channel and freshen their sodas during commercials.  It really will be up to the women to make sure the kids aren’t wandering, lost and afraid, in the hills.  Of course, we may be hot tubbing, we girls, and sharing our feelings (that’s number four) while the rest are playing pool or watching football.  If they come looking for food, we’ll just pretend we can’t hear them over the roar of the jets.  After all, we’ve learned selective hearing from some of the best little practitioners.  One of the highlights undoubtedly will be the Dixie Stampede, an amazing dinner show that features a “friendly North and South competition, thrilling horse riding stunts, spectacular special effects, and phenomenal music productions plus a mouthwatering four-course feast complete with a delicious dessert!”  This, according to their official website.  One of ours with a flair for drama is already getting his “pick me, pick me” hand warmed up.  He has every intention of waving like crazy when they ask for volunteers.  Frankly, though, I think the family puts on a very credible version of the Dixie Stampede all by itself.  Just holler “dinner” and watch what happens if you don’t believe me.  It’s just that our show doesn’t include horses and cool roping tricks.  Which, come to think of it, could come in handy once those kids get sugared up.  Somewhere in there, we’ll play board games.  We’ll watch movies ‘til all hours in our PJs.  We’ll heat up leftovers and eat too much candy.  We’ll laugh like hyenas and take lots of pictures.  We’ll be exhausted when it’s over, and it will take days to recover.  We may say things like, “What were we thinking?”  But years later, when the kids are grown and gone, we’ll look back and say, “Remember that one Christmas when we all went to Tennessee?  Wasn’t that great?” Rhonda Schrock asserts that if you catch a whiff of peanut butter, it has nothing to do with the official Smell of Christmas.  It has everything to do with the small, unwelcome four-footed visitor that goes skittering overhead in the night.  She says that if Mr. Schrock doesn’t send him to his reward soon, she will choreograph her own entirely original stampede. 

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