This was a writing assignment on JANUARY 10, 2016 / LELAND OLSON HOEL
If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?
Family Dinner Out
Somebody in our family got the idea a while back that it would be just great if we all got together and had dinner out. Of course, the first question that came up, where to eat? Some wanted to go to McDonald’s, and others wanted a Chinese buffet. We had a few younger ones voted for Italian. One grandson with an Asian wife wanted Japanese sushi. I shouted, “this is getting us nowhere. We are all going to go to Ralph’s Gizzard Kitchen and pull a few tables together and enjoy a family dinner.”
We finally got seated at Ralph’s Place. I ask, “how about ordering.” Each one wanted to order from the menu by themselves. Immediately I said, “No way, José, that is not going to work. It will drain my bank account.” We can all have the special, and I will pick up the check. If each one wants to order separately, we will share the cost. No one wanted the special, as I thought, with a breath of relief. Orders finally were all placed; waitresses started bringing out all the different meals.
Everyone was relaxing and enjoying their meals when we heard some police siren’s out in front. Pretty soon, a policeman walked in the door with this big old fellow, who looked like a lumberjack. The policeman asked, “Is somebody here named Leland Olson.” That’s me, I replied.” The policeman says, “This old geezer was wandering around in the middle of the street looking for a restaurant called Ralph’s Gizzard Kitchen. Nobody in town seemed to know where it was.” Whoever picked this place to eat must not get out of the house much! So anyway, “This fellow claims to be the great-grandfather of Leland Olson. He got the message to meet everyone here for a family dinner.”
I jumped up and gave my great-grandpa a big old hug, you look great, you died in 1925. I started banging a glass with my spoon. Can I have everyone’s attention, “This is great-grandpa Ole Hoel, he came from Canada to have dinner with us.” Sit down and join us. So, “how have things been going with you, grandpa, what would you like to eat?” Salted herring and lutefisk are out of season right now. They have excellent walleye fillets. I heard you always liked fish; we all did. Grandpa said, “That will be just fine, “but I don’t seem to have the appetite I had working in the woods all day.”
I asked, “How long can you stay,” They said, ‘until dinner is over,’ “I thought maybe you could come out to the house and stay awhile.” ‘Well, that is not part of the deal.’ I’m here to have dinner with you and your family, to see how you all look and act.’ “Frankly, I am shocked. It appears like you all have a lot of confusion and bad manners.” “You should be eating at one table in your home.” ‘Grandpa things change.’ He says, “Don’t know why things got to change that much, only been a little over a 100 years or so since I left here.”
So I asked him, “If you’re leaving after dinner, I hope you’re not walking back to Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.” No way, “Walk that far, you nuts? I did it once in 1905 beside my faithful oxen.
“I will be returned to Canada the same way I got here. Something beamed me up. I didn’t have my Derby hat, so they beamed me back down, got my hat, and beamed me up again, then brought me here. I hope they get it right, going back.”
Thanks for supper, it was nice to meet your family. Leland, What did you say you do? Blogging? Never heard of it, “Now logging, I know a lot about log………
Bye, bye, great-grandpa. I love you.
I have always felt a closeness to all my grandfathers. My great grandfather, Ole Estensen Hoel, was born on December 2, 1816. I was born on December 1, 1940. Grandpa Ole Hoel was born on April 28, 1844.
Families throughout this world have become more fractured as cyber societies progress at warp speed. The family unit in the United States no longer resembles what it was in the past. Each generation for the past few decades. Has seen the values change. The ties that bind families together have been destroyed or continue to decline.
It will be a terrible price to pay, but possibly this Coronavirus will help reverse a trend that was destroying the family unit worldwide. No matter how horrible a situation looks. There can always be a brighter side found If we search hard enough for it. A new world of fellowship and brotherly love might be in the making.
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