Saturday, April 18, 2009
Family Traditions and McDonalds
Good old Hank Williams JR speaks of “family tradition” in one of his songs. We all have some semblance of family tradition; whether it is at holidays or just things we’ve come to do. I thank God daily that I am one of those people who embrace tradition rather than scoff at it or try to find ways around. I’m also thankful that I make time for my family. I realize some day perhaps way off, perhaps sooner than I would like, I may not have them around to take advantage of those traditions. This has never been as strong as in the passing of my aunt, two coworkers loosing their parents and another gentleman I know who is getting ready to say goodbye to his dad. I understand and realize that death is as much a part of life as birth, but that doesn’t make it much easier to want to have to deal with. One family tradition for our family has always been McDonalds. Yep, I said it. Simple and not much to it, but when we were growing up it was a big thing. We were a one working parent family and that was dad. Mom stayed home and made sure we had a clean house and clean clothes and someone to be there for us if we needed her. My brother and I had the “June Cleaver” mom of the neighborhood. We really couldn’t have asked for better. All through my childhood Wednesday nights was McDonald’s night. We really looked forward to it to. We rarely ate inside. We often times would sit in the car and have family conversation time. In the summers we would go to a park where we would play after eating. We did have a squirrel that would come up to the car for McDonalds French fries. I remember it vaguely. I think my brother remembers it more clearly. Then as my mom’s mother and a big portion of her brothers and sisters moved into the trailer park around us it got to be an outing with them as well. I remember vividly associating McDonalds with quality family time. Even as we got older and schedules got more hectic we would meet up at McDonalds. Sometimes not even to eat, just to sit and talk, but it was a meeting place. I remember one time, when I was younger and better looking this older guy who had a sketch pad drew a picture of me. Times have changed though. Now we rarely get there. My parents have moved on to loving their buffets. That is a venue I really don’t like. I mean sure you have a lot of choices but it also leads to over eating, where as if you have a plate lunch you pick and choose off your plate what you might eat. Just my opinion though. We also had another family tradition of on our birthdays dad would take us to McDonalds and we got to keep the change from whatever he paid with. I know my brother and his kids like to go to the state street one to play and eat, so he’s kind of started his own little family tradition. I just was thinking to myself how much each and everyone of us should take the time to enjoy these things because some day even the things someone does to annoy us could be missed when they are gone. Again this is only my opinion though.