Traditionally, the wife and I spend every Thanksgiving with the daughter and her family. Right after she married she declared, “I get dibs on Thanksgiving,” so we have celebrated the holiday in Washington State, Ohio and most recently Georgia.
It’s a special time when we have the entire family together including the son and his wife, our precious granddaughters and even the in-laws, who are a hoot to be with.
Shortly before we left for Georgia, I got a text from the son-in-law, “Hey Pops! Heads up! When you get down here we are going to bury the hatchet.”
“Bury the hatchet?” I thought. “That’s an expression used when warring tribes finally find peace and bury their weapons. Oh my gosh! What did I do? I can’t remember making the son-in-law mad. I’ve always tried to be kind and generous. I even gave him one of the best things I’ve ever created … the daughter. What could I have done that was so bad that he wants to bury the hatchet?”
So I shot a text to the son-in-law, “Um … look, I am truly sorry for anything I may have done to upset you. Sometimes I’m just stupid, I say the wrong thing, or accidentally scratch my nose with the wrong finger. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to make you mad. I don’t deserve to live.”
Very quickly he sent me a totally confused head-scratching emoji and asked, “Are you having a stroke? Because I don’t know what you’re talking about. Pops, raise your arms and smile in front of a mirror. If both sides don’t match, call 911!”
Checking myself in the mirror I texted, “No stroke here. I just want to know why we need to bury the hatchet? What did I do to you that we need to resolve by burying the hatchet?”
Texting back the son-in-law said, “HA! No worries, Pops. Bury The Hatchet is an axe-throwing venue where you compete with other people to throw a hatchet at a wooden target for points. It’ll be great, us two sons with our dads having some good old-fashioned competition.”
“Whew. I’m so relieved. That sounds awesome!” I texted, “I’ve never done anything like that. I’m in.”
“Great. Don’t forget to bring your hat from Target. HA! Just messing with you Pops.”
So on the Friday after Thanksgiving, while all the women folk were at the Nutcracker Ballet, the son and I, and the son-in-law and his dad, went to Bury The Hatchet. Who knew that throwing a primitive instrument of war at a wooden target could be so totally satisfying?
An axe master gave us a few pointers on how to hold and throw the axe and then directed us in a competitive game of burying the hatchet.
Trust me, nothing relieves tensions and anxiety like hearing that delicious “thwack” as sharpened steel slams into hearty pine.
For two hours we thwacked, laughed and had a drink or two. It was amazing fun that I hope becomes a family tradition.
Texting the son-in-law I said, “So glad we buried the hatchet and are at peace.”
Texting me back the son-in-law said, “Glad you liked it, Pops. Next year it’s ‘Up Yours’ … no worries … it‘s a rock climbing wall.”
Raul Ascunce is a columnist for the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune, a sister publication of The Lima News.