Thanksgiving high before the Christmas lull

Barrie Qualle

The annual Thanksgiving Family Fight was somewhat under-attended and therefore couldn’t get much of a fuss going even though it is an election year. My daughter and her family, consisting of a son in-law and grandson and granddaughter, were the only family willing to make the long trip. My wife had pretty much worked me into the ground prior to their arrival so everything would look perfect and it was a relief when they finally got here. Wife occasionally has a good idea and managed to spawn one for the occasion. Since the brood was to arrive Tuesday evening she thought it would be a great idea to actually have the big dinner on Wednesday so we could eat leftovers on Thursday. Wednesday morning things were set in motion and the turkey was placed in the oven at 10 a.m. in order to be ready for the 5 p.m. dinner. The convection oven was set for 400 degrees and everything else was under control. By eleven we had all scattered to different parts of the county and planned to reconvene at 4 p.m. to wrap up preparation for dinner. Anticipating a big dinner we were all ravenous and ready. One small problem. Wife neglected to hit start on the oven and turkey was still raw. Pizza at Embers. Luckily we still had Thursday, the real Thanksgiving Day, and we all checked to be sure the oven was really on this time.

Thursday morning I got the two grandkids into the pickup, where they were trapped and couldn’t get away, so I could dispense some wisdom and great advice. This year’s topic was marijuana. Grandson is a sophomore and granddaughter will be going to college next year so I might have been a little late. I explained that alcohol wasn’t the greatest idea, however used in moderation soon left the bloodstream and you were at the top of your game as soon as your hangover left. Weed however stores cannabis in fat cells and your brain for up to three months keeping you more stupid much longer. I told them of a coworker that tried it years ago and discovered the next day at work he could feel no big effect until he actually needed to do some real problem solving. He started tracing code in a computer program that had failed. Thirty minutes later he was lost. It was impossible to do the mental gymnastics that were required and he couldn’t follow the stream of the code without his mind slipping into neutral and having to start over. He realized he could either avoid weed or quit his job. I pointed out that the weed of today is four to five times stronger, enabling you to get much more stupid. I stressed that times were going to get tough in their world when they left the nest and they needed to be at the top of their game if they wanted to have a decent life. My best analogy was you wouldn’t want to run a hundred yard race in logging boots so don’t handicap your brain unnecessarily. I hope they believed me. I have seen too many people with talent take up weed and stall. If they stay with it they gradually lose all forward momentum.

Attended the Brady Goss concert Friday and continue to be amazed at the mother lode of talent in this county. Move over Jerry Lee, Brady is not as good as the best, he is the best. He sang everything from the Beatles to Hank Williams and did it wonderfully. I hope he gets the break he needs to hit it huge.

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday and I always enjoy it. Unfortunately the next one is Christmas where you buy things you can’t afford to give to people that don’t need them. I think this year we might find a kid that really needs something and help him or her out instead of replicating things for family. Then there is that dismal Christmas music to deal with.

Columnist Barrie Qualle is a working cowboy in Wallowa County.

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