My crazy family with animals

One of my favorite things about e-mail is starting family-wide e-mail chains. My family cracks me up and our e-mail chains are often quite colorful and hilarious. Dad started this week’s chain with an e-mail titled “Gumbo.”

Back story: My father spends most of his waking life, when not working, in the unfinished basement, which he calls the Man Cave. It’s largely creepy, but it is now highly customized to his interesting way of life. He plays a game called “crate” down there with Sam and Dave. Crate is like hockey, but you play on rollerblades and with a ball that you try to shoot into tipped crates on either end of the basement. The element that makes crate so exciting is that you have to duck often so you don’t run into the low-hanging beams or the concrete columns that are tenuously holding our house up. He built a ping pong table. He’s jerry-rigged a working television and ancient desktop computer down there, too. He says the only thing he needs now is a toilet in the back corner and he’ll never have to come upstairs to the main house.

One of the main reasons my father loves the Man Cave is because of the company he keeps down there. A few months ago, he discovered a huge bullfrog who was taking residence in the dark recesses of the Man Cave. He was delighted to have the company and promptly named her (I think he calls it a “her”) Gumbo. We’ve never actually seen the elusive Gumbo and tease him that she doesn’t exist.

Then we get this e-mail with the following photograph and note attached:

Dad's true love
Dad and his true love, Gumbo the bullfrog.

Never have I felt this way about any of my children. My love for Gumbo is staggering.

Um, OK. Thanks, Dad. Way to make us feel loved.

Not to be outdone, Grace then sends us a follow-up message. It runs something along the lines of, “Hey family, I miss you, but your lives are kind of slow, because THIS is what I’ve been doing…”

Grace bathes with elephant in Nepal
Grace, bathing with an elephant in a river in Nepal. No big deal.

BATHING WITH AN ELEPHANT.

Top that. I certainly can’t.

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