This past weekend I ventured into the rural, Amish armpit of Pennsylvania (a place so dear to my heart) in order to take my Grandmother and Great Uncle out for their birthdays, which happen to be a mere week apart. Apparently my great grandparents preferred to get down and dirty in the month of June. Hot, sweaty, old-people-sex June. Mmm.
This dirty deed actually came up naturally in conversation, as my uncle regaled us with stories of his and my grandmother’s childhood. He tried to work through how his parents could have possibly had sex given that they shared beds with their children and were never alone in the same room.
But he had a theory.
Apparently, all the kids were locked out of the living room and told that their parents needed to “count the change in the piggy banks.” My uncle proposed that this was the only time they were alone, and now in his maturity couldn’t figure a reason that such an activity warranted privacy. Which means it’s likely my uncle was conceived in his very own living room. Mmm. Old-people- living- room-sex in June.
It’s conversations like these that put the charm in my Central PA roots. There’s just one problem with good ol’ Amish country: it’s so friggin’ hard to get my family to come see me. I don’t know if you’re aware, but there are a number of challenges to maintaining a relationship with a central Pennsylvanian. Namely, hunting season and Nascar.
My brother was married in October of last year. Our family was outnumbered by his wife’s family something like 3 to 1. The reason? It fell on October 23rd, which happened to be the last statewide anterless deer hunting day for junior and senior license holders. I know this to be the reason because my family is known for its painful honesty, and when I called the missing RSVPs they confirmed my hunch.
My brother soon had to face a harsh reality that his extended family would rather take their youngins to bag their first deer than celebrate his nuptials. As his best man (yes, his best man), I spent a great deal of my time before the wedding emphasizing that this wasn’t a testament to how unimportant his wedding was, but rather how important deer hunting was.
It’s a specific and necessary distinction.
NASCAR’s a toughie too. My uncle said that yesterday was the first time he’d been invited out for his birthday. But he quickly noted thereafter that it was a sacrifice for him to attend given that he was missing the Daytona 500. Specifically, the Daytona 500 on the 10th anniversary of Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Without sacrifices such as this, I would never be able to see my family.
And to think – I would have never known what “counting the change in the piggy banks” really means. ♣