I take one more deep, refreshing breath of the cool prairie air before I open the door. The sound of loud chatter, laughter, and some bickering fills my ears and it brings an immediate smile to my face. As I walk into the house, I am greeted by all my aunts preparing Easter lunch and giving me a million tasks to complete for them. The smell of turkey and stuffing is so invigorating it makes my stomach growl. Someone yells for everyone to go downstairs to eat and my cousins and I immediately push and shove each other to be the first in line to fill our plates while we are yelled at by our parents to let the little ones fill up first.
As we sit down with our plates heaping with food, all fifty of us are just a little bit quieter than before, ensuring the conversation doesn’t die between bites of food. Usually someone is bringing up old memories that make everyone laugh or teasing one of the cousins about getting into a relationship and settling down. Grandpa and my father come down the stairs arguing about the crops or the cows or whatever it is that day since there’s always something going on with the farm. One of my uncles asks my dad when they’re going to start seeding and that starts another heated conversation since it’s always too cold or too dry and something always seems to go wrong.
Someone yells across the room at the person standing at the dessert table to get them a piece of pie which is always returned with a, “No! You can get it yourself!” Even though they still cut them a piece and bring it over. The kids finish their food and start chasing each other around the tables yelling and screaming which makes their parents yell at them to get their asses outside. All of them run up the stairs still yelling and screaming. As their sounds drain out the sound of talking and laughter takes its place. It seems like whenever one sound goes away another replaces it. There’s never a quiet moment when we’re all together.
When the plates clear the sound of a deck of cards shuffling joins in with the talking. It’s tradition of playing asshole, ding, and pass the ace for hours and hours after lunch. My grandma loved playing cards so I guess that’s where the tradition came from. Within minutes of starting the game there’s some name calling, fights and usually a lot of yelling but it always ends in laughter.
The sound of cheering or disappointment can be heard from upstairs where the men are usually watching some sporting event (usually hockey). Having everyone together on the farm again always makes my grandpa happy even though he says we are all annoying and way too loud.
My family is filled with chaos, but it wouldn’t be home without it.