The first day of November. I always think of my oldest brother, Bill, on this day, it was his birthday. He passed away 19 years ago at the age of 49. I fully intended to talk about something else in this post, but I think I'll tell a little story about him.
My older brother was one of a kind who was hard working but also loved to have fun. His wit got me into trouble more than once during my youth. He not only had a wonderful sense of humor but used facial expressions that could speak volumes and he could dead-pan with the best of them.
I remember one time that got me into such trouble was when Cousin P came one day to visit from Colorado. He was a very, very large man. We had just sat down to eat, which was called dinner on the farm because the noon meal was the largest. My mother was an excellent cook and served several side dishes along with the usual meat, potatoes, and salad. Cousin P took a huge helping of everything when each bowl or platter was passed to him. So, of course, his plate was piled high...very high...by the time everything was passed around.
I just happened to be sitting across from my older brother who was sitting on the same side of the table with Cousin P. Of course, I just happened to be watching my brother's facial expressions every time Cousin P started piling food on his plate. He had that sneaky way of quickly making a funny face then relaxing into that innocent "I didn't do anything" look and no one at the table saw him, but me. Which was what he intended, of course. The grownups were busy talking and didn't pay any attention to us. Well, I kept looking each time a dish was passed to Cousin P for that raised eyebrow look of horror on my brother's face when Cousin started spooning food on his plate. The looks on Bill's face was so comical that I started giggling and tried to pass it off as something I was thinking about, but soon I had the red face and giggles so bad, I had to excuse myself from the table. I ran into the next room dissolving into peals of laughter that I'm sure everyone heard at the table. When the meal was over, and Cousin P and my dad had gone into the living room to visit, I crept back into the kitchen to see if there was anything left to eat since I didn't finish my plate. My mother gave me "the Look" and said under her breath, so no one else could hear, that she would talk to me about my behavior later. I knew what that meant! That was just one of many times where I got the giggles at an inopportune time when I was supposed to be quiet and behaving myself. Thanks to my older brother. He was quite a guy and I still miss him.
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Until next time...