Father’s Day the Whitlow Way….

Fathers Day……oh my!

This past weekend was Father’s Day. I imagine most of us were either celebrating with or thinking of the men in our lives that fill that role. The men that taught us, shaped us, and helped make us who we are.

Well that’s what the Whitlow household was doing too. Only we did it the “Whitlow way”.   Which – yes – means it was dysfunctional and insane. We started the day with church – great plan.   We’ve been attending church in the same location since the day we moved here…. four years ago. So imagine my surprise – heck – I’m just gonna say it – I laughed my butt off – when I received this text from one of my sweet children. Text received at 7:57am and accompanied by this photo….. (which happens to be a photo of the EMPTY church parking lot.)

“Oh good grief, church starts at NINE doesn’t it??”20160619_075726

She drove over at eight o clock in the morning – an hour early! Cracked me up!   We have never gone to church at 8am!

Well then we get home…..

I was completely organized. I had a menu…. shopping done…. house cleaned…. and a little “to do” list for each child to complete to help get dinner on the table and show their father how very much they loved him. I mentioned these little lists to each of my children. Somehow….someway…..after mentioning these little lists, each of my children had some pressing assignment somewhere else and disappeared before I could even yell at them. So I start plowing thru the lists in order to get the meal prepared all by myself. (I’m thinking about the chicken story where no one wants to help so the chicken gets to eat everything herself. That IS how it goes, right??)

We are having burgers – Tom likes those grilled. And Katie is my grill queen. So she actually returns and asks me how she can help and I send her to the grill. After about 30 min I have side dishes ready that I timed to be ready exactly when the burgers were done so that everything will be fresh and yummy. It is at this point that Katie announces that the burgers are not cooking. Have not been in fact. Will not be – as they are just now discovering that the tank is out of gas. Great. We haul the burgers inside and throw them on the indoor stovetop grill. It is at this point that one of my precious offspring remembers that we are having burgers while she has just recently become a vegetarian. So she paws thru the fridge until she finds the special organic portabella mushroom caps I bought for her that are large enough to pose as a burger no problem. By the time this gourmet daughter gets done spicing things the grill is empty and starting to smoke.   She puts her mushrooms on there and I feel relatively happy that we have avoided any fights and disasters. Apparently mushrooms are flammable. I’ll be stocking those instead of firewood this winter!

I turn around in time to see that the “veggie-shroom-burgers” are aflame. Not like the flame grilled Whopper or anything yummy in that category…. more like the “where the heck is the fire extinguisher and should we evacuate the house?” kinda flames. And – like all other flames – these did indeed produce smoke. In fact I would say these flames were overachievers! Before I know it, the smoke alarms in the house are going off. The WHOLE house. The ones in the kitchen and the living room and the bedrooms and the basement…. everywhere! This is actually one of those systems where – unlike other places we have lived – you cant just reach up and yank the batteries out of the smoke detectors to get the alarm to quit. NO – this one has some RIDICULOUS safety feature where the smoke actually has to be gone before they quit – and after a designated amount a time – I feel quite certain it’s a SHORT amount of time – the fire department actually shows up! So we gotta get this thing off – and fast!! Imagine our home, if you will – with smoke everywhere – alarms blasting at inhuman decibel levels and here is what each freakin – I mean each of my precious offspring and my dear beloved spouse are doing as we are trying to get the ear splitting alarms to stop before all the firefighters in Cherokee County are dispatched to our house……..

Daughter #1 – walking around muttering about how stupid her entire family is – and how she doesn’t understand why the fire dept would come if we didn’t call – and her entire family is totally stupid – and she doesn’t agree with the fire dept coming until we actually place a call – and her entire family is stupid and – it makes no sense to her – and her entire family is totally stupid…

Daughter #2 – as she laments the demise of her vegetarian fire starters – I mean burgers, decides that water is the answer. Well yes – water on the 7,000 degree hot grill plate is indeed the answer if you want to produce enough additional smoke to require the backup assistance of the fire departments in several surrounding counties! She manages to produce enough smoke that if the firemen actually drove the fire truck thru the front door we’d never even see them

Daughter #3 – walking around holding her eyes talking about how they burn and she may have lost her eyesight due to smoke damage (you know – which happened during the 3 seconds she has been exposed to smoke.) and yelling that she can’t see to change clothes and she refuses to be in the house in her pajamas when the hot firemen show up.   (not meant as a pun – although a good one – she has watched too many commercials where the firemen are quite attractive). So she’s feeling her way around trying to find the stairs to go slip into her prom dress I suppose.

Son #4 – running around plugging in all the fans we own – trying to blow smoke from our house out into the neighborhood. Calling on all his scouting skills and knowledge he is yelling at everyone to calm down and making sure we remember the meeting spot outside incase the flames flare up again and evacuation is necessary. Based on the 23 fans plugged into the same outlet in the kitchen I am betting we will be evacuating very soon!

Daughter #5 – standing still – no not actually moving in order to help – just standing still – yelling to anyone that will listen that the dogs are gonna get out since the doors are open. – yelling that someone better gather up Dad’s Father’s Day presents – yelling that there better be something not burned left to eat – just yelling in general….

Tom – comes racing out of the bedroom where he was told to “just relax” till we had the party all ready…. Starts trying to move the fans to the best position – knocking dinner plates off the counter and smashing them as he moves the fans without looking. – starts yelling at kids to stop yelling….

Me – standing in the middle of the room watching in a stupor as the Father’s Day party I had so meticulously planned literally goes up in flames…. I start praying the dogs will indeed leave…and then switch that prayer to asking for inspiration on where to go as I MYSELF leave…..

Finally the alarm quits going off and we are able to stop the fire dept from coming. The rest of the afternoon was rather uneventful…. but I’m not sure why our family seems to have things like this occur on a regular basis. The scary part???? No one but me even seemed to think there was anything weird going on.

2 replies
  1. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    I think it’s time for a reality tv show!!! That will make you enough money so you don’t have to stay in 1 bedroom at hotels and you can at least eat out at a Cracker Barrel instead of a sonic!!! Sounds like lots of wonderful memories !!!

  2. Sherry Moss
    Sherry Moss says:

    OH MY GOODNESS. I’m afraid to ask if you TOPPED THIS for Fathers Day, 2017. Laughing so hard, I almost fell out of my chair. I may not sleep tonight……imagining this sight in my mind.


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