The Annual Olney Shuffle

All families have traditions, some with food at different holidays such as there would be no Thanksgiving without green bean casserole or Christmas without eggnog. You get the idea, right?

I am sure that if asked, every family has something they do year after year and would not consider doing it any different or, heaven forbid, not at all!

It did not take me long to realize the Olneys had traditions when I (as new member of the family) suggested we have prime rib instead of turkey for Christmas dinner. “We always have the same dishes as we have on Thanksgiving,” which was exactly why I was suggesting they agreed, and my mother -in-law volunteered to bring the beef.

But you should know that the turkey and all the fixings were also planned. As we sat down to Christmas dinner, it was announced that Nancy had suggested beef this year, and with all eyes on me, my mother in-law put the “prime rib” on the table. The first thing I noticed was it was in a bowl, and as it passed to me, I could see imagine – the turkey that came after was hailed as “the best ever”! We never spoke of this again.

Another tradition the Olneys had (and have) is what I call the annual Olney shuffle. This is where you try and move all your great abundance of “stuff,” not to sell, not to give away, not (heaven forbid I utter the words) throw away, but just move them east or west and sometimes north and south in the warehouse. I will tell you this is no easy task, but there is something born in you to move it around.

Of course, there is never enough help or space to make this happen. More often than not, tempers flare and frustration abound and, on occasion, some “sailor” language is uttered, but you push forward.

This year the move was especially difficult because none of the cars could be driven. What that means is using all “man, woman, child, neighbor power” to get the job done! We have lived here long enough for the neighbors to recognize what is about to happen, and they plan day trips (out of town). I think they visit our “kids” that happen to be away!

I will say one of our neighbors, Andy, always comes and helps with the move. I have not figured out if he enjoys it or cannot find an excuse fast enough; but what I think is that he is just a great guy and probably it has become one of his traditions every year.

This year’s move is almost done. No major mishaps – like a few years ago we were moving a pickup truck (the one bought by the “Pickers”), Gary was towing it, and I was to throw a tire blocking the wheel when the tow rope broke and it barreled down the hill and went through the neighbors’ fence!

I guess the only almost disaster was the Studebaker’s tether broke and that almost went down the same hill and would have hit a tree, but Andy and Gary were able to stop it!

The only problem now is that we have two vehicles out that need to go in and the space is full!

We will have to figure that out before winter. Of course, I will have to say it is not exactly as one would want it, but, oh well, there is always next year!

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