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The Jacksons

From the Oct. 2, 2014 issue of the Manitoba Co-operator

Andrew Jackson leaned back in his chair and rapped his knuckles on the table.

“I call this meeting of the Jackson Amalgamated Agricultural Enterprises to order,” he said in the most official tone he could muster. “Let’s get down to business.” To his evident surprise, conversation around the table actually stopped. “OK,” he said. “I didn’t think anyone was paying attention.”

“We are,” said Randy who was seated to Andrew’s left. “Lead on.”

“Right,” said Andrew. He paused and looked at Rose across the table. “What was our first order of business again?”

Jennifer raised her hand. “Oh I know!” she said. “I vote we change the name of our farm to Jacksons Amalgamated Agricultural Management! Then all our letterhead could say JAAM at the top! Yummy!”

“You can’t vote yet,” said Brady disdainfully. “First there has to be a motion and then a debate and THEN the chairman has to call for a vote.”

“Quick Dad!” said Jennifer. “Call for a vote!”

“Settle down,” said Andrew. “I just remembered what we’re here for.”

There was an expectant pause during which Andrew raised his mug and took a sip of coffee. He set the mug back down.

“Moving day,” he said.

“Oh, that,” said Jennifer. “Well that doesn’t even include me, so why am I here?”

“You are here,” said Andrew, “because whether we like it or not, you are part of the family. And sometimes you have good ideas. So far today, not so much,” he added.

“I vote we look for a chairman who can keep our meetings focused on business,” said Brady.

“Oh really?” said Andrew. “And who do you think that might be?”

Brady looked around the table. “We’d probably have to hire one,” he said.

“Good luck finding room for that in the budget,” said Andrew.

“When is moving day?” asked Randy. “Have we settled on that?”

“Well I wouldn’t say we’ve settled on it,” said Andrew, “but Rose and I have been tossing around the idea of doing it on Thanksgiving Day.”

There was another pause while the others considered this.

“I think even Jennifer could come up with a better idea than that,” said Randy at length.

“Yeah, no kidding,” said Jennifer. “Why Thanksgiving Day exactly?”

“Well,” said Rose, “I thought to myself, which is easier? Moving or cooking Thanksgiving dinner?”

“You obviously haven’t moved in a long time,”said Brady.

“You obviously haven’t ever cooked Thanksgiving dinner,” said Rose.

“I think it would be worthwhile,” said Randy, “to try to come up with a plan that would allow us to both move and have Thanksgiving dinner.”

“We could move later,” said Jennifer. “We could just have Thanksgiving dinner like normal and then we could move on, like, Christmas Day.”

“Why ARE you here?” said Brady. “Your ideas are horrible.”

“I’m reading between the lines here Mom,” said Randy, “but are you saying you find cooking Thanksgiving dinner to be a big job?”

“It is a big job,” said Rose. “I’m no spring chicken you know.”

“Well then,” said Randy, “here is the obvious solution. We need to move before Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving is on Monday so we need to move on, like, Saturday. That gives everybody a day, Sunday, to settle in. Then on Monday all you have to do Mom, is cook the turkey and get it over here, to what will then be our house. Jackie and I can do the potatoes and the squash and Amanda can do vegetables and Jennifer can…” He looked over at Jennifer. “There must be something you can do, no?”

“Pumpkin pie?” said Jennifer.

“Right up until there,” said Brady, “it was a really good plan.”

“What?” said Jennifer. “You think I can’t make a good pumpkin pie?”

“I’m pretty sure,” said Brady.

“Pumpkin pie is not that much work,” said Rose. “I can probably manage that. And Jennifer will be here anyway so she can do the setting up and whatnot.”

“The real question,” said Andrew, “is, will everybody actually be ready to move by Saturday?”

There was a brief silence.

“We’re pretty much ready now,” said Brady. “You and Mom are mostly leaving your furniture here and buying new stuff right? So we don’t have a lot to move. I already talked to the guys at the second-hand store and they’re ready to come by with a truck to pick up our furniture to make room for you so that’s looked after.”

“It’s not a long move for us,” said Randy, “and Jackie’s been packing all summer so we’re good to go.”

Andrew looked over at Rose. “What do you think?” he asked.

Rose looked around the table, then raised her coffee cup in the air.

“The time has come,” she said. “Let’s git’er done!”

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