Holidays at my grandparents house in South Dakota is one I will always cherish. The gathering of family, Swedish meatballs simmering, laughter filling the air and children sneaking cookies from the kitchen. Norman Rockwell...in a mental institute.
The Johnson's have their traditions: lefse, Swedish meatballs, booze, and singing.
Not necessarily in that order.
Before sitting down to enjoy our holiday feast, we would gather in the dining room, clasp each others hands in a circle and sing "Be Present at Our Table, Lord" which would be lead by my grandma.
It starts out strong and loud
"BE PRESENT AT OUR TABLE, LORD." then something happens. Charlie Brown's teacher tumbles from our lips.
Except for the older family members, they continue on in tune. Then this happens:
Dad starts making faces. Aunt stifles laugh. Dad makes more faces. Aunt growls but then giggles. Grandpa gives dirty look. Cousin starts laughing. I start laughing. Mom squeezing hand to stop laughter. Grandma keeps singing. Other cousin makes faces. I bite my lip to control laughter. Dad sticks tongue out at aunt. Aunt returns the gesture. Grandpa gives another dirty look. Grandma keeps singing. Great Aunt sings but not the right words (rollin' on the river? Proud Mary?). We all continue to sound like Charlie Brown's teacher.
We all "Ameeeeen"
I'm thirty-two and still don't know the song. However, I Googled it:
Be present at our table, Lord;
Be here and everywhere adored;
Thy creatures bless, and grant that we
May feast in paradise with Thee.
We thank Thee, Lord, for this our food,
For life and health and every good;
By Thine own hand may we be fed;
Give us each day our daily bread.
We thank Thee, Lord, for this our good,
But more because of Jesus’ blood;
Let manna to our souls be giv’n,
The Bread of Life sent down from Heav’n.
I was informed that this past Thanksgiving they did not break out in to song but simply spoke the words. Yeah, still no one knew it and it sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher.
Before grandma could say anything about our melodic shenanigans, we would retreat to the back room for grandpa's Scandinavian brew. Sound scary? It is. But that's a fun tradition that shall be shared with ye next time.
Until then, keeps it real peeps!