In-laws and Outlaws

I decided to enclose a funny picture with my last letter to relatives in Arizona. It was a picture of me sweeping three inches of snow off of my car at seven a.m. so I could go to work. This should amuse my sister-in-law. "Who wants to move where it freezes every winter?" The answer, "My husband, your brother, the last great explorer but not the one scraping snow." My sister-in-law writes, "It was really cold last night. It got down to 48 degrees." Yeah, right. Bring out the long johns and thermal socks. She also writes, "What is this black ice that you mention? Is that some Northern term? Slide off the road? What? How?" Why do I write to her? She never liked me anyway. I married her baby brother. Just stole him away from the family. All six foot two helpless inches of him. "But," I write, "Next month the ice will melt. Then we'll have slush. After that our yard becomes The Big Muddy. Maybe I'll skip the winter picture and send her a summer picture of flies, earwigs (she never heard of them either), wasps, spiders and me with my swatters and zappers. She is easily amused.

Believe it or not, my other sister-in-law is worse than the one I just mentioned. "When God gave out brains, she thought He said "trains and she missed hers" as the saying goes. One day I was helping her sort clothes. She threw a pair of pants in the discard pile. "This is no good. The button is missing," she remarked nonchalantly while my mouth dropped open. When I recovered, I said, "Let me take them home, find a button and sew it on. Then my nephew can have his favorite pants to wear again." She look very confused. Now I know where the expression "dumb as a post" comes from. Someone else knew my sister-in-law.

Marge has been writing all her life and just published two humor books. She writes a column for her local paper, The West End News, called "Excerpts from Granny's Journal" and belongs to a writers group called The West End Misfits. She is the library director in a small town in the Northwest. You can email her at