Family Traditions

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Kevin VanDam

Kevin VanDam

In the world of professional bass fishing, Kevin VanDam is at the pinnacle and arguably the best in the world.

It's Saturday, December 6, and that means it's going to be a busy day for me. Sherry's been out of town for a few days so I've got to get the house straightened out a little bit before she gets home. I don't want her to return to a mess.

And I've got to go grocery shopping this morning for my niece's dinner tonight. Her school's formal winter dance is tonight. All the kids dress up, go to dinner and then to the school for a dance. It's a big deal here in our community.

Sherry and I always cook a good dinner for them — our nieces and nephews and their dates — rather than have them go to an expensive restaurant. We started that years ago when some of the kids were getting old enough to have boyfriends and girlfriends.

We thought it would be a nice way to help them financially. Dinner at a nice restaurant can be an expensive proposition. The kids around here work hard for their money. Besides, I can put together one heck of a dinner — better than any restaurant. I'm not bragging, just stating the facts.

I get hand-cut filets from the local butcher shop and cook them to perfection. Then I'll put together all the trimmings — I haven't decided exactly what just yet — and plenty of rich, tasty deserts. Everything's homemade. I'll take most of the day, but it's worth it.

Sherry set the table — we have a formal dining room — before she left, so I don't have to worry about that. All I need to do is put the food together. She'll get home about an hour before it starts, and everything should be ready.

Before dinner some of the boys will play pool and just mess around while the girls do what girls do. It's a formal evening in a relaxed atmosphere. We'll all have a good time.

The most important part of it is family, though. We all have our own lives with our own interests. But a family tradition like this makes sure the kids are a part of ours and we're a part of theirs. That matters. I've said before and I'll say again, that a family with the right values is the most important thing in the world.

Sherry and I try hard to keep our priorities in line. It's fine to have professional success, and I'm thankful for mine, but you have to spend time with your family, too. I have a lot of fun doing things with her and the boys as well as with other members of our extended family.

Anyway, back to today: While all this is happening I'll have to find time to take the boys shopping so they can buy their mother something for Christmas — more about all that next week.

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