My dad never demanded anything unreasonable of me. He taught me to hold doors open for ladies. He made sure that I graduated from high school. When I left Great Falls, Dad asked me to try to make it home for Christmas every year. Nothing unreasonable.

I made it back every year that he was still alive. Partially because of him asking me to and partially because of the feasts that both my mom and stepmother made.

Both always made gigantic turkeys with all the fixin's including homemade gravy. My stepmom always made Granny Wilson's Blackberry Jello with walnuts because my dad loved it. And my mom still makes my Grandma Jane's Orange Jello with pineapple and carrot slices because it's one of my favorites.

And because I was spoiled I took those meals for granted. Now when I'm home it's just easier for all of us to go out to eat.

That's why I'm doing the cooking this Easter. My sister-in-law is bringing her crew over for the weekend so I'll get baby snuggles from my nieces, and in return, they are going to get ham cooked on my Traeger grill. My menu also includes green bean casserole and some yet unknown dessert that I'll pick up at Costco.

I wish my dad was here because he would like this part. In honor of the Aaron Tippin song, I'm calling this year's Easter meat offering my "Ten Pound Ham-mer."

I know. But dad would have laughed. Then high fived me.

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