(Napkin, Tonsils, Watermelon)
It was the day before Thanksgiving and the turkey rolled out of the oven. Juice splashed everywhere but Mary caught the frisky bird and got it back into the pan.
“Turkey not done yet Mama?” Daddy called from his recliner.
“Very funny!” She hollered back, and then a few minutes later, “Okay, wash up for dinner and then everyone into the kitchen to say grace!” Mary walked through the living room, shaking Daddy’s big toe and went through the bedrooms in the back. “Kathy, you and your fella come on out here and eat.” As 16-yr old Kathy followed her boyfriend out of the bedroom Mary whispered in her ear. “He’s a cutie!”
Kathy blushed and walked away, hand over her eyes. “Mo-om!”
Mary laughed and headed back for the kitchen. “Go call your brothers, I think they‘re out back.”
Kathy and her boyfriend Joey went out the kitchen door and she began to yell for her two younger brothers. Mary laughed, shaking her head. Kids.
Mary and her oldest daughter Carrie set the turkey and dressing on the table.
“Who is going to carve the turkey this year?” Asked Carrie brightly, hoping her husband Jack would get a chance this time.
“Your father will cut the turkey as long as he’s sitting at this table Carrie, no offense intended Jack.” Mary said, looking his way. It was an old argument.
Jack nodded. “None taken Mom,” he said with a smile. He put his arm around Carrie and squeezed, “I’ll be too busy stuffing my face!” He pulled Carrie to him and she squealed and slapped at him, giggling.
“Aw, get a room already,” said 9 yr-old Tommy as he ran into the kitchen, red in the face and puffing.
“Tommy!” Mary exclaimed.
“Oh that’s nothing Mom,” Tommy said. “At least he isn’t checking out her tonsils like Joey’s doing to Kathy!”
“That’ll be enough of that young man! Go wash up for dinner. Where’s your brother?” Said Mary.
“Right here Mom!” 10-yr old Timmy walked into the room smiling.
“What have you two been up to now?” Mary asked, not really expecting an answer; at least not a straight one.
“Nothing Mom.” Said Tommy.
“Nothing!” Timmy echoed.
“Go on. Both of you. Get cleaned up.” Mary said. She turned her attention to the table. “Carrie, where are the dinner napkins?”
Carrie lifted her eyebrows and turned to the table.
“Where are the napkins? Kathy was supposed to fold them out of the laundry.”
“You find some napkins, I’ll find Kathy,” said Mary, grabbing a coat and mittens before heading out the back door. “Kathy! Joey?” She put the coat on as she went out and then stuffed her hand into one of the mittens.
“What the?” Now she knew what Timmy and Tommy had been up to. Packing Kathy’s mittens with snow. She went across the yard and into the barn.
A tousled blond head poked up from the hayloft above. Kathy and Joey straightened their jackets and hurried down the ladder.
“I was looking for the boys.”
“I’d say you found one. Get inside; we’re waiting dinner for you!” Mary said smartly. As Kathy hurried past Mary grabbed a piece of straw from her hair. “And for heaven’s sake fix your hair before your father sees you.”
Kathy grinned and kissed her mom on the cheek.
“Oh go on!” Mary said, swatting playfully.
Kathy and Joey ran on to the house. Mary followed them, a smile on her face. Thanksgiving dinner was the usual madness.
Carrie fussed at her children, Timmy and Tommy fought over the wishbone. Kathy looked starry-eyed across the table at her boyfriend while her Daddy looked on suspiciously. Jack teased Mary while she teased the grandchildren. They all ate until they could eat no more. No one spilled the gravy but there was some cranberry juice on the tablecloth. Nothing Mary couldn’t handle.
“What’s for dessert?” Daddy asked, rubbing his belly.
“Ice cream! Pie!” Tommy and Timmy yelled at the same time. They loved her homemade pecan and pumpkin pies and watermelon ice cream. They were Thanksgiving favorites at her house.
Jack sat up to the table, trying to undo his belt a notch with no one seeing.
“So, why do you have Thanksgiving dinner today if everyone will still be here tomorrow?” He asked.
“We go to the soup kitchen on Thanksgiving Day,” Mary said. “Everyone helps, even Timmy and Tommy. Kathy will be there too, and you can come and help if you want.”
“Oh yea, I’m there. Totally!” He replied.
“You‘d better ask your Mom first though,” Carrie reminded him. “She may have other plans for your family.” Joey nodded, but anything Kathy was doing he wanted to do too.
After the supper dishes were done and the food had been wrapped and set aside for supper later, Mary wandered through the house. Daddy and Jack were snoring in the recliners, Carrie was reading while “playing” Lego’s on the floor with her toddlers. Tommy and Timmy were playing video games in their bedroom and Kathy and Joey were playing Monopoly at the kitchen table.
It’s times like these that we should be reminded of how much we truly have to be thankful for, she thought. We shouldn’t wait until Aunt Amelia is in the hospital, or for someone to have a car accident. It shouldn’t take a huge life-altering event to get us to open our eyes and pay attention to the larger aspects of our lives. We’ve been given so many blessings.
I hope that yours are too many to count. Happy Thanksgiving fellow bloggers and readers!