Girls Without Shoes

December 4, 2009

Another Year, Another Turkey

I will admit I have been a bitter turkey baker these last few years.  If you know me, you know that.  If you have read my stories, you know that.

Each year after the meal, I say bitterly, “Why did I bother?”  The meal lasts 5 minutes, then my mother goes and lays down, then complains later, while my husband just watches football and continues to make mess after mess in the kitchen throughout the rest of the day and night.  My married son has dinner with his in-laws and their huge family.  My daughter is in and out.

I am usually left with a huge mess, an exhausted check book, and extremely sore feet.  Exhaustion of my body sets in from the pre-holiday stress of shopping, worrying, cleaning, etc.  I usually feel a little “ruined”  for a couple of days afterward.

Each year, I put myself through all of this mind crap about how on Thanksgiving, all families except mine, look and feel like the smiling Norman Rockwell paintings. 

All families, other than mine, are surrounded by loving, laughing, fun family and friends, who share in the preparation and cooking of this huge meal. 

All families, other than my own, play board games, or go play in the snow together after the big meal, then decorate the outside of the house for Christmas, then sit in front of a nice warm fireplace and drink hot cocoa, or spiked eggnog together, talking and laughing. 

This year, I told my husband we are going out for dinner.  He did not want to.  I was determined, but then a turkey appeared, and I eventually decided, I would cook.

I had most of the dinner items by the weekend before, so my shopping was minimal.  When I got home on Thanksgiving Eve after a second round of shopping, I was looking forward to cooking a meal for my family. 

My husband had helped out tremendously by vacuuming and mopping the floors, thus eliminating big piles of dog hair.  I really dislike cooking with dog hair on the floor, (we have a long-haired retriever).

I prepared as much of the food as possible the night before and got to bed at a decent hour, rising to finish the rest of the meal in the morning.  It was the easiest time I had ever had fixing a Thanksgiving feast. 

It was only the 3 of us at dinner, and though a little sadness always creeps in as you remember your parents and/or other family members who aren’t there and long for times past, you realize that you actually enjoyed making this dinner for the people you love.

My husband tried to dive in without the blessing having been said, and I stopped him.   “Hey you, wait a minute!”  I tell him.  Though we don’t daily say a blessing before we eat, there are a few holidays that I insist on it. 

 I look at my husband and mother and say, “Well guys, they are dropping like flies around here, it’s just us.”  and we ask God to bless our food, family and friends and thank Him for all He has provided. 

I realize that I would indeed miss this feast of thanks if I canceled Thanksgiving.

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November 27, 2008

Clarence and the Turkey

My Brother In Law, Jiggs was always getting into some kind of shennanigins. He liked to drink and raise a little hell at times. Jiggs was always amazing his family with his wild adventures. Once he had been out a good part of the night carousing. My husband and I woke up the next morning to a strange noise, a kind of whirring noise, like a motor of some kind. We followed the noise down the stairs and out the front door. There was Jiggs’ old white plymouth with it’s nose facing our front yard fence, resting there, The motor was whirring up a storm as the car was still on and stuck in the drive position. Jiggs was passed out at the wheel. Nice.

He had a couple of drinking buddies in town. One was an old man named Clarence. Clarence’s family were some of the original pioneers in our small town. They were into gold mining from way back. Clarence and his two brothers still lived in their family home. I don’t know if they all left, married and raised families and then moved back, but they were all in their latter years and once again lived together.

I had noticed Clarence as he wore a silver hard hat, similar to what miners wear, around town. I also noticed that many mornings in the wee hours, he would have breakfast in the local cafe. He usually looked a bit rough around the edges, possibly hungover from a late night’s bout with the bottle. I thought it odd that he would order Steak and Eggs, with the steak so rare that I could not look at it. Steak tartare anyone for breakfast? Shiver me timbers I say.

Jiggs used to like to sit in the tavern with Clarence and listen to his stories about when he worked at the cement plant in our little town. Back in the 60’s the cement plan was a major source of work for the towns’ menfolk. You could count on hearing the “booms” off and on throughout the day as they blasted away with dynamite. The south side of town was always covered with a fine coating of white cement dust, while the north side had less. I imagine the housewives in those days really hated all of the dusting they had to do.

Yes, Clarence had some stories, and he and Jiggs drank together and “storied” together. Jiggs would sometimes visit Clarence’s house and they would really tie one on. Clarence would often pass out on his couch while Jiggs was “visiting”.

Jiggs rented a spare room at our home back then, so needless to say, he sat at our table for many meals also. One particular day right before Thanksgiving, he had brought me a beautifully fat but frozen turkey to cook for our dinner. It was his contribution to our meal that year. Since money was tight then, I was grateful to have it.

I began the preparations for that year’s feast. It would not be a large gathering, just my husband, myself and our little boy and Jiggs and another friend of ours. The night before, Jiggs had mentioned having Clarence come down for Turkey Dinner the next afternoon, and we said “why sure”. I put another place setting on our little dining room table. Nothing matched, but that was ok, the food was smelling great.

Clarence appeared and the boys began their talking and lying to one another as men do. I swear there was not even a “fish story” going on out there in the living room, but you would have thought so. They say women get going in their talking, but geez. Finally everything was ready and we all sat down at the table, gave thanks and dove in. Delicious turkey, very moist they all said. Clarence, especially seemed to appreciate a hot meal.

It was a pretty nice day all in all. When Clarence turned to leave, he stopped and thanked me for the meal and said it was the most delicious he had had in years. I said, “My pleasure”, and he was gone. I felt pretty good about serving some lonely old guy a Thanksgiving meal.

I would have felt much better about it, had I not later learned, that ,that very same moist delicious turkey had been hijacked by Jiggs right from Clarence’s very own freezer! You see Clarence and Jiggs had become drunker than a couple of skunks the night before, and they had both passed out in Clarence’s living room.

Jiggs had woke up hours later, very hungry and looked through Clarence’s refrigerator. Nothing to eat there, but in the freezer he spied that frozen turkey. Jiggs being still in a drunken state, grabbed that turkey and brought it home thinking he was going to cook it that night. Of course he passed out in his room and found the defrosting turkey next to him the next morning and Clarence’s boots upon his feet! Mortified that he had stolen his friend’s turkey, he gave it to me and invited Clarence to dinner. Jiggs, being the scoundrel that he was, not only invited his friend to a dinner that he had stolen from him, but also served it to him wearing a pair of his heisted boots also!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow bloggers on WordPress, I am off to Fred Meyer’s to pick up a delicious already prepared Thanksgiving Dinner for only $59.99. This is the most relaxing Thanksgiving ever, as I sit in my p.j.’s drinking coffee and writing my crazy story. Hmmmmnnnnnn…………………

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November 24, 2008

Once Upon A Thanksgiving Morn…………

cookingturkeyOnce upon a Thanksgiving Morning, I went last minute shopping. We had a payday the day before, and due to other circumstances, I could not get to the store until thanksgiving morn. Yes, I thought the same thing, I must be crazy to do this this morning. Actually had thought of canceling the dinner and all due to ungrateful wretches that I live with! dry.gif

Come on I know there are other women out there, who instead of looking like June Cleaver with her pretty starched white apron and beautiful table, smiling clean faced children and doting husband, who actually resent having to do all the work. I mean it is over so quickly after all the preparation and hubbub.

I am sure there are others who like myself feel ashamed, oh the shame of it all, at resenting their families for not helping more. I try, really I try to get more help, but years of doing the same thing, you know it is the way it is. sad.gif

So after spending the day before cleaning the heck out of the house, making sure I have a decent tablecloth and dishes etc., going through numerous emotions, i.e. ” I should cancel the damned thing, no one appreciates me, etc…”, or “I should be loving this, my mother in law did, “. or ” I want it to be perfect etc. “, all the ridiculous things that go through our brains and on and on , and clean and clean, and haul out garbage, wash more dishes and plan the menu, blah blah blah……….

I finally make it to Food 4 Less at 7 am – ish thinking ” I can do this”,, ” I wonder how others manage to work full time and do all they do”, oh well I can do it, no problem. I fill my shopping cart with all the picked over necessary items for a wonderful feast. There were only turkey breasts left, oops, that will have to do, that is what I get for waiting so long. There is still a small crowd of people there shopping at the last minute, losers like me, oh the shame of it all! blink.gif

The next stop is the check stand where I wait in line, you know how it is, load all the food up on the belt, knowing my ungrateful family is home sleeping peacefully dreaming about turkey and pumpkin pie, yum.
The food rings up around $80.00 oh well could have been worse there. I load it in the trunk, drive home feeling stressed over my last minute mess. I make it home safely and haul the food and turkey to the kitchen, put it away, begin cooking all, turkey, potatoes, stuffing the works. My feet hurt so bad I cannot stand it. What a wimp I have become. Still much more to do to get this wonderful feast ready.

About 3:00 p.m., all is ready, the house smells like turkey and bread, mmmmmm, the table is set with fresh flowers that I always buy for the cook, (geez should have bought wine too huh? Maybe would not be such a B…tch), looks very pretty. Cream cheese and deviled eggs abound, am so hungry!

We all come to the table and stand around it and hold hands for a minute, and I pause and reflect and Thank God for my family and that they are here together and all of his blessings! biggrin.gif Whewwww…..

Everyone have a super day, gotta go do it all over again right now! ohmy.gif

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