I wrote the following for Thanksgiving 2019. Reading it again made me laugh and cry just thinking about what a simple time it was just one year ago.
Well, here we are again soon to be assembled round a turkey with all the fixins.
I am assuming this will be my seventieth Thanksgiving celebration, but I am guessing that not too much turkey was consumed in my earlier commemorations. Commenting that I soon made up for that is not a kind thought to have as we enter the holiday season.
I had a bit more turkey angst this morning than I have had in some time, or ever had. My wife, Eileen, called our local Publix supermarket to order a fresh-killed turkey. She made this call this past Friday and was advised to have it picked up on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving.
This in itself was reason enough for me to break out into a cold sweat if such a thing can actually occur in Florida. I mean, waiting until the day before Thanksgiving to get your turkey was something our parents would never have permitted. So, this morning, I called the supermarket to see if our turkey was available for pickup.
After waiting a few minutes, I was advised that no such turkey was being held in our name. Okay, not to worry as we had several Publix in our immediate area, so I made some calls.
Each call added to my sense of dread.
No fresh turkey in my name. A frozen turkey would not do as there is no way it would thaw in time for Thursday’s dinner. I began to ponder a Chinese food dinner. Chicken Chow Mein? Well, it did have poultry in it. General Tsao’s Chicken? Again, poultry but not really something the Pilgrims would have had feasted on.
Frantically, I set out on a mission to find a turkey fit to be roasted on Thanksgiving Day.
I need not have worried as they were in abundant supply…at Publix.
I guess I should have asked if they had any available when I was told I had none on reserve. But of course, Publix could have informed me of that fact too, but I have a turkey, and that’s all that matters.
It wasn’t so much worrying about having to face Thanksgiving turkeyless, it was what the turkey always represents in my mind.
The turkey was always cooked by my mother, carved by my father, and devoured by my siblings and in-laws.
Somehow eating turkey on Thanksgiving and Christmas is like having it with my family. It has always been like that and will remain so. It is even like that with our children and other relatives who will be having their own meal in distant locations. Yet, no matter how far geographically apart we may be, we will be together.
It’s just that it would be so nice if for only one day to have everyone that we will be missing sitting alongside us as we pile on the yams and the stuffing and drizzle gravy over the turkey.
So, here is to all our dear friends and family, Happy Thanksgiving!