Today is the day to begin all the cooking and prep for Thanksgiving. I love all that surrounds this holiday: the smells, planning, colors and family being together.
I’m thanking God today for Mom. Those of you who frequent this blog have heard me talk about her. Her humor, love for family and endurance through suffering have left me quite the legacy to attempt to follow by God’s grace.
My favorite Thanksgiving memory, like many I have, involve her humor. Mom would always clean out and prepare the turkey the night before, then put it into the frig until she got up at the crack of dawn to put it into the oven. Like other years, we prepared much of the food during the days prior but knew we needed to leave room for a large turkey in Mom’s frig downstairs. Mom loved picking out and preparing the turkey and I enjoyed baking and helping with side dishes.
That morning I woke up earlier than normal and decided to go ahead and get the turkey started. I quietly went downstairs to the frig in Mom’s little apartment and opened the door. No turkey! Wait. She must have somehow found a way to get it into the upstairs frig after I went to bed. But when I looked, all I found there were dishes full of casseroles and the big pot of roll dough I had left rising overnight.
Where was the turkey???
Confused, I assumed she forgot to buy it. What would be open at 5 AM that sold turkeys? Were we about to have Thanksgiving with no turkey?
I went to wake up Benny with the dilemma and he was similarly perplexed. Mom wasn’t the type to forget the Thanksgiving turkey! It was time to wake her up.
I told her I had gotten up to put in the turkey but it wasn’t in the frig.
She assured me it was in her frig but I told her it just wasn’t there. She jumped up and stumbled into the kitchen, threw open the door and was shocked to find no turkey.
It took a few seconds for her disorientation cleared….
“Oh, the turkey is in the van!” she exclaimed as she hurried toward the door.
What??? Why was the turkey outside in the van? By the time we retrieved the turkey Mom explained that because the overnight temps were below freezing she knew that having it spend the night in the van would be safe — and allow room in the frig for all the other items we needed. By that time she was wide awake and we enjoyed one of our many “dying laughing” moments.
Within a few minutes the turkey was safely in the oven and we had a wonderful meal together. Each Thanksgiving since, I remember the missing turkey and this year I’m especially missing Mom. We fry our turkeys now so I won’t be getting up early to put one into the oven. But I will remember her and the missing turkey…but mostly I’ll wish I could hear her laugh.