November 25, 2010

Writer's Workshop - 11/25/2010 - A Memorable Thanksgiving...And Like A DVD, Complete with Bonus Material!

First of all, I hope your Thanksgiving celebration was all that you hoped for, and that you enjoyed this special time with family and friends.

And for those of you outside the US, I hope Thursday didn't suck too much.

It's 6:52 am, on Thanksgiving morning, and I decided that I will participate in Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop today. The prompt I chose is Describe a memorable Thanksgiving.

It's not like I have to cook a big Thanksgiving dinner today. It's weird not cooking a big Thanksgiving meal - I've either helped in the preparation, or cooked the whole shebang for decades.

I was 32 years old when I had to deal with the FIRST Thanksgiving dinner I ever cooked, all "by myself". When I say "by myself", I really mean without my mom nagging me. So although I didn't have her guiding hand (snicker, snicker), I did have my daughters helping me with the preparation of food - and I'm sure that if nagging was required, they'd have done that, too!

The year? 1989. Though I was an adult, it was a year of firsts.

That July, my daughters and I made the arduous first car trip from PA to our new home in CA. I had never driven that far by myself before (or since, now that I think about it).

Thousands of miles away from our familiar (and familial) stomping grounds. Learning to rely on myself, instead of reaching out to family - I grew up that year.

When Thanksgiving rolled around, I was ready to tackle the turkey and all the trimmings. 

My daughters and I started some new Thanksgiving traditions - sparkling grape juice, cole slaw and fruit salad were all added to the menu. They cut fruit and shredded cabbage while the turkey turned golden brown in the oven.

We had fresh flowers as our centerpiece (you know, the $3 bouquet from the grocery store); we're classy like that.

Our small table was crowded with food...

Way too much food for three six ten people. Yet, it looked empty. No extended family sharing news and engaging in witty banter, no smiling faces of loved ones who graced our table - nor memories of family who have passed on ever sitting at THIS table for Thanksgiving.

Even though I was oh so thankful to be surviving our new life adventure (and my first time away from family), and I loved my daughters more than life itself, I felt lonesome for the noise and chatter of Thanksgiving pasts.

The day before Turkey Day, I had told my co-workers that I would bring them a plate of food when they had to work the lonely Thanksgiving shift (we worked in a software telephone support center for military hospitals).

So instead of sitting down to our dinner, I told the girls to help me put ALL the food in containers - we were taking our movable feast to work!

The turkey was returned to the roaster. Food was piled into two laundry baskets for transfer.

I called work and said that I'd be bringing whomever showed up at work "a plate of food".

I even brought the tablecloth and candles...but I forgot the butter for the rolls. 

When I arrived at work, I called from the lobby to see if anyone could help us carry our bounty.

I wish I had had a camera to capture the look on their faces when I opened the van door!

Our dinner soon resided on a long table. Despite the work furnishings, it looked downright homey.

And the scent of the food permeated the building. Even though we were on the sixth floor - other employees (from other floors) who worked that day started showing up. 

Image source

I think the security guard tipped them off.

Soon we had a full table of hungry people.

They may have been hungry for the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes - but I was hungry for the companionship and conversation that occurs around the table.

We shared our food with our new, adopted (albeit, temporary) family. It's one Thanksgiving I won't forget.

Here's a joke that I received in my email - hope it makes you smile.

The Profane Parrot
A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary.

Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. John tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to 'clean up' the bird's vocabulary.

Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot.

The parrot yelled back.

John shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even more rude. John, in desperation, threw up his hands, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer.

For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.

Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.

Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer. The parrot calmly stepped out onto John's outstretched arms and said, "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."

John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude.

As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird spoke up, very softly, "May I ask what the turkey did?"

Now go check out all the great responses to Mama Kat's prompts!


  1. I love how you created a (temporary) family for Thanksgiving with people who were truly thankful.

  2. That was such a moving memory. Thank you for sharing. Happy thanksgiving!

    Visiting you from MamaKat's

  3. Sounds like you made a lot of people thankful that year with your movable feast!
    Love the parrot joke!

    Happy Thankgsiving!

  4. Awe... you gave me goosey bumps! That was such a great thing for your daughters to see as well! Happy thanksgiving!

  5. Lovely Thanksgiving story ... that is how the very best Thanksgiving dinners are created! And loved that bonus material!


Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!