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Posts tagged: Thanksgiving

The Turkey and the Chicken

Posted by Jeanie November 2008.

When my sons were 8 and 9, they were in Boy Scouts and we had the annual bake sale/raffle, Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I remember this day very well. I had $6.00 to my name and knew I couldn't possibly afford a turkey and all the trimmings. It was going to be a pretty grim Thanksgiving. I was eyeballing chickens and wondering how fooled the boys would be.

There was a family at the bake sale that evening that I had kind of put on a shelf in the back of my mind – affluent, intelligent, married (I was the only divorcee in the room of 20 families), and beautiful with equally beautiful twin boys, age 9. I wasn't in their realm.

The scouts were supposed to make their own cake. Home made by the boys. There would be a prize for the best cake – a 20 pound fresh turkey, and all the trimmings including a Pumpkin Pie.

My mind slithered back to the soap box derby, where the boys are supposed to make a screaming racing car out of a block of wood, *by*themselves* At the derby, the twins showed up with a cherry-red, cherried-out, speed demon race car that won hands down! My son showed up with a hand carved by him (with a little inadequate help from me), lemon colored (for a reason) obviously home-made car that wouldn't even roll an inch without help.

So here we are at the bake sale/raffle, the rich twins sporting an absolutely beautiful beehive cake with yellow and white striped icing, and little furry bees on toothpicks “hovering” over the beehive which looked to be done by some elite French chef. And our cake, Mr. Happy Face, which was bumpy and wavy, black frosting smeared into a half-assed circle with a crooked little smile and two globs for eyes – the saddest cake I have ever seen.

I grumbled to myself. I had decided I was going to buy the cake back for $2.00, leaving me $4.00. I could still get that damned chicken.

It was getting darned close to disaster time in my family as our misshapen cake, made totally by my son, was sitting forlorn and lonely as all the other cakes were being raffled off – it was down to the beehive cake or the happy face cake.

Bee Family bought my cake AND theirs!  They outbid me!!!

I felt a strange twisting in my gut – I was bitter and angry and jealous and peeved and crabby. They could have bought all 20 cakes! And of course, Bee Family won the turkey dinner. It was a test for me to practice sweetness in the face of total disaster.

I told myself that this was a good thing. I still had SIX dollars to buy my “chicken” dinner. And spare change to get two ice cream cones for two pretty sad little boys.

We got to our car and I was loading the kids in, when Mr. Bee came up to me with this HUGE box, the hump of a gigantic turkey peering over the edge; potatoes, stuffing, Pumpkin Pie, the WORKS. “We've already got our turkey – this would just go to waste – would you mind taking it off our hands?”

Well, I tell ya, I could hardly talk to him as I choked up and teared up and tried to wrestle all those nasty feelings that were turning around in my head.

There are many things to be thankful for. I am always thankful that my thoughts didn't come out of my mouth.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

~Jeanie~

Bake a Cake, Win a Turkey, or Starve!

Thanksgiving was just around the corner, years ago, when my sons were 8 and 9.  I worried about Thanksgiving, coming and going, without a turkey.  It was going to be a pretty grim Thanksgiving; I was eyeballing chickens and wondering how fooled the boys would be.

 
The boys participated in the Boy Scouts Bake Sale the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The prize was a turkey dinner, complete with potatoes, gravy mix, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie.  With $6.00 to my name, I knew this was my only chance.  That, or we'd have to settle for chicken.
 
The scouts were supposed to make <b>their own</b> cake. Home made by the boys. My mind slithered back to the soap box derby earlier that year, where the boys were supposed to make a screaming racing car out of a block of wood, <b>*by*themselves*</b> There was a family at the bake sale that evening - affluent, intelligent, and beautiful parents with equally beautiful twin boys, age 9.  The twins showed up at the derby with a cherry-red, cherried-out, speed demon race car that won hands down! My son showed up with a hand carved by him (with a little inadequate help from me), lemon colored (for a reason) obviously home-made car that wouldn't even roll an inch without help.
 
Now my mind came back to the night before Thanksgiving, and there on the table of 20 cakes was the twins' cake, stunning in its beauty, <i>of course</i>, an absolutely beautiful beehive cake with yellow and white striped icing, and little furry bees on toothpicks “hovering” over the beehive, every detail finely etched as if it were created by some elite French chef. And our cake, Mr. Happy Face, which was bumpy and wavy, black frosting smeared into a crude half circle with a crooked little smile and two globs for eyes – the saddest cake I have ever seen.  (But <i>hand-made</i> by my son!)
 
I grumbled to myself. I had decided I was going to have to buy the cake back for $2.00, leaving me $4.00. I could still get that damned chicken.
 
It was getting darned close to disaster time in my family as our misshapen cake, made totally by my son (did I say that already?), was sitting forlorn and lonely as all the other cakes were being raffled off – it was down to the beehive cake or the happy face cake.
 
Bee Family bought my cake AND theirs! 
 
I felt a strange twisting in my gut – I was bitter and angry and jealous and peeved and crabby. They could have bought all 20 cakes! And of course, Bee Family won the turkey dinner. It was a test for me to practice sweetness in the face of total disaster.  Now, I had no turkey dinner.  And I had no cake!
 
I told myself that this was a good thing. I still had SIX dollars to buy my “chicken” dinner. And spare change to get two ice cream cones for two pretty sad little boys.
 
We got to our car and I was loading the kids in, when Mr. Bee came up to me with this HUGE box, the hump of a gigantic turkey peering over the edge; potatoes, stuffing, Pumpkin Pie, the WORKS. “We've already got our turkey – this would just go to waste – would you mind taking it off our hands?”
 
Well, I tell ya, I could hardly talk to him as I choked up and teared up and tried to stuff all the guilt I was feeling for, well, for feeling cheated, and poor, and pathetic!
 
There is always something to be thankful for.  If you find yourself in a downward spiral, something will come along to lift you out of that hole.  I am ever thankful for this family's gift to my family.  
 
May I be able to pay it forward in every moment where I can pass along a kindness or a gentle touch.  Hoping everyone finds abundant reasons for being thankful.
 
~Jeanie~

Things I am thankful for…

 Good evening, Netizens…


After some prolonged introspection, a bit of meditation and some considerable prayer, I have belatedly come up with the things for which I am most-thankful in 2009. They are presented in no particular order, but are submitted more for the sake of clarity than anything else.


I am always and forever thankful for my wife, without whose stern guidance, gentle reminders, seductive mind and tremendous insight into what it means to be a woman in modern society I could easily become a pompous, uninformed and highly-opinionated ass. No, she did not bribe me to make this statement, for it is a statement of historically-provable fact.


I have been and still am thankful for the rich cornucopia of friends and loved ones who constantly render me guidance, allegiance and wisdom. My attempts at acumen and my purported intelligence would be a wasted affair were it not for those to whom I listen most-closely, whose opinions and ideas help shape me, give me focus and more often than not set me on the right track.


I am and will continue to be an unapologetic American, thankful for my heritage and hopeful for our nation’s future. We, as a nation, have screwed up royally throughout history, for we have totally ignored the lessons of history at times. Yet despite all our dimples and warts we still stand tall as one of the greatest nations in the world. Our two greatest freedoms, freedom of speech and freedom of the press still stand tall and those two gifts of history few can equal.


Despite numerous brushes with death in all its permutations, and despite the fact I soon will be turning 64 years of age, I am thankful my health remains about what one could hope for from a sinner who has pushed the envelope of life about as far as one could while still remaining on his feet.


Having said that, perhaps I am thankful for the gifts of history most of all. I have seen television in the day of its infancy when it was awe-inspiring at times and even funny; it has been transformed into a wasteland of laugh tracks. I have seen computers as big as a house owned by mega-corporations change over time to where well-kept homes all have the power of the Internet and let it become as a play land for dolts. More sadly perhaps I have seen the ancient and spacious beauty of our land transformed where beauteous ancient orchards once stood, where a human could stand in the evening mist among the aroma of freshly-budding trees, to where only tract homes now exist. I possess all this in my memory’s store and more.


What are you most thankful for?


Dave


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