I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. There were tables to set, food to make, decorations to be put up, children to be made presentable, and on top of all that, I had to find time to beautify myself! And the Lord knows how long that takes!
I spied my husband sitting at the table (Once again, leaving all the work to me!), tracing the children’s hands with markers (Washable, I hope!), on paper, which they then proceeded to cut out (Oh, what a mess!), and teaching them how to color them to create little turkeys (At least they’re being occupied!).
Sighing, I tied on an apron and set to work dressing the turkey. Yes, thanks to my charming husband, it was a genuine wild turkey, straight from the heart of the woods somewhere, where I’m certain its family was having a not-so-happy Thanksgiving. Everyone was excited to be eating a wild turkey, except me. But perhaps that had more to do with the fact that I knew that it would then be my duty to cook the bird. My delicate nose wrinkled as I reached inside the cavity and began to remove the yucky guts. Really, it’s amazing what a person will do when they’re in love.
“Oh, guys, wow, look what mommy’s doing!” Tim exclaimed. Taking the plate that I had placed the innards on, he brought it over to show our curious boys what a turkey’s insides looked like.
I think I prefer making a mess with the markers and paper, I decided. Out loud, I said, “Oh, Tim, don’t let them touch it! They really should start getting dressed and maybe you could comb their hair and make them presentable, if you’re not too terribly busy?” My voice was sweeter than the oodles of corn syrup I used to make the pecan pie baking in the oven.
He must not have realized that my voice was dripping with sarcasm, rather than corn syrup, because a wide grin slowly spread across his face; it stopped when it reached his ears, for it could go no farther, but the warmth still gradually swept up his face to reach his eyes and eyebrows, all the way to the tip of his hairline. His face was alight with love and happiness. He flashed his brilliant, movie-star, pearly whites at me; the very same smile he had used to win my heart and the same one that still made me get weak in the knees. “Sure, honey. Anything for the best woman a guy could reel in.” He walked back to me and gave me big smack, right on the lips. The boys groaned, with disgust. “There may be other fish in the sea, but not one is like you!”
It was meant as a compliment, so I took it like one. And I really was pleased by it. The greatest praise my Tim could ever give someone is to compare them to one of the dozens of animals he loves to kill and eat.
The next few hours were a colorful blur. Tim’s family arrived just on time, and with a grand entrance. Tim came from a large family, consisting of his parents and his brothers Tom, Ted, and Tyler, and their families. Our house was bursting at the seams with family and food.
When Tyler and his family came in, his wife, Taylor, pulled me aside. “I hope you don’t mind, but Tiffany insisted on bringing the little neighbor girl, Abby, with us. She’s quite poor; most of the money daddy sends from jail, momma uses to get drunk. Please, make her feel welcome.” I nodded solemnly.
Curious, I went in search of my niece and her friend. What I found them doing was rather…well, surprising. They were the lone figures standing in the dining room, with each of their hands grasping one of my sister-in-law’s famous rolls. And they were dancing. The rolls, that is to say. Tiffany and Abby were making the rolls dance to the classical music floating around the room.
“What are you two doing?” I exclaimed.
They looked up at the same time and hid the rolls behind them. Tiffany smiled. “We were making the buns dance, Aunt Trisha.”
I was flustered. “But-but why?”
Little Abby stepped forward, her eyes sparkling. “They’s just so happy ta see all this yum food and all their favorite family and friends. They’s just so happy at everything. Them buns want ta dance.”
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