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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Time (11/15/12)

TITLE: BIG and small DaYs
By Carla Procida


Today is Thanksgiving. Itís a little past nine in the morning and usually by this time my turkey is already in the oven yet it remains on the kitchen counter waiting to be rinsed and prepared for its six hours at three hundred fifty degrees. Like clockwork each year, the bird goes in and the television goes on, timed perfectly for the start of ďMarch of The Wooden SoldiersĒ. Laurel and Hardy invited into my living room the last Thursday of every November as long as I can remember. I donít think Iíll ever outgrow the timeless land of Mother Goose, boogey men and reliving the redemption of the lovable pair from making a big mistake and seeing it 55 times turn out to be the salvation of an entire fairy tale kingdom.

But while searching for my cranberry stuffing recipe this morning, I made the mistake of pulling out photographs mixed in the small metal box containing instructions for an assortment of holiday delights. Photographs of a holiday past, in fact many years past. Mom looks so beautiful, dad so handsome, decades before disease and age put one in a nursing home to die with cancer and another to a hospital where little could be done for an old, failing heart.

Besides ignoring the plump bird that continues to wait so patiently on my counter, the water in the teapot, unbeknownst to me, was boiling noiselessly atop the stove. No whistle to nudge me from my chair where I have been sitting mesmerized by a Thanksgiving past. The spout on the pot had broken off so instead of hearing itís loud, piercing whistle, the steam quietly but forcefully escaped while my focus remained fixed on the yellowed Polaroid photos. While I pondered how the years of my life walked their fated path at a steady, unhurried pace until at around thirty when they took off like jack rabbits chased by a pact of dogs and then faster these last few laps. I also thought about loved ones I expected to always be around who are alive only within the boundaries of my broken heart.

The steam from the boiling water has now reached the kitchen ceiling, causing a loud piercing response from the smoke detector. That gets me up out of my chair as well as my ill timed complacency this Thanksgiving morning. I turn the flame off under the tea pot and attempt to pour a cup of tea only to discover the water has all but evaporated, barely covering the small black pekoe bag.

I think Iíll call my sister now, she loves tea even more than I and I desperately need to share a cup with her. My precious sister and best friend lives far away but we can both boil a fresh pot of water and enjoy a cup of tea together across a thousand mile table like we do so often. It will, Iím sure, prove to be a wonderful visit. But first things first! I better get the bird into the oven or else we wonít be eating until nine oíclock tonight.;

My family will be arriving in a few hours, or should I say what family still resides within a fifty mile radius of our home. After what transpired in my little brain this morning, I know it will be a different, better Thanksgiving than the past several ones. Iíll reach out to the living, take new pictures and speak out the words ĒI love youĒ even though my family knows I do. Although itís nice to hear, offsets the negative spewed out at us the majority of days. And the many mistakes I have made, like building a hundred six foot soldiers when it should have been 600 at one foot Iíll forgive myself for and be thankful how many times I was saved from myself.

It seems like the big days, like this one in the minority, have been strategically placed in order for us to pause from the rest of crazy, busy majority of smaller days (or so we think they are). We are given these big days to spend with those we care so much for who donít seem to fit in the smaller.

Nevertheless, memories of those I loved who are gone Iíll forever cherish. Those who made the big days grand! Especially of the two I stare out now, who I remember used to chase away the boogey men for me any day, BIG or small!

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Member Comments
Member Date
Christina Banks 11/24/12
I have wonderful memories of holidays past, with those who have since gone home to heaven. Thank you for sharing this with us.
C D Swanson 11/27/12
This touched my heart and made it smile! Thank you.
God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/27/12
This is a beautiful tribute, not just for your loved ones but for everyone reading who has experienced a lost. You did a fine job of building the character and then allowing the world to take a peek at her heart. Delightful!
Hiram Claudio11/28/12
What a wonderful collection of memories and so beautifully shared. They were woven together so well and you really took my inside what you were feeling. Wonderful and moving piece of writing!