A few weeks ago my daughter came to me with the realization that we needed to formulate a plan for Thanksgiving dinner. My mother had organized and cooked Thanksgiving the last few years. She passed away at the end of February and it hadn’t occurred to me that we were left Thanksgiving dinnerless.
Thanksgiving has always been an unusual holiday in our family mostly because the very child that suddenly wanted to make plans had been the queen bee ring leader for years who kept us from Thanksgiving at home.
If there’s a parent out there with a tween or younger cheerleader, they know exactly what I’m talking about. They’re probably not reading this because they’re in Orlando, the happiest place on earth, right now pretending they’re having fun watching thousands of cheerleaders wearing too much mascara and cheap perfume perform their little hearts out. That performance is usually followed by act two, which is crying themselves to sleep on the way home.
Our family spent about a decade of “good times” in Orlando at the cheer-fest shindig before we were able to retire to a few years of normal Thanksgiving life with all the fixin’s at grandma’s house.
Suffice it to say, I’m older and wiser since the nest emptied out so when the opportunity came for me to cook Thanksgiving dinner, I explained to my darling daughter that this would be the perfect opportunity for this tradition to skip every other generation. I explained further that since she is now a first time homeowner, it would be the perfect housewarming, too.
For the record, I actually congratulated myself for slipping out of that one so masterfully.
She tried wiggling out of it, too; not enough plates, not enough room at the table, blah blah blah. Without missing a beat there were volunteers bringing plastic ware and Chinette who agreed that sitting on the sofa without a table was perfectly fine.
What goes around comes around. I didn’t toss her under the bus just for me; I did it for the boys. Her brothers, one of which is her twin, have suffered through way too many cheering competitions and this is their just reward. The entertainment value of assigning turkey day to someone whose only culinary accomplishment has been a grilled American cheese sandwich makes that turkey literally worth its weigh in gold.
She has no clue but I’ve helped her avert the first tragedy, buying the bird and thawing it out before Thursday. As of Wednesday, it hadn’t occurred to her and when it does I’m not letting on right away that I have a thawed turkey in my fridge.
Needless to say, we are prepared for total calamity in the kitchen but we know that if it gets that bad, we can always fall back on her grilled cheese sandwich as the back up plan. Lord knows we’ve eaten much worse on Thanksgiving Day before grandma saved us.
The one thing we learned spending all of those Thanksgivings in central Florida is that when we were together we always had fun. We had fun making her ride roller coasters with curlers in her hair. We had fun eating at the world’s worst diners while giving thanks. If you’re fortunate enough to not be in Orlando, shaking your spirit fingers to pop song mash-ups, hopefully you’re making the most out of whatever company you’re keeping or whatever cuisine you’re enjoying, even if it’s just a grilled cheese sandwich.
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Chris Griffith is a real estate agent at Downing-Frye Realty Inc. in Bonita Springs. If you have a question about local real estate or Bonita Springs, e-mail her at chris@LifeInBonitaSprings.com.