I know this Thanksgiving is the kick off to a stressful holiday season. And I want you relaxed my friend…
So find a comfy place and breathe… easy now… relax rela z zzz zzzz x zzzzzzz z zzz
See in your third eye there the family holiday dinner table; full of the bounty of our dear Mother Earth.
Laughter fills the room, everyone sharing over the veritable mud-slide of high-caloric sabotage. What’s that? Why wonder of wonders! They want you to carve the turkey!
But oh no… the Turkey legs- you can’t get them loose. You struggle and struggle and finally reach for the carving knife to cut the kryptonite-like chains they bound that little bird with, but Aunt Flora- named after the sleeping beauty movie just like her sisters Fauna and Merriweather (and you can’t tell them apart anyways), rushes over to help you because “You never DID know how to do this oh so simple thing, I mean really, what is wrong with you anyway? I have to show you EVERY year how to cut those ties and EVERY year you forget. Seriously! Didn’t your mother teach you properly?” And then, faster than you can say swish-swash a bucket of squash, that knife blade accidentally cuts her across her meddling out stretched arm that was reaching to take it from you.
Not one to shy away from an emergency, you take immediate action and spring to your feet. “Everyone!” You shout in your most commanding voice. “Aunt Flor-Faun-Merri whatever is bleeding! Get that woman away from the sweet potatoes and marshmallows!”
People rush about. Aunt Flor-Faun-Merri whatever is shouting at you. But then! There! you see Uncle Baldo (I know I don’t think it’s a real name either.) is writing something in his mashed potatoes. “What is amiss Uncle Baldo? Tell us! What’s wrong???”
Why… he’s spelling out the word “peanuts” and you notice that the finger he is writing with is ginormous! And there! His face is swollen. “Oh Uncle Baldo!” you lament… “If we had known you were allergic to peanuts, we would not have let someone put them in the stuffing. What? No one puts peanuts in stuffing?” You are shocked not because someone put peanuts in stuffing but because Uncle Baldo is drooling now- his eyes puffy slits laying just beneath his caterpillar eyebrows and you are amazed to see… that he actually looks better this way.
Somewhere in the distance sirens are screeching in the direction of the house.
There out of the corner of your eye you see the family dog. The biggest, smelly-est, sloppy-est, dribbly-est, shoe chewer and food stealer you’ve ever know. This dog is so mean, that he is the only animal ever to flunk out of attack dog school due to over aggression.
But I digress.
The behemoth canine lumbers toward the table. “This is my chance” you think. “Just a nudge… just a bump… a tilt of the table and Aunt Flor-Faun-Merri whatever’s dryer than dry, arid, tasteless Sahara turkey with peanut stuffing will fall onto the floor and land right in the gaping jaws of Boofee’s snarling, growling mouth.” (Yea, they named him Boofee. I dunno why. But I suspect it was because “Impish, wisp of a woodland miracle” wouldn’t fit on the registration card.)
The collection of family second and third cousins, all elementary school age, had finally broken out of the basement where someone had locked them in and were pouring into the dining room like a lord of the flies raiding party, grabbing and eating everything in the wake of their path and still getting in pokes and jabs to each other along the way. The hand-made Ginger Bread house. The hand stretched, home-made taffy, the large super-expensive chocolate sampler box, the sweet potato and marshmallow pie and even the green bean salad. (OK that was Reginald because he doesn’t eat sweets.)
But they never touched the turkey.
Boofee was almost there now. So you gently-add-a-bump-to-the-table while the kids are running past and slamming into everything and catch the serving platter edge with your hip and… and… and…
Aboosh! Aunt Flor-Faun-Merri whatever explodes out of the circle of concerned (in her will) nieces and ambulance workers, arms reaching frantically for the turkey. “No-o-o-t M-y-y-y Turkey!” she screams, lunging for the big brown, actually pretty tasty looking-but don’t be fooled turkey as it slipped in a slow motion and an, oh so satisfying arc, directly into Boofee’s mouth.
With the agility of a triathlete Auntie leaps over the coffee table, rounds the old arm chair and slams past the Christmas tree (…up way too early because everyone has ONE relative who just has to decorate before everyone else, I mean what is THAT all about anyway? It isn’t a contest to see who is better at getting ready for Christmas anyways and if Aunt Blunder was there she would win because she always wins, but her arthritis was acting up and she couldn’t…)
But I digress.
Then in what would be remembered as a perfect 9 point, Olympic worthy dive across the worn carpet, past that irritating Christmas tree, arms reaching, gauze bandages still half wrapped around her cut arm dragging behind her, ambulance guys in hot pursuit, Aunt Flor-Faun-Merri whatever grabs the turkey just as Boofee is chomping down on it.
“YEOWWWW!” she screams as his teeth sink down into her only good arm.
Crash goes the platter.
Splat goes the grease.
“Grrrr” goes Boofee.
Then, (miracle of miracles!) crash goes the tree.
As Uncle Baldo and Aunt Flor-Faun-Merri whatever are loaded gently into the ambulance children lay strewn about crashing off their sugar highs. The fireplace glows as its’ embers slowly fade and Cousin Shiramber (Her Father wanted Amber and Mother wanted Shirley.) sits near her felled Christmas tree crying because the little popsicle stick snowman that her Bobby made 12 years ago (Seriously, 12 years ago!) got broken. “Hard to imagine that something made by a four year old with Elmer’s glue and string broke so easily.” (Hun a tree fell on it.) She whimpers, cradling the sticks with googlie eyes and cotton balls in her hand.
“Now,” you smile to yourself. “Now, it feels like a holiday.”
And there it is. That warm, loving feeling you read about come holiday time. That want-to-embrace-the-world inspiration that people write songs about and sing Christmas carols to. You feel it now and you are filled with excitement just as those kids were when the deadbolt on that basement door gave way.
And there in the backdrop of the living room. Just past the tree, laying across the coffee table, the torn curtains and is that a crack in the window?… right there out in the yard you see it.
It had started to snow.
In just four short hours of driving fifty miles in post-holiday traffic you’ll be home.
And the tires on your car? Yep… balder that Uncle Baldo.
Four weeks to Christmas.
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Patrice Ardiere’s writing focus is people. She helps her reader realize that he/she is not alone, and has found the hero within. The lasting message that all things have purpose and that my reader has value is the ultimate goal.
Ongoing work is a series of children’s fiction for kids with special needs. The heroine of the first book has Selective Mutism. Additional works will address stuttering, deafness, ADD etc. Currently she is writing the third of six stories for a dragon anthology. We are not dragons, but the reader will find many parallels in that strange yet familiar world that relate to self-esteem, choices, growth, faith, fear and of course… love.