And Gutenberg Lived Here: When Is A Turkey A Taurus?

Yesterday being T-day,

I did a little thinking,

And Thanking:

both still around, both still happily married, both with big plans for the future.

And then got on to the logistic problems:

Where to get a turkey,

How to avoid being invited to a large thanksgiving party

for people who once lived in the US.

have bought a huge Tom T,

and now want you to cook their bird-

actually, one (other) woman actually invited herself,

and well over 260 others,

to our house-

however many will fit.


Small apartment,

small oven,

about the right size to roast a super bowl football.

small amount of parking space,

here’s what we do:

buy a jar of peanut butter.

And very black whole grain black bread.

And wild cranberry jelly.

Hold hands. Say a prayer of thanks. Everything else unimportant.

You get the idea.

Back to thanking:

family on both sides apparently has made the curve from the worst

to the semi-worst,

and may one day even level off.

Hopefully in my lifetime.

My stalker has, thank God, apparently started stalking someone else.

(Good friends have stepped in to give us a hand with this.)

So now that we have gotten the thanking over,

on to thinking.

Memory time:

Turkey time, up to age fifteen,

consisted of us dividing the days.

Sunday morning, church, and a small bird

with my dad’s family.

From a puritan line of believer-farmers,

it was small, and loving.

Then a noon-time drive to a place called Alton,

the home of the other side of the family,

with four kids,

two to four grandkids each,

and a thirty-five pound bird

in a huge oven-

it took two to open and hold the door, and two to lift the bird.

The men played cards,

and watched the football game,

my dad and the kids played:

jacks, coloring, racing around, touch (more or less) football,

or sometimes joined the card game,

although my dad was usually against it.

(Due to very inventive adult swearing and loss of the kids’ week’s allowance-

until grandma stepped in and took the adults to the cleaners, and won it back.-

her family ran a boarding house for traveling salespeople on the prairie.)

The cooking was always great,

an uncle, half Cherokee, always brought chestnut stuffing,

and sweet potato pie,

which always seemed to be missing half the marshmallows.

Then, at fifteen, an aunt of mine,

twelve years older than I,

moved to Arizona,

to work in a school for native Americans.

My grandparents followed,

then so did we.

Thanksgiving was in their home,

with the oldest girl, my cousin, and I

trying to stuff a thirty-five pound plus bird,

and lift it into a huge oven,

thank heavens the door was automatic.

While the others slowly made their way in for corn flakes,

in the garage, as the space at the table ran out.

(This was five-thirty am, remember.)

For all-day cooking,

and a dinner at six pm.

Or seven.

Or eight.

This continued on without me for many years,

after I moved to Germany,

as my husband and I got into the peanut butter habit,

and watched the news for glimpses of the Macy’s parade,

and a new female married into my parents  house,

who had too much to drink,

decided to deep fry a turkey,

set the curtains on fire,

and ended up with a family member in the hospital with burns.

(do NOT drink and cook)

And today,

still feeling thankful for a day off yesterday,

we finished off the remains of the “turkey dinner”-

more peanut butter sandwiches,

and a can of Peking goulash soup.

But on the weekend, we will be visiting friends and family,

and eating taurus cacciatore

(hamburger helper variation)


in the tradition of the great American T-day celebration,

will be absolutely thrilled

that we

won’t be eating turkey for the next week,


won’t open the freezer door in July

and say to one another

“Hey, who wants some of this turkey surprise.”

copyright 2017

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