The house is quiet again.  That’s both good and bad.  We miss those grandchildren like crazy, but our muscles do need time to heal.  So does the house.

Dearly Beloved went bowling and/or played basketball with the three grandsons every day.  He admits that he’s not the player he used to be.  His jump shot lacks one thing–any hint of daylight between his shoes and the ground.

He developed a bruised breastbone and sore shoulder which he claimed prevented him from Furminating the dog.   After I said he’d need a note from the doctor, he found that he could manage the task after all.

Let me digress for a moment here:  I have mentioned several times that it takes him forever to walk the dog because he and Scout stop to talk and sniff every pup and owner they encounter.  (I hope you aren’t going to ask which one does the sniffing.)   On one of their walks, he talked to a woman about Thanksgiving and she told him of the fabulously prepared Thanksgiving dinner that she pre-orders every year and picks up on Thanksgiving Day.   As he was telling me this, I already had the phone in my hand to order.

Now, back to my story. . . . The youngest grandson (age 9) hit a wall on Tuesday when he came down with horrible stomach pains and a headache so fierce that he couldn’t handle TV, book, electronic games, or even food.

The family planned to run in the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.  In fact, Youngest Grandson and DB were to do the 1K (DB had been practicing so he wouldn’t embarrass himself) but when YG couldn’t run, DB refused to solo.  Nevertheless, he took the two older grandsons over to watch them run their 5K while their parents ran in the 8K.

That left me with one sick grandson, one 17-month-old granddaughter, and Thanksgiving preparations for 11.  The word toddler has never applied to that little girl.  She is Turbo-motion with a capital T and the sound of her little feet on the hardwoods is a constant background noise, like a spoon tapping softly on a table.  That, of course, sets off a lumbering noise–me running after her–because this is not a child who sits quietly with her dolls.  She needs to know what is in every drawer, every cabinet.  She questions my furniture arrangement and her tiny arms manage to lug large footstools throughout the house.  It’s like seeing a stool levitate around the house.

I thought I’d done a good job of preparing for her by moving any tchotchkes.   Unfortunately, I had underestimated her climbing skills, so I started cramming things in closets and drawers too hard for her to open.  If only her granddad shared her ability to jump and climb!

Nevertheless, I managed to get the sweet potatoes and green beans prepared during that time.  The meal we’d ordered was for 8 to 10 people–the only size they offered–so I’d supplemented by preparing additional  sides and another dessert.  In a moment of panic, I’d even ordered a fried turkey from Bojangles, which I knew the grandsons and son-in-law would enjoy.  They’re the big eaters, so that reassured me that the other turkey, regardless of size, would be enough for the rest of us.

Because this was my first time buying a pre fixe meal like this, I’d naively assumed that since we were picking it up at 11:30 on Thanksgiving Day, that the turkey had been in the oven at 11.   Imagine my panic when I opened the two huge boxes of food to set out the meal and found instructions:  Bake the turkey for two hours.  I tore open the Bojangles package and found the identical words.

Two turkeys and four sides in covered aluminum pans, not to mention the extras which needed warming in pots on the cooktop.

I had ONE oven and 10 hungry people milling around, waiting for a Thanksgiving meal.  A feeling of doom encompassed me and threatened to defy my deodorant with an infusion of flop sweat.

About that time, my daughter asked, “Has anyone seen Ivy?”

The last time any of us had seen her, she’d been out in our fenced back yard.  Now the gate was open and there was no sign of Ivy.

My hungry diners hit the streets by automobile, bicycles, and on foot, looking for Ivy.  I sent a plea via our Neighborhood Watch list, asking neighbors to look out for her.

I remained at the house, tossing food in and out of the oven while checking on sick grandson and chasing granddaughter.  Thank goodness, she had found something to play with after all–the basket of dog toys.

Three hours later, at my brother’s suggestion, DB checked with the golf starter at the country club in the next block.  Yes, they had spotted a dog bouncing along the course.  The Pro went after her in the golf cart.  She cheerfully jumped on the seat beside him to ride shotgun, back to the clubhouse.   The guy took her to his home and began printing flyers.  DB, Daughter and Dog were reunited eventually and returned home where finally it had started to smell like a Thanksgiving meal was in the works.

Doing the math, you know that three hours didn’t give me time to bake two turkeys and all stuffing, scalloped potatoes, roasted root vegetables in those huge aluminum baking pans, but I have two words for you.  CLOSE ENOUGH!

Dearly Beloved says he thinks it was the best Thanksgiving ever.  You know what?

I think I agree!








10 thoughts on “Half-Baked

  1. Ivy was just helping by distracting everyone to give you a chance to cook those Turkeys. Sheesh, is anything worse than an open gate and a missing pup? So glad everyone was reunited. Granddaughter?! It has been awhile. Congratulations. Your dinner prep sounds a bit like ours—dropped turkey (5 second rule applied), guest arrived an hour earlier, smoke filled house. Memories in the making. Kind of reminds me of the Dave Barry story where he took the kids to DIsney and they did it all. And then on the way home Dave went in some place to go to the bathroom and they lock on the door stuck and the door had to be removed before he could make his escape. Returning home what story did the kids tell—Hint. Not the Small World One. Sorry but this may go down as the year Grandma almost forgot to roast the turkeys (they’ll never mention sick siblings/cousins or keeping a toddler out of harm’s way) or maybe this will be the year Ivy took up golf or it will be all about their grandfathers amazing jump shot which was so fast and so high it was almost like he never left the ground. Glad your Thanksgiving was Best EVER!

  2. It is a wonder you have the energy to write a blog post after all that excitement!
    I started feeling sick myself when Ivy went missing….glad that had a Happy Ending. Before long that busy granddaughter will be helping in the kitchen. So much to be thankful for!

  3. We were all panicked! I kept telling the family that lost dogs are almost always found in this neighborhood and that’s true. Still, I was sick with worry.

    When my family was searching for Ivy, they ran into neighbors who were out looking, too, in response to the Lost Dog e-mail. Just the day before, someone had sent out a “Found Dogs” notice–a sweet collie/shepherd mom and her two puppies. They’re in foster homes now. Dogs can certainly grab you by the heart, can’t they.

    My daughter and the grandsons were super in the Help Dept. Granddaughter “helping” in the kitchen? The thought is both terrifying and delightful. I’m in no hurry–she’s so entertaining at this stage. We’d love to put a FitBit on her. .

  4. ncmountainwoman

    My Thanksgiving seems so lame after reading about yours. What a treasured story you will have to share for all those Thanksgivings to come. I LOVE the little granddaughter going up those steps. That picture explains her very well. Always on a mission and determined. Thanks for the laugh.

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