Around the time that Lex and I had our commitment ceremony, we talked about our future and what it might have in store for us. We had no idea that all these years later, we’d be the mothers of two rambunctious girls and a toddler who could give us a run for our money any day of the week.
It’s been awhile since Jeannie’s great turkey disaster, when her self-cleaning oven turned itself on and ruined the turkey inside. Of course, everyone who has ever eaten Jeannie’s cooking might claim that the oven sacrificed itself in our behalf since it had to be replaced. Jeannie found an unusual recipe for stuffing—don’t ask—which made us even gladder that our holiday dinner consisted of cold cuts and store bought fried chicken.
But what about other Thanksgiving holidays in our home? What have they been like? I think I should talk about them by using the Richter scale. But I’ll just tell about some of them instead.
- Our first Thanksgiving. My uncle Morris came to visit with his boyfriend who had an uncanny resemblance to man who played the television ‘Hercules’. What has happened to them over the years? The boyfriend, Kevin, encouraged in part by the constant comments about his physical resemblance to the actor, started attending comic book and fantasy conventions where he was perpetually mobbed. Eventually, the ‘real’ Hercules spotted him and hired him on as a body guard/double. Kevin left my uncle Morris after one convention and took up with a cross-dressing Wonder Woman imitator.
- The Thanksgiving when Morris came by himself. Uncle Morris stayed a few extra days to make a trip to the northern part of the state where the Gay Rodeo was being held. He met a good looking rodeo clown, at least beneath the makeup, he was good looking, and he is happily involved with him to this day. He closed his office back east and now travels the circuit providing chiropractic care to the men and women of the rodeo.
- Freckles, Turkey Hunter. When Freckles smells something tasty being prepared, she’ll go shopping. She walks on her back feet and looks like a little old lady checking out the kitchen counters. On Thanksgiving number nine, Freckles’ efforts were well rewarded. She used the dining room chair to jump up to the table and snatched the turkey by a leg and dragged it off to Lorrie’s room where she hid under the bed until every morsel was devoured. Jeannie couldn’t resist teasing that maybe Freckles was saving them from Amanda’s stuffing recipe.
- Our last Thanksgiving: Stomach flu does not a tasty gravy make. Enough said.
So, now you know. Things we only dreamed about when we started our lives together pale in the face of our reality. Having children is a deal breaker for most Holiday romance. Someone always has poopy drawers, a tummy ache, or starts fighting with a sibling. Or Lex has to be rescued from a muddy ravine where her horse or a cow or some other animal has landed on top of her when she was out doing work that she pays her ranch hands to do. Also, during holidays, unexpected relatives show up and confuse the daylights out of the children and exasperate the adults like when Jeannie’s former in-laws decided to drop in and question our adoption of Lorrie and make Mel think she was going to lose her sister.
Holidays come and go, but the reward is in surviving them. And we have. That’s a good thing, right? Next time, maybe I’ll talk about Christmases at the Rocking W Ranch and things you never ever thought you’d find beneath a Christmas tree. And why the Santa Claus I hired to surprise the children was on the receiving end of a shotgun blast in the patootie.