Engaging Methuen Readers

The Ghost of Thanksgiving Past….2

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The Ghost of Thanksgiving Past:  

Oh the Memories, the Mishaps…


Image from “Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean”, a TV episode from the British sitcom, “Mr. Bean”.

Our fearless Nevins Library staffers have kindly contributed stories of past Thanksgiving mishaps, so if your Thanksgiving isn’t up to Norman Rockwell standards, have no fear — you are not alone!

For as far back as I can remember, my parents always hosted the Thanksgiving feast. We  had to have the biggest turkey my Dad could find, usually between twenty-five and twenty-eight pounds even though we had about ten to twelve people sharing the meal.

In the fall of 1987 after moving into our new home in late September, my husband and I decided that it was time my parents passed the torch to us. My Mom’s health had been failing that year, so we had an extra incentive to continue the tradition of finding the largest bird available and duplicating whatever my parents would have provided. My three young children ages five, three, and one and a half were happy to have “the party” at our house. Since my Mom and Dad had always “dressed” the bird about 5:00 am on Thanksgiving morning while I slept, I had never actually witnessed the process. (Unfortunately I didn’t have You Tube to rely on.) Therefore, my Dad arrived at our home about 5:00 am to show my husband and me exactly what needed to be done.

Everything went very well. The fresh turkey from Raymond’s had been rinsed, salted, stuffed, buttered, tied and tented and finally put into the oven on time.  “What,” you might ask, “could possibly go wrong?”

Now for the rest of the story…. After my husband closed the oven door, he did the unthinkable! For whatever reason he moved the lever to start the self-cleaning process! Now this decision on his part was so much out of character. He was not a man who had an aversion to cooking or any other “household chore” at all. He had used this very oven several times since our moving in. All of a sudden he got that “Oh, no, what have I just done?” look. I immediately went searching for the oven manual since we had never used the self-cleaning function. As I read the pages, it seemed impossible to save the prized possession of our Thanksgiving Dinner from a 500 degree scorching! I could just imagine the fire trucks arriving in our driveway with their sirens blaring! Only my children would enjoy that.

I then remembered Mike, the small-appliance repairman, who lived about fifteen minutes away and whom I had called several times in the past at my previous home for more ordinary repairs. After listening to my explanation of the reason for the call and reacting with a howl, he graciously agreed to try to save the day!

I am happy to confirm that we had a somewhat uneventful Thanksgiving Day after that mishap. The turkey and the rest of the meal was delicious, and our guests shared a chuckle, even my husband who could laugh at himself.  I can also say that Mike has told me on each future visit that he has repeated my Thanksgiving story to innumerable customers especially to anyone with an oven problem! No one has been able to surpass our Thanksgiving story!

As the saying goes, “All’s well that ends well.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

∼Barbara, Administrative Assistant


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