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NOVEMBER 25th, 1999

Here's to Flipping the Bird

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

Before I give you today’s funny story, I'd like to set all kidding aside for a moment and remind you that today is a day to give thanks for all around you. As is sit here and listen to my children fighting in the other room I feel blessed that my house is not silent. Even missing just one of those voices would be a hole in my heart that I know would never heal.

This afternoon I will join my parents for dinner in their home. I'm sure it'll be hectic but, thank you God, we're all together.

So, take some time out today to say a prayer for someone you may have forgotten. Even if they don't share your life, think of a stranger who may have extended a kindness and offer some praise up for them.

As I watch my mother carve her turkey and play with her grandchildren, I shall be saying a prayer for those two paramedics who brought her back to us after three heart attacks five years ago. God bless you, you two, where ever you are. Your legacy lives on in the love of her grandchildren.

And, now that I've made myself cry, I'll serve up something happy. A nice jocular side dish to go along with big, fat Tom.

This Thanksgiving I will also be giving thanks my husband is not cooking this year. Let me tell you all why...

<ringing phone>

"Hi, Arlene. What are you doing?"

"I don't know. I just do not know, anymore. Do you ever feel like life is passing you by?"

"Arlene, life never passed me by. It's still not done running me over."

One day while wrestling a 4-year-old out the water fountain at the mall as I simultaneously changed a baby's diaper one handed, I began to realize I was tragically unhip. Not too many buttons ago, I vaguely remember sitting in front of our television. A maniacal shag-carpet puppet with bulging eyes was counting aloud and, as I counted along with him, I remember gleefully thinking,

"I'm going to be ten really soon!"

I don't think there is a Muppet alive that counts this high.

It's not that I'm bitter. Well, okay, it is. I am bitter. Family life can do that to you.

"Mom, I need a costume for the school play. I told them you sewed."


"Yes, you do. You put a button on for dad yesterday. I saw you do it."

My daughter was the only angel in the Christmas pageant who had a costume made entirely out of buttons. Buttons I can do.

I really don't sew, and I cook only under protest. When my husband quit his night job to go to a day shift the kids were so beside themselves with joy they could hardly contain it.

"Mom! Isn't it wonderful! Dad is going to cook for us!"

"I cook for you. Are you trying to say I don't cook for you?"

"Mom, we love you but we are really tired of macaroni and cheese every night."

"Fine. Whatever. I'll remember that, you know. When you come to me twenty years down the road looking for me to pay for your wedding, I shall remember that Macaroni comment when I slam my wallet shut."

My husband loves to cook. Almost as much as he adores his weather channel. If they ever had a show that combined the two I imagine he would stagnate on the couch and never move again. His only problem is he over-cooks. One meal alone requires borrowing pans from the neighbors, enlisting fifty-five plates and commandeering eight dozen spoons to stir with.

"What are you putting into the spaghetti sauce?"

"I'm adding some tomato paste."

"Are you trying to insinuate the folks at Prego don't know what they're doing? Why on earth do I try to save money and buy wisely when you use it all in one session at the stove!"

"Stop being so dramatic."

"Wait! What is that? Is there a plant in that pot?"

"That's a bay leaf. I added it for flavor."

"Good God. Shall I go grab some dandelions out of the yard?"

"Go sort your shoes or something, will you?"

"I know where all my shoes are. They are taking a bath. Oh my God, is that a mushroom? You know I hate mushrooms."

"Well, just pick them out."

"Obviously I am pretty lousy at picking stuff out because I picked you!"

That should show him


Unless otherwise specified, all material
Copyright 1999 by
Marijke Hildreth



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