“Gobble gobble” chirped Miss Turkey, “It’s one day to Thanksgiving!” The clock on the wall was a Thanksgiving purchase of her husband, Miss Turkey, he named it, and the name stuck. She gobbled on the hour, and at the noon hour she reminded you how many days you had left till the holiday. It had become an annoying feature, but the kids loved it – so she was stuck with her.
Clair sighed thinking of the turkey in her own fridge. She’d long since gotten over the fact that her family expected the biggest and best Thanksgiving meal from her, she always held up her end of the bargain – providing the food. The guests were responsible for the entertainment. Her pies were baked and resting on the back counter, while the rest of the meal would be prepared in stages starting in the wee morning hours tomorrow.
Planning was exhausting, and so was the cooking, but after they’d eaten, when everyone was sprawled out on furniture (the kids were on the floor) so content and happy – it was one of her favorite times. She thought back over last years, Thanksgiving, so many people showed up, but it was never a worry, she always cooked the largest turkey she could find in the supermarket – just in case, because you never really know who might be stopping by.
This year Claire was making the traditional goods, turkey, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and stuffing, but she also bought a ham for those extra guests, and those that like to avoid the “turkey hangover” and she was going to make creamy scalloped potatoes – which are a huge hit with everyone. It was a heavy meal, but Thanksgiving screamed for comfort food and that is what she liked to provide for her family.
Claire walked around the dining room prepping the table for tomorrow’s guests. Straightening the table cloth, and centering the fall leaf centerpiece, for the third time today. She laid out fancy cloth napkins, and pushed all the chairs into the table. She stood back, admiring her work, “Beautiful,” she muttered.
“Yes you are.” John walked into the room playfully. Her husband always had perfect timing. Claire felt John’s arm slip around her from behind, pulling her close, she leaned back against him feeling his lips press against her cheek.
“Are you ready?” John murmured.
“As ready as I can be.” Claire responded, feeling that as she said it, she realized she was actually starting to look forward to it.
John spun her around the room, sashaying her to imaginary music, Claire giggled. “That’s not good enough.”
“Okay, okay, I’m ready John!” She said laughing as he spun her faster around the room.
“Do you think she’ll come this time?” Claire paused mid twirl gazing into her husbands eyes with hope.
John sighed, “I really don’t know Claire – I just don’t know.”
“I sent her an invite, like I always do, but I don’t know, something feels different this time, like the time may be right.”
“I hope it is Claire, for your sake, I hope it is.”
John led Claire out to the living room, escorting her to her favorite easy chair. “Time to put your feet up for awhile. You’ve done all you can do.”
“But I miss her John,” Claire said as she sat in the oversized chair, curling her feet under her like a child would, feeling vulnerable with the turn of the conversation. She gazed at John, feeling the moisture gather in her eyes. “She is our only daughter.”
John quickly looked away, Claire knew his own eyes were misting up or he wouldn’t have looked away so abruptly. “I know dear, I know. I miss her too.”
Claire said softly, “John – I over did the food again, just in case, you know. Just in case she comes. You know how she loves turkey, and scalloped potatoes are her favorite.”
“I know, dear.” John said, changing the TV channel, while talking. “It’s okay. She might come.”
“I just hope, you know. I just have hope.”
“Me too Baby, Me too.”
***Folk’s don’t leave your family hanging this holiday – Go Home! Visit! And be Grateful! Happy Thanksgiving!
Tags: short story, Thanksgiving