On the most thankful day of the year, my husband and I blew it. Yes, I’m talking ridiculously crosswise at each other, and for a few minutes we wouldn’t have given a cold congealed cranberry for each other.
I suppose that after knocking heads consistently in the early days, and on occasion recounting those doozies with chuckles, plus now rarely having a scuffle after walking down the same road for almost 30 years, we thought we were immune. But we fell with an epic clash-a definite eye-opener to our son-in-law of six years.
There are a few things you must know~
- A couple of weeks ago, one of our glass refrigerator shelves shattered, leaving less fridge space, therefore requiring a degree in engineering to get everything to stay in there.
- Due to my glowing reports on my yearly Thanksgiving segment of the radio show of how my man cooks a lot of the feast, men all over South Central Kansas and Northern Oklahoma hammered him for making them look bad to their wives. Still, one of the crown jewels of the meal is the homemade sweet rolls I make—one year whipping up another batch when our dog devoured the whole batch during the night.
So this year, I substituted radio for my three girls, Grandbaby Bren, and I to journey 30 miles to visit my mom in a care center. Although, it’s debatable whether she would know what day it was or who we were, it’s how we honor her.
Leaving the dinner in qualified hands, I clicked off to Cliff what needed taken care of, “The rolls are rising and will be fine until we get back—unless they get real huge, then bake them. Keep an eye on the turkey. Everything else—the mashed potatoes are in the crock pot…..(insert a plethora of traditional goodies here)…Casey’s Cherry Fluff and Robin’s Red Hot Jello salad are in the fridge, so you should be good.” And off we went.
During the visit rare glimmers of the old Grandma Mermaid surfaced out of the depths of the unknown. For the first time in over two years when we started to go, she got that we were leaving and she was not. Heart wrenching it was, resulting in an exit that we put off much longer than we should have. The road home was scattered with memories of what used to be, and peppered with Cliff texts of “When u b home?”
Meanwhile back at Thanksgiving Central, the turkey’s button had popped, and the rising rolls caused pressure to rise in Cliff. He knew if they rose to the heavens and went flat, everyone would whine in disappointment. Of course, I would cave and labor to whip up another time-consuming batch. On top of that, the crock pot had come unplugged—nothing was going as planned, and he felt responsible.
When we entered into King Panic’s Kitchen, his mood was like the little end of the potato that you can’t get shredded without bloodying your knuckles. He had baked the rolls to perfection, but the fear of failure had launched him into stirring up the stuffing, attempting to carve the turkey with the electric knife being MIA, and a whole stove of pots boiling and steaming. He had not a clue his tone had turned to barking, his face red.
I did not handle this well and took it as a personal affront from not being two places at once—one place launching a lot of emotion I hadn’t planned on. When I miffed, I am slam things and answer in curt, icy blasts of sarcasm. And I clean. So in the midst of his stomping and oven opening, I am grabbing the mountains of dirty cooking equipment and have the dishwasher door open right in the line of traffic.
Everyone else was scrambling to lend a hand, but was cautious to stay under the radar.
I don’t know what he said, but I fired something snarky. And then it happened…
Cliff opened the fridge door and an avalanche of bowls came sliding out, pink goo exploding all over his bare feet.
He erupted, throwing his hands in the air, “And now there’s Cherry Fluff between my toes!”
Time stiffened like the meringue peaks on chocolate pie. I grabbed paper towels and began to wipe his feet….and giggle. Just a little unquenchable one.
That’s all it took for the chuckle dam to break. “And next our pets heads are falling off,” our son piped up, resulting in a wave of laughter. It took Cliff a little longer to ride the comedy rapids with us. But, from now on his response will live in family infamy.
But, it should have never happened in the first place, and I’m not talking about the Cherry Fluff attack. I’m talking about our reactions.
So how do we keep from falling into the trap of being a turkey to each other?
- Take a breath and take from Philippians 4:6-7 to heart. “Don’t be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. And the peace that transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.” Enough said.
- Look at the big picture: A lot worse issues will pop in life than whether the rolls burn or Cherry Fluff is part of a pedicure.
- And, when something this bizarre happens, in time, it may into a hilarious memory that reminds us of this valuable lesson.
By the grace of God, he shown a spotlight on what was truly important, and our prayer was one of true thankfulness.
From the Long Family~May God bless you with a little cherry fluff to be thankful for each and every day