Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

have you had your christmas goose?

This was probably the most hectic, yet uneventful Thanksgiving weekend I can remember in ages.  I finally finished all the dishes, and I’m ready for a normal boring week to begin.

Of course, my Thanksgiving could have been more hectic.  It could have been crazy.  If only Uncle Paul had decided to show up after all…things would have been very different, indeed.

Over the years, I have spent many a holiday with Uncle Paul, as we still call my sister’s ex husband.  Those were always interesting holidays.  My mother almost dropped the turkey one Thanksgiving as she was pulling it out of the oven; after Uncle Paul “goosed” her while her back was turned.  There was also the year everyone descended on my former in-laws for Christmas.  My ex-husband’s parents had never been exposed to Uncle Paul’s antics, so they were not prepared for his little “pranks.”  Uncle Paul discovered a way to cause the showers to blast either cold or hot water by strategically flushing toilets and running the hose in the yard just as someone in the house was shampooing their hair.  There was a lot of screaming going on that year. 

But I suppose the most interesting holiday spent with Uncle Paul was one I didn’t even witness first hand.  It was the year Uncle Paul decided to take my parents out to a special holiday dinner. 

He and my sister were still married at the time, and looking back, this may have had something to do with why they aren’t married anymore. 

Paul was an Air Force recruiter in their small town, and when he came home to announce that he was given tickets to a fancy holiday dinner for the whole family, everyone was thrilled.  My divorced parents were both scheduled to have dinner with them that year, so going out for dinner seemed like a very special treat.  Everyone got dressed up.  The tickets promised a formal multicourse meal with all the trimmings. 

When they arrived at the banquet hall, they were pleased to see the holiday decorations and pretty lights everywhere, and they could smell the wonderful cooking coming from inside, but as they entered the ballroom, the tables were dressed in holiday finery, but the other guests were not.  In fact, the other guests looked as if they hadn’t recently bathed, or eaten for that matter.

It was a dinner for the homeless.

My sister was of course, mortified.  As were my parents.  Especially when they were seated at large banquet tables surrounded by the unwashed masses.  I’m sure they felt very awkward eating food that was probably meant for other unfortunate people who had nowhere to go on the holiday.  But I’m also sure they were very gracious about the whole thing.  I just really wish I had been there.  I would have loved to have seen their faces.  But I’ve been there for so many other holidays with Uncle Paul, I’m sure I can imagine. 

Maybe it was a good thing Paul didn’t make it for Thanksgiving dinner…but as crazy as it would have been, I’m sure it would have been entertaining. 

Until the next time…I’ll be finding interesting ways to cook leftover turkey and rabbit.

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