Tag Archive: thanksgiving

Halloween was over and they were looking Thanksgiving square in the eye.  It was crunch time, the danger zone, 11th hour.  He took a deep breath as his hand ran through his hair knocking his hat askew.


His barked command was met with a scuttling of feet and a shuffling of paper before, “Printed, ah, in duplicate, and out for round one.”

He looked up with furrowed brow “You’re sure?”

“Positive sir, absolutely.”

“Good.  Transportation!”

“Aah!  Hemhem.  Uh, good sir.  All in fine running condition.”

This time the look in his eyes was almost quizzical.  “Everything’s fine?”

The question within the question hung in the air as Transportation read back over the slightly crumpled report in her hand.  “No it is sir.  Lights are a go, speed checked out, it’s … It’s all good?”

He sat back in his chair swiveling back and forth thinking.  “Utilities?” the question was quiet this time almost unsure.

“Well, we’re well within the range.  I mean not full capacity but … You know solid.  I mean If tonight was a go we’d make it.”

His hand shook slightly as he pulled the crooked hat from his head.  “Production what do you have for me?”

“Sir I’m proud to say that we are ahead of schedule.  We haven’t missed a quota since July one.”

“So what your telling me is that Christmas is only 45 days away and you cannot find a single problem.  No issues.  None whatsoever?  Not with the naughty/nice list, the sled, the reindeer, Christmas’s spirit, or the gifts!”

“Number One, sir, isn’t that a good thing?” The elf from production asked.

“Well Production let’s see.  Records!  What happened the last time nothing threatened Christmas?”

“Sir?” the tiny elf holding a giant leather bound book squeaked.

“You heard me Records.”

“It’s just …” he poured over pages of script, “It’s just …”

“It’s never happened Production.  You get it yet?  No problems, no Christmas miracle, no …”


“Yah not on my watch Production.  Now talk to me people how are we going to ruin this Christmas?  We have millions of children depending on us.”


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Lila sat in the old abandoned road, at the corner, among the broken asphalt and weeds while her family searched in vain for food.

Dwade who had been digging silently in the dirt, apparently in deep thought, asked no one in particular, “What did turkeys sound like?”

Dad froze.  “Guess you wouldn’t remember would you?  That was…God I don’t know back in ’93 maybe.  No, had to be ’97?  Mara, when did we lose Jase?”

Mara’s head never moved as she silently tabulated, counting backwards in her head, she didn’t even move her lips just her hands.  Lila winced knowing that Mara was reading the scars that littered her left arm.  To Lila they appeared as nothing more than a gruesome reminder of some horrible accident involving sharp mechanical parts.  Not so for Mara, the unofficial historian.   To Mara each line had a story complete with location, date, and time which only she could interpret.

“Jase was in 2898 in the December ice storm before dawn,” Mara’s lank brown hair jerked sharply indicating her unease as she brushed her fingers over the blackened tip of her left pinky.  She had barely even touched the nearly perfect circle behind her elbow before continuing, “and it was three years earlier that the Walton’s were reported to be serving the last true Thanksgiving dinner.” 

“That’s right!  I remember it being headline news, something real catchy like…Walton gobbles while economy wobbles.”  The far away look in dad’s eye caught everyone’s attention.  He almost smiled.  Then reality slipped back in, over his lowered guard, and he resumed his search for unopened can goods in the rubble that must have once been a house.

Dwade’s eyes danced between Lila and Mara still hoping for an answer.  “Dad already told you D they gobbled,” Lila finally said, “it was kind of like screaming and coughing at the same time.”  Her shrug said to leave it there and so he went back to his digging.  With the addition of his attempt to imitate a sound he’s never heard while gouging the earth with his stick.

“Well the Walton’s can kiss my succotash,” dad proclaimed as he turned to face us with the rusted dented can of Libby’s held proudly in the air.  “I know what I’m thankful for this year, even if its not a turkey…to the feast,” he said and he meant it.

Lila and Mara made the briefest of eye contact.  Thankful.  The word sounded wrong in this context.  They could both remember what thankful use to mean, back before the pandemics jumped the species barrier and nuclear destruction of the ‘hotbed areas’ was deemed necessary, and this was not that

Dinner Memories

Marjorie sat looking at her plate smiling slightly and laughed her small laugh, a little bit of everything she thought to herself.  It was her way of saving room for dessert, no filling up on rolls for her.  The whole house smelled of the holidays an equal mixture of butter, sugar, roast meat, and warmth.  Her family supplied the warmth and the holiday soundtrack she loved so well and missed so much come January.  The boys gathered around the football playing TV shouting the calls, the scrape of utensils against china, and children’s footsteps rushing for the door or food.  Family had always been the secret ingredient to every successful holiday get-together it made the weather nicer, the food taste better, and time run slower.  Marjorie lifted her forkful of turkey and fixings and said a quick prayer, let my family be ever safe and always together, and then took her first bite of Thanksgiving.

As she chewed the color drained from her mind’s picture, deafening silence rose up to meet her ears, and the cold seeped into her bones.

“I’ll see you on Christmas Ms. Marjorie,” the meals-on-wheels lady said with a sad small smile of her own, “you take care now.”

Marjorie turned away from her ‘home-made’ dinner; first she turned on TV football, then she started some store bought cookie dough in the oven, she even added some light music from her radio before sitting back down.  “I’m thankful for good memories,” she said aloud as she closed her eyes preferring the company of those not there, leaving the food untouched before her.

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