Article by Linda Swift
We had just moved to Alabama a few months before Christmas. My husband returned to Kentucky to bring our daughter home from college for the holidays and he also brought my widowed mother, his mother and her husband. They were to arrive in the early afternoon, so I had the morning to prepare the turkey and dressing.
Not bothering to dress while cooking, I wore a faded chenille robe, floppy houseshoes, no makeup, and had my hair in rollers. Things were going well as I attended other tasks while the bird basted in a plastic brown-n-serve bag.
The stove timer alerted me that the bird was done and I removed the roasting pan and placed it on the stovetop. I was eager to get those succulent juices into the bowl of dressing I was mixing, so I attempted to move the pan to the counter across the room. It was heavier than I anticipated, and the bird started sliding then ended up on the kitchen floor. The bag burst and turkey broth spilled onto the floor and my fuzzy slippers while I stood in horrified shock. Then I went into action, grabbed a roll of paper towels, and mopped up as much as I could. I managed to get the turkey back onto the pan and hoisted it to the counter, lamenting the loss of that essential broth.
While I mopped, I had a few choice words for Tom Turkey and the bag he browned in as I tried to figure out the best way to save the day. At least, this disaster had occurred while I was alone in the house and still had plenty of time to clean up the kitchen and myself. It was a moment before I heard the sound of a car horn in the driveway above my dark mutterings.
And just then, my husband stuck his head in the kitchen door and said with a wide grin, "Surprise. We got here early."
"Go drive around the block!" I snarled, as he crossed the kitchen with open arms to greet me with a kiss. Instead, he slipped on the still-slick floor and clutched at me to steady himself, bringing us both down in a tangle. And we were thrashing about like two lovers in the throes of passion when the others appeared in the doorway.
"Don't come in," I yelled.
"Well, did you ever?" my mother-in-law said to my mother as they stopped in the doorway in shocked disbelief.
I finally disentangled myself and struggled up, while I tried to explain the situation. My daughter led her grandparents to the front door while my husband got a mop to clean the floor. I went to greet the family properly, then got dressed and returned to cope with the situation. I found some canned chicken broth in the pantry and my mother mixed the dressing while I grappled with the bird. He was nice and brown and looked rather regal when I placed him on a platter.
"Did you remember to take the giblet bag out of it?" My M-I-L asked as she eyed the bird with suspicion.
"Oh, yes, I did." I would have thought she'd forgotten that incident from my early marriage by now.
M-I-L made slaw while my daughter set the table. The men brought in the luggage and presents while we finished dinner preparations.
I reminded myself that all's well that end's well as we sat at table savoring the holiday feast. Though, I couldn't help but notice – my M-I-L was eating dressing without any turkey.
Linda's debut story for our Victory Tales Press Romance Anthologies appears in the
2014 Christmas Collection.
A Season of Miracles
As John and Caroline keep a vigil for days at Danny's bedside, a close
relationship develops between them. John longs for a family and wants to
make Caroline and Danny his own. Will his wish come true in this season
Also available in print.
This Time Forever
~ Civil War Romance ~ Clarissa Wakefield remains to work in her home,
transformed into a Confederate hospital when the Union invades
Tennessee. Philip Burke, a Union prisoner, barters medical skills to
avoid prison. As opposing armies fight, Philip and Clarissa wage their
own personal battles. Caught in the passions of love and war, will they
be faithful to their vows or listen to their hearts?
This novel was chosen as the basis for the short film, Clarissa's War, currently being filmed.
Please sample the first two chapters free.
and at other online bookstores
Also available in print.
Please visit Linda's Social Media sites for information about all her books and stories.