written by Teresa Dean Smeigh
copyright November 2015
The farm was huge and off the beaten path. It was several miles down a dirt road to the farmhouse. The road was lined on both sides with fenced in pastures for feeding horses and cows.
Further back past the farm house there were chicken coops and even hastily raised structures for the turkeys they decided to raise this year. They would make a profit and even have a large turkey dinner for all the family that was expected.
It was their year to provide dinner for the huge family. The weather was nice so they were going to set up large tables outside under the roofed in patio they used for parties.
Annie would put the turkeys in the large ovens in the morning. Luckily they had more than one due to all the cooking for the farm hands. As people arrived they would take their food and depending on whether it was perishable or not it would either land on one of the tables or put in the refrigerator.
The ladies would help Annie cook and the men would stay with Henry and discuss farming and hunting. Winter was coming and soon the snows would arrive and they were making plans to help each other winterize each farm. Today was a rare warm day, but snow would arrive sooner than they were ready for it.
The children were riding the horses and ponies depending on size and showing off their new tricks. All the children performed in the 4-H fairs and some of them were really quite good.
There were several dogs running around. They all grew up together and came with the families every Thanksgiving. They were chasing each other in the fields.
Annie and the ladies came out for a break from the heat in the kitchen. Things were cooking just right.
Another family arrived and they had massive bowls of mashed potatoes, both Idaho and sweet potatoes.
Those were taken in and wrapped in foil and set on the warm burners to keep them warm.
The next family came bearing bread. Homemade bread just for the dinner. Sarah didn’t bake much now with the bun in her oven. She was due in a couple months, but this dinner was special. Tommy wouldn’t let her carry any of the bread.
The next family to arrive said a storm was following them almost all the way from home. The men got together and started moving all the animals towards the barns.
The wind was starting to pick up and the woman scrambled to start gathering the food and get it inside before the winds blew it off the table. The kids grabbed all the table cloths, napkins, plates and silverware that didn’t blow away in the wind.
Once the men were done with the animals, they started to move the furniture in the living room and the family room so the tables could be brought in and set up again. The food was almost ready.
Annie took the 2 turkeys out and put them on the table while the others were trying to set up the tables in the other rooms. They put the kids in one room and the adults in the other. The older kids were complaining about their being a separate room for them.
The older kids were told to sit with the little ones and keep and eye on them. It wasn’t a request. Moods were getting testy.
They finally got all the tables set up and places for everyone and Annie headed to the kitchen and Sarah screamed suddenly, then Annie. Half the grownups went to Annie and half to Sarah.
Sarah screamed again. “I’m in labor, oh God, no, it is too early.” Johnnie grabbed her and started to ease her out to their truck. “We gotta go, Sarah’s too early for birthing that baby. We’re going to the hospital.”
Annie went to check the dinner and came crying into the room. “The turkeys are gone. Simply gone,” she cried out.
Everyone heads to the kitchen and the 2 platters are empty and they were large birds. The back door was open and when Henry went to close it, he found 4 dogs gnawing on turkey bones. The turkeys were gone for good and no time to cook anymore.
Sarah in labor and the 2 turkeys stolen by the dogs. What a Thanksgiving dinner was had that year.
Now this didn’t happen with turkeys. Our dog ate a whole chocolate cake I had made for a friend. We put it on the counter back and left. Not realizing the dog was big enough to put his paws up there and pull it towards him. We found the pan days later under the couch. Not a crumb of cake was found.
Just goes to show that chocolate does not always make a dog sick.