Fires, Family and Furious Shopping

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend passed just as I had hoped, with food, family, fun, and ferocious on-line shopping.  And fire.  Don’t forget the fire.  

My mother and grandmother passed down the story of the twenty pound turkey that caught the oven on fire.  It was spoken of in reverent tones, tinged a little with fear, the perfect kind of cautionary tale.  The bird was simply too big.  The grease was simply too copious.  The oven too hot.  


The story never progressed beyond this, just somber and knowing looks all around. 

Did you buy a turkey this year?  Couldn’t find a small one, could you?  Me, either. 

So, an hour into roasting, and the house filling with smoke, I decided to have a look, and in so doing, adding the third element of combustion, oxygen. Up came the flames, and after a couple of boxes of baking soda, most of them were out.  But maybe not all.  911 and I discussed this, even as I heard the sirens on their way from the No. 4 fire station.

By the time the two policemen, the ladder truck, the pumper truck, and the ambulance arrived, everything was out.  Fire terrifies me, thank you “Wizard of Oz,” so I always err on the side of caution.  And such a nice bunch of young men.  Reassuring, helpful, opening windows and bringing in that nice powerful fan to remove the smoke. 

It scared my neighbors, but brought offers of another oven, offers of help and plates of food.  My sister always makes a turkey, too, so she saved the day and has called often to remind me of it.

We had a baby to pass around this year, but mostly I got to rock him to sleep and then hold him for the duration of his nap.  When anyone tried to relieve me of him, I jiggled his leg to make his startle, then told the interloper we best not disturb him.  He and I stayed like that until it was time to go home.  I looked all apologetic at his light sleeping habits, but I wasn’t sorry,, not at all.

My nephews were home with their dogs, who just love me.  I am not much of a pet person, so this guarantees no matter where I go, dogs lick my hands and jump up on me, cats rub around my ankles and silently hop onto the furniture when I’m not looking, the better to peer deep into my eyes. The toddlers I really want to play with?  I am dead to them.

Reading’s dog, Kobe, will stay with his grandparents for the week.  He pulled one of his master’s sweatshirts out of his bag, and flopped down on it.  I am told he will pine for Reading until he returns, moving from the sweatshirt to the front door and back again.  It’s sweet, and pitiful, and I don’t know what all. 

Friday I spent over an hour attempting to buy a 2022 planner on a Taiwanese website.  I am fussy about planners and am convinced the right one will change my life in all the good ways.  I will be taller, thinner, smarter, more accomplished.  This one has Tomoe River paper, of which I am quite fond.  Vertical weeks, month at a glance pages in a handsome grid pattern. 

A pal of mine likes calendars, too, whispering like it might be a great shame she gets new calendars all year long when the old ones get messy.  Oh, I get it. 

Somewhere in this calendar buying, she also posted on Facebook a photo of a new notebook she bought, something to give her that last little push to finish the semester and the year with success.  So, I had to check those out, too.  

They are Decomposition notebooks, made completely with recycled materials, which I often eschew because I don’t like the paper.  But these are great.  The size and shape of traditional composition books, they have wonderful covers and inside illustrations, and I bought several, to end my year right and organize me, too.

When they arrived I felt like John Boy on Christmas Eve with his stack of Big Chief tablets.  This friend of mine is cool, but she is starting to cost me money.  I admit I am “other directed,” a fancy term for being a follower, all shallow and insecure.   But right this minute, I am organized and creative, and too cool to hang around here much longer. And tall, don’t forget tall.

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