Without meaning to, we enjoyed our first vegetarian Thanksgiving. The turkey, the one my sister pulled from the oven an hour earlier, the one with the broken thermometer under its wing that read 180 degrees sat mostly brown on the counter. Which was when she and I shrugged and said, “uh, I don’t think we should eat that,” and shoved ol’ Tom back in the oven. We’d have him for dessert.
Our families circled in the kitchen and uttered our gratitude one-at-a-time. Only I could have listened longer to hear the whole of my son’s thanks. He started with closets and gardens and the pants he was wearing. At which time he remembered Jesus and the sun, and…then we cut him off. It was someone else’s turn.
My sister’s in-laws had also joined us. As did her father-in-law’s sister. And her father-in-law’s sister’s dog, Oreo–an overweight Chihuahua—who would, um, eat from my sister’s father in-law’s sister’s lap at the table and then release his bowels on the carpet at the sound of the smoke alarm.
Only the latter may never have happened had the power not gone out at 5:33 p.m. Or had we not lit every tea light my sister owned. And then accidentally blown some out…
Causing a subtle stream of smoke to near the ceiling and signal the smoke alarm.
At which time it chirped…
Causing Oreo to yip his way to hyperventilation and then lose his dinner…
On my sister’s white carpet and down the hall.
Only none of us could see so accurately. Except with a tea light held to the ground or the seven pound prehistoric flashlight extracted from the trunk of someone’s car.
Which was when we slumped on the couch and laughed harder than we would’ve with a bunch of lights.
We had so many things to be thankful for—our health, our homes, our kids, our finally-cooked turkey, a black dog in its cage. At 9:19, we even had electricity.
God is good.
Forever. Always. And even in the thick of things.