In the steel gray-blue light of morning, right before the sun comes up, there is just enough light to see.
Enough light to look in on all the sleeping faces of the people that I am most thankful for...covering the stray foot or two that has escaped the blankets.
Enough light to make sure I don't step on the cats as I make a bleary-eyed trek down the hall.
Enough light that I can release the hounds, and they won't be begging to come back in right away.
In the still quiet of the early morning, I ponder all the little things that make me grateful every day, alongside the big ones.
But what I'm really pondering, dreading, and up in this early morning for right now, is the turkey.
I've often wondered why people get so intimidated by cooking a turkey. Afterall, it's just like roasting a giant chicken.
Although, wrestling one out of its protective plastic wrapper ranks right up there with trying to open a condom in a hurry. You really need it out of the protective packaging. But your hands are slippery, and the once-conveniently wrapped package is just all over the place while you are scrambling to keep it where you need it.
I know lots of people are in urgent cares and ERs today with knife issues, but how many of them are there because the unwieldy bird fell off the counter onto their foot? (Twenty pounds, falling from a 3 1/2 foot counter; it doesn't take a math genius to tell you that's gonna hurt.)
I feel bad, for Mr Turkey too. Maybe because I'm a woman, and know the indignity of having someone up to their elbow inside you, removing precious cargo (a baby, in my case; that package of mysterious innards, in Mr Turkey's case). At any rate, I am a little sympathetic, for this naked bird sitting in my sink, and almost want to say a few words of comfort to him. Words of comfort are all I can offer at this point, as dinner and a movie are no longer an option.
Why, why, why can't they put the neck AND the innards in the same cavity? Is it really necessary to have to invade the poor bird from both ends?? Hasn't he suffered enough for me?
After nearly severing a finger removing that plastic harness that binds the legs together, I moved on to seasoning. I think this is also a problem for some folks, because there is no way around it: this is where you really have to touch it, rub it, and revisit the cavity again; and I think it would be nice to just shove the thing in the oven, and skip the rubbing of the outside with butter, or oil. Oh, I get over my girly sense of ewww (at this point, I remind myself, you wanted to be a doctor?), and I season it up. No one likes a bland bird, and nothing will move me to tears more than a failed cooking attempt.
Which is really what this is all about, isn't it? Your loved ones come together, for a few hours of goodwill that will hopefully carry on throughout the year, or at least until Christmas, and you don't want to let them down by making turkey jerky. You cook the bird, and are rewarded, thankfully, by its golden goodness; all memory of its sad nakedness forgotten, you inhale that wonderful smell and tell everyone it's almost time to eat.
Which brings me back to all the things I'm thankful for, that I'm putting in another entry.
No room here, what with that giant chicken taking up all the space.