Did you have a nice Thanksgiving? No arguments, no kitchen disasters, no travel problems, no awkward moments meeting new relatives for the first time?

I’m sure all of us can remember a few Thanksgivings when everything was not as perfect as the Hallmark holiday specials we see every year. So let”s reach back into our memory bank and laugh at those Thanksgiving bloopers.

I still laugh at our Thanksgiving in Algona, Iowa in 1967. My son was only a month old and we were hosting the affair in an old rented farmhouse. Family was coming from Detroit Lakes and cousins from Des Moines were also on the guest list.

Things went quite smoothly, the conversation flowed and lots of attention was given to the newest member of the family. Our German Shepherd dog, Lobo, was banned from the farmyard during our festive visit.

As we were saying good-byes to one another, we made sure they had an ample supply of left-overs to take with them. We told them to call us when they made it home safely.

The phone rang a few hours later and our cousin was perplexed. It seems their left-over turkey tucked securely in the trunk of the car was missing. We immediately zeroed in on the culprit.

While loading up the car, they made several trips back and forth, leaving the trunk open. Lobo saw an opportunity to have his Thanksgiving dinner and went for it, quickly hiding the evidence somewhere in the farmyard.

We still laugh at the tale of the missing turkey 52 years later.

This year I was bringing a pumpkin pie. Simple, right. Just stick it in the oven, bake 65-75 minutes and take it out. Well, never read the small print. It said if you think the crust is getting too brown, put foil on it. Not as easy as it seems. I did just that, but when I removed the foil, part of the filling came off with the crust. So now my smooth pie topping looks like a bumpy gravel road. Oh well, cover it with whip cream and no one will know the difference!

Weather this year was not nice to holiday travelers. Mother nature sent three storms back-to-back. It made arriving at grandma’s house a little tricky.

The winter of 1962, during our first year of marriage, we drove from Grand Forks to rural Detroit Lakes to spend Thanksgiving with my in-laws. A huge snowfall the day before left several inches of snow on the roads.

We almost made it, only a few miles to go and we got stuck in a snowbank. A kind farmer rescued us with his tractor. Yes, weather does leave a ton of memories in our holiday stories.

This Thanksgiving my granddaughter brought her first boyfriend to visit for the first time. We were all anxious to meet him. I think we all fell in love with Blake and knew he would be a wonderful addition to our family. We hoped Katie felt the same way.

I’m anxiously awaiting the Christmas holidays. I hope to gather more family memories to share. Bye.


Jean Lemmon is a columnist for The Fergus Falls Daily Journal.

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