The day before, with the help of their red haired daughter, Morgan, they had set the round tables with rust and brown colored tablecloths and napkins. Each table had a centerpiece of yellow and orange mums interspersed with multicolored leaves.
The fall is my favorite season with its beautiful colors and crisp, fresh air. Of course down in the LA area we don't get too much crisp air, but the Salinas area was beautiful. Thanksgiving is also my favorite holiday—no gifts to buy, wrap and worry about, no major house decorating, and no required church service. Of course, at the dinner table we always go around the table, giving thanks for the past year's blessings. No matter how bad a year it may have been, we can always be grateful for our friends and family and that we have enough (more than enough) to eat.
On Thanksgiving morning my husband, Joe, and I stopped at Sam's for a light breakfast of croissants and strong coffee. Sam and Carol's house is located in a beautiful, wooded area and it was good to see the results of all the work they had put into making it comfortable. Other family members including our son, Bill, and his family were there having just arrived from Idaho.
Will, our 11 year old grandson, was going through his repertoire of turkey jokes. At that time his life's ambition was to be a stand up comic.
We paid closer attention when he qualified one, saying it might be unsuitable for children. His mother jumped in and said, “Well maybe you better not tell it.”
He brushed her objections aside, “Oh, Mom, don't worry. It's just a joke.” Then asked, “Does anyone know why you can't take a turkey to church?”
Grandpa Joe played along with him. “Gee, I don't know. Why can't you?”
Trying to suppress a grin, Will replied, “They use FOWL language.”
When his captive audience finished groaning, he continued on. “What happened when the turkey got into a fight?”
Winn, Will's younger brother, yelled out, “Oh I know that one. The turkey got the stuffing knocked out of him.”
Will gave him a dirty look. “Winn, you heard me rehearsing. You're not allowed to answer any.” But he didn't let the interruption stop him, he went on.
“I bet no one else knows what you get when you cross a turkey with a banjo?”
Before anyone could disappoint Will, I jumped in to reassure him, “I don't have a clue. What do you get?”
This time, Will had to cover his mouth to keep from laughing as he explained, “A turkey that can pluck itself.”
Carol said, “Thank heavens, when you buy a turkey now they're already plucked and ready for the oven. Of course, this year I didn't even have to shop for one since the chef at the club is doing all the cooking.”
Morgan shouted, “Hey everyone. Look out the window. Guess who's coming to dinner?”
We all turned our heads to look out the big picture window overlooking the rural road at the side of the house.
“Oh, my gosh,” I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I and everyone else went outside to get a better look. Mitzi, the little dachshund, was barking her head off.
Down the road, walking erratically as if they hadn't a care in the world, came a flock of white, wild turkeys. Mitzi was going crazy trying to drive off the intruders. It was wonderful. I had never seen a flock of turkeys before.
Winn laughed, “Hey, don't they know it's a dangerous day. They could get eaten.”
Morgan said, “No, they know everyone's already got their turkey. So they're safe for another year.”
I added, “Well, it is Thanks Giving day. They must be thankful they aren't on a dinner table.” Will, of course, had the last word. Although I think he must have been thinking about another holiday, Fourth of July – Independence Day.
He asked another of his 'fowl' questions. “What did the turkey say to the man who tried to shoot it?”
Winn's eyes lit up and he opened his mouth, but Will, with perfect timing, jumped in with the answer.
“Liberty, equality and bad aim for all.”