Well, Thanksgiving is over and boy are we stuffed! This year, we spent the holiday with our dear neighbor and their family. We live close enough that normally, we’d just go down to my family’s house for Thanksgiving, but due to my husband’s schedule, we needed to stay a bit closer to home this time. It was a bit strange to enjoy the holiday with our friend and her family, but was also nice to revert back to the military-family tradition we’ve shared for so many years in the past.
Normally, if we are stationed away from family, we like to adopt a bunch of single soldiers or small families and do a big feast in our home. I’ll never forget my favorite Thanksgiving to date. We were stationed in Germany and had invited a group of my hubby’s guys over for the day. We lived close enough to their barracks so they decided just to walk to our home. As I opened the door to greet them, the largest soldier stood there grinning from ear-to-ear and presented me with a pecan pie. He was so happy he’d remembered to bring something to dinner. When I went to prepare the pie, I noticed it had already been half-eaten. The big lug just laughed and informed us it was a longer walk than they thought to get to our house, and he’d gotten hungry on the way and had to have a snack. God Bless Our Troops. These guys and gals never fail to warm the heart.
A few years after the pie incident, we were stationed back in the states,but still not close enough to go home for the holidays. We of course, enjoyed another military-family feast, and invited some close friends over to spend the day together. I was very nervous for this day, because we had just moved to our new home and we were just beginning to get to know the guests we’d invited, so I wanted to make doubly sure everything was absolutely perfect. I made the most beautiful turkey, golden and juicy and smelled so wonderful. As I began working on other side dishes, I asked my husband to please make sure the turkey was done and felt the worst dread of my life when I heard ‘Uh Oh’….
My darling husband, in his infinite wisdom, (and only 15 minutes before our guests were due to arrive) checked the turkey in a man-mode type of way. He took a knife and stabbed the very top of the turkey and the whole thing just split straight down the middle. (He has since learned to properly use a meat thermometer!) OH MY GOSH!! I can’t even tell you how horrified I was when I turned around and saw that poor mutilated bird! Nor how angry I was when I looked up to see him grinning saying ‘It’s done!’. Thankfully, our wonderful neighbors had an extra turkey that we were able to pop in the oven, so we took the mutilated turkey, cut it and placed it around the newly cooked turkey as decoration. Thanksgiving was saved, but my husband still hasn’t lived that particular day down!
What do you do when you are away from family? Do you adopt soldiers and their families or do you keep it simple within your own family? What funny stories do you have?