Twas the night before Thanksgiving and all through the house, not a creature was stirring….except for Mama who was staring at a partially thawed turkey, wondering what time her family would actually be able to eat tomorrow.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds because Papa had yelled at them to stay out of the kitchen. “I need to finish these pies tonight!!!” he shouted, graham cracker crumbs flying.

And Mama in her apron and Papa dotted with sweat, together opened the wine purchased for their guests. When suddenly from the boy’s room there arose such a clatter, Mama chugged her glass then sprang …okay, walked begrudgingly, to see what was the matter.

What to her wondering eyes did appear but two mischievous boys laughing and telling jokes with no regard for the fact that it was late and everyone needed to be asleep NOW. With a pointed reminder so stern and quick, everyone got quiet lickety split.

More rapid than coursers Mama and Papa worked, making pies, dicing vegetables, wondering if they had a proper substitute for buttermilk somewhere in the house.

And then in a twinkling Papa heard on the steps, the complaints of a child who wasn’t tired yet. As Papa drew in his head and was turning around, he emphatically growled he didn’t care, get to bed and DON’T MAKE A SOUND!!!!

A bundle of flour fell to the floor, and Mama wondered if she could make the dog lick it up. Another glass of wine she did pour.

Mama’s eyes, how they watered from the onions so strong, her cheeks were like roses, her nose like a cherry… clearly, the wine was kicking in.

A wink of Papa’s eye and a nod of his head, meant soon all would be done and they could head upstairs to bed.

They spoke not a word, preferring to listen to Pandora’s alternative dance radio channel, and finished their work. Packed up the refrigerator and turned with a jerk.

And laying her finger beside her nose, Mama left a big smudge of pie crust that Papa had to laugh at.

They sprung into bed, feet aching, backs tired, hoping tomorrow the kids would at least try some of the food they just spent hours prepping.

But Mama exclaimed, as fresh shouts arose from the baby monitor, “Happy Thanksgiving indeed.If I have to go in there one more time…” And to the boys she yelled, ‘Good night!’ through a vent in the floor.

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The Night Before Thanksgiving

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