11.14.2008

The Turkey and the Chicken

When my sons were 8 and 9, they were in Boy Scouts and we had the annual bake sale/raffle, Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I remember this day very well. I had $6.00 to my name and knew I couldn't possibly afford a turkey and all the trimmings. It was going to be a pretty grim Thanksgiving. I was eyeballing chickens and wondering how fooled the boys would be.

There was a family at the bake sale that evening that I had kind of put on a shelf in the back of my mind – affluent, intelligent, married (I was the only divorcee in the room of 20 families), and beautiful with equally beautiful twin boys, age 9. I wasn't in their realm.

The scouts were supposed to make their own cake. Home made by the boys. There would be a prize for the best cake – a 20 pound fresh turkey, and all the trimmings including a Pumpkin Pie.

My mind slithered back to the soap box derby, where the boys are supposed to make a screaming racing car out of a block of wood, *by*themselves* At the derby, the twins showed up with a cherry-red, cherried-out, speed demon race car that won hands down! My son showed up with a hand carved by him (with a little inadequate help from me), lemon colored (for a reason) obviously home-made car that wouldn't even roll an inch without help.

So here we are at the bake sale/raffle, the rich twins sporting an absolutely beautiful beehive cake with yellow and white striped icing, and little furry bees on toothpicks "hovering" over the beehive which looked to be done by some elite French chef. And our cake, Mr. Happy Face, which was bumpy and wavy, black frosting smeared into a half-assed circle with a crooked little smile and two globs for eyes – the saddest cake I have ever seen.

I grumbled to myself. I had decided I was going to buy the cake back for $2.00, leaving me $4.00. I could still get that damned chicken.

It was getting darned close to disaster time in my family as our misshapen cake, made totally by my son, was sitting forlorn and lonely as all the other cakes were being raffled off – it was down to the beehive cake or the happy face cake.

Bee Family bought my cake AND theirs!

I felt a strange twisting in my gut – I was bitter and angry and jealous and peeved and crabby. They could have bought all 20 cakes! And of course, Bee Family won the turkey dinner. It was a test for me to practice sweetness in the face of total disaster.

I told myself that this was a good thing. I still had SIX dollars to buy my "chicken" dinner. And spare change to get two ice cream cones for two pretty sad little boys.

We got to our car and I was loading the kids in, when Mr. Bee came up to me with this HUGE box, the hump of a gigantic turkey peering over the edge; potatoes, stuffing, Pumpkin Pie, the WORKS. "We've already got our turkey – this would just go to waste – would you mind taking it off our hands?"

Well, I tell ya, I could hardly talk to him as I choked up and teared up and tried to wrestle all those nasty feelings that were turning around in my head.

There are many things to be thankful for. I am always thankful that my thoughts didn't come out of my mouth.

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7 comments:

Cindy H. said...

Jeanie:
What a beautiful story. Thanksgiving indeed!

truly said...

Jeanie:

Wow - what an awesome story. We have so much to be grateful for and yet we humans are so shallow at times. Thanks for reminding me that the little things are the biggest.

Truly/Julie

MarmiteToasty said...

Truely wonderful story......

Not quite the same but...... a couple of weeks ago I interviewed a woman that was after childminding of her 2 kids (3 and 9 months) come Febuary, she was a teacher and she was doing the rounds of this villages childminders.... 6-7 she had been to... most of the others (friends included) live in biggish newish houses, with both a mum and dad present in the family, and most of the other minders have a seperate room like a playroom where they childmind... all with neat little gardens and teak garden furniture LOL...... so different from my little house...... well the woman came and went...... I knew there was no chance that I would get the job (and boy do I need this job come Feb - cant explain here)... but she did ring me and ask for another appointment with her boys... as she did one other childminder (who is me best friend lol)..... but she didnt turn up for the appointment, she sent her husband with the kids, he is a copper (so I thought she was just being polite and that me matie with her wonderful playroom had got the job), well this bloke didnt stay the 30 minutes she was suppose to..... he stayed 2 hours LOL..... we talked about everything under the sun, I made excuses that i had piles of ironing on the side and that the kitchen floor could do with a scrub, and as we stood in the kitchen Janet me chicken walked in the back door LMFAO.... I shooed her out thinking this would really seal the deal, I JUST WANTED HIM TO leave, i KNEW I wouldnt get the job, not my little house, not me with the ironing and the chicken and the cats....

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT.... out of the 7 minders in their posh houses and their neat gardens and there 2 parent 2 car family..... I GOT THE JOB..... they said they LOVED me and my home, and loved that the kids would not be shoved in a playroom and that all my toys and equipment are here in the middle of my home, and they felt that this was truely a home filled with love and noise and music and ironing lmfao.......

So, it just goes to show.... I didnt think I was good enough..... some of me childminding friends have spend thousands on playrooms.... yet they choose me cos I didnt have one LOL.....

I almost kissed them lol they loved that the nippers would be allowed to dig in the veggie plot and get muddy and that I would take them to the seaside and that my home would be their home.....

they liked me for me and the way I had no airs and graces, I was just me....

I was gobsmacked..... and boy do I need this job :)..

sorry for waffling lol

x

MarmiteToasty said...

bloody hell, Im so sorry lmfao

x

JeanieSpokane said...

Marmie! What a GREAT story! I need to share that with Huckleberries for sure. It's us real people that are the winners, for sure! I'm so glad you are my friend! Heaps of love to you!

Jim Brand and Jana Tritto said...

Jeanie and Marmie; you two are my new best friends. I love your beautiful, melodic, and heartstirring stories. I also relate on so many levels to your experiences, as well. This is wunnerful!!! I'm so glad to have found you.

MarmiteToasty said...

Good job Jim and Jana ya like our melodic beauty cos my name is actually MELODY lmfao..... I am the one that is glad that you stumbled into the doors of Dingleberries...... :)....

*waving at Jeannie LOL

x