TGD2K November 27, 2000
Monday November 27, 2000 10:18:12 PM

Thanksgiving Day has always been my favorite holiday. I like to think of myself as a thankful person and I like to try to inspire thankfulness and gratitude in others. I also like turkey.

I have come to like turkey even more in the past four years than I did before. In 1996 my then fiancé aand I spent TGD in Arizona with my Dad. It was during this visit that I was first exposed to what has become a yearly tradition in the Waggener household. My Dad smoked a turkey and with the first bite I vowed that the next TGD I would smoke my own.

This year I smoked my fourth turkey. It is also, less rewardingly, a tradition that the turkey doesn't find it's way into the smoker before 11 pm. Part of the reason this is due to the fact that TGD always being on a Thursday, the night before is always a Wednesday and we don't get home from church on Wednesday nights until about 8:30. The main part of the reason, though is that cleaning out the smoker is inevitably procrastinated for 364 days...

I had help this year that I haven't had before. Actually, help may be an exaggeration. I had company. The stray cat who has adopted us, RacoonTail- Cooney for short (so named for his racoon-like tail), spent the whole night and part of the morning alternatively weaving in and out between my feet, and curled up on the deck chair beside the smoker.

A couple of slight mishaps didn't prevent me from successfully producing a finely smoked 12 lb turkey. Not once, but twice, in the process of removing the chip bowl from the smoker to add charcoal, I dumped a bunch of water on the fire. Each time a tremendous cloud of steam engulfed me and convinced me the show was over, but each time the fire came back to life. The turkey wasn't quite as smoky as they have been in past years, but was still a resounding success. The kind of success that makes leftover turkey sandwiches not a dreary chore to be finished off, but a treat to be anticipated. A toasted sesame seed bun, some mayo, a slice of cheese, a few strips of bacon, and a nice, thick slab of home-smoked tureky breast makes a combination that is hard to beat.

As in all the recent years past, we had two manditory destinations on TGD as on most major holidays. The order may change, but each year we have to go to Ruth's folk's house and to Aun't Mary's house. This year we went to the Denby's house first.

Isaiah is becoming quite handy with a fork. He can manage well enough to basically help himself to a whole plateful of food (he still needs a bib, though). He put on quite a show eating his turkey and mashed potatoes. Especially the mashed potatoes. Just because he can use a fork doesn't mean he always does.

After lunch he wore himself out playing with cars in the Denby's living room and running wild in their backyard. He's such a cute little fellow and so tough. He'll take off running until he falls down, then get back up and take off again. He's like Kroger in the way he'll just run and run and run until he can't run anymore. It's no wonder that as soon as we got all packed in the van to go to Aunt Mary's house he fell asleep.

On Friday I worked ½ day on the holiday to do some catching up. That afternoon, Ruth and Isaiah put together the Xmas tree. Ruth loves doing that sort of thing and I am more than pleased to let her enjoy herself with it. Isaiah had fun "helping" Mommy with the ornaments as I looked on. He has an ornament that Miss Amy, his Play Pals teacher made for each of her students last year. He knows its his and he knows where it came from. He likes to go up to the tray and touch his ornament and say "Pals!".

Saturday I put in another ½ day and the remainder of the day was spent relaxing and hanging around the house. That evening, though, we took a ride in the van looking for Xmas tree lights. The grey and wet-ish weather of Friday and Saturday had kept the numbers of decorated houses down, but we found a few and Isaiah enjoyed looking at the lights.

Isaiah's 2nd Xmas may even un-humbug me!

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