Harry smelled the turkey when he walked in the kitchen. What he really smelled was the sage in the dressing, but Harry associated one smell with the other. In fact, he probably always would, especially after last year.
Mom’s hands were dripping from the eggs that she was placing in the mixture for the pecan pie. Harry hugged her as he swiped a taste of the batter. Harry loved to visit his Mom in the kitchen, ever since he was a kid.
He navigated through to his Dad in the living room. He and his kid brother were watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade. His Wife Molly was coming through the door with the broccoli casserole and sweet potato soufflé that her Mom had made. It was their first Thanksgiving since they had married in September.
The Oliver Family and the Maxwell family were now one group, and everyone loved it. Thanksgiving was special to them all, but especially since it was what brought them all together to start with. Harry remembered last year well. He was sent out to get more chicken broth and sage in an emergency run. Dad had chickened out and volunteered his firstborn instead.
Harry had expected crowds of fellow shoppers. He told himself to watch for people that ranged from mildly irritated to horribly mean. These were sad victims of forgotten shopping items from the week before. As he pulled into the grocery store, he was ready for anything. Except that he wasn’t prepared for the thump he heard as he backed into an empty parking space.
He sighed, grabbed his insurance information and got out. “I’m sorry I didn’t think I was anywhere near another car.” “Who are you talking too?” Harry looked around. No one was in the space behind him. Hearing a voice but seeing no one not only confused him, it scared him a little.
It only took a couple of seconds, but he was relieved to realize the voice was coming from the person parked to his right. “I heard a noise and was afraid I hit the car behind me. Since there isn’t a car there I don’t guess I have to worry.” He grinned at the young lady parked beside him. She smiled back, “Do you make a habit of hitting invisible vehicles?”
“No maim, I try to avoid both kinds, visible and invisible ones. Still, I know I heard something.” “I did too, but I’m not sure what it was.” Harry offered to help her load her car. It looked like she had forgotten to shop for Thanksgiving dinner period. She thanked him, and agreed.
They made small talk for a short while and then she pulled off. That’s when he turned to head inside to the store, and fell flat on his face. Molly saw this in the rear view mirror and stopped the jeep. She got out to see if he was okay, or if this was some ploy to keep talking to her. He was cute so she didn’t mind either way.
“What did you trip over?” Harry shook his head, “I don’t know.” “First you hit an imaginary car, now you trip over something else that wasn’t there?” Of course, there was something there, and they both couldn’t help but laugh when they saw it.
It was the same thing that he had hit when he parked. They didn’t see it because it was barely sticking out from his back tire. It was a partially frozen, bruised fourteen pound “Sage Bros” turkey. To be more precise, it was Molly’s fourteen pound “Sage Bros” turkey. It had slipped off her cart on the way to the car.
They both laughed as she helped Harry stand. “Can I ask you, did you forget about Thanksgiving? Most people don’t wait until today to buy a turkey.” She beamed from ear to ear. “My Dad was stationed overseas, he wasn’t supposed to make it home for Thanksgiving.”
“Mom and Dad were going to celebrate with my brother and I the first week of December when his project was over. There was a change of plans and they showed up from Germany this morning. They said that we would just have a simple dinner, but I insisted on a complete Thanksgiving spread.”
Harry looked at the wounded bird, “That’s wonderful, but I don’t think that your turkey is going to be fit to eat now.” “I can always get another one, no grocery store wants to run out of turkey on Thanksgiving.” They spent a wonderful fifteen minutes together in the store, and started their goodbyes.
Harry stopped her before she pulled out, “I could come up with some excuse, but I’d like to get to know you better. Can I have your number? I promise not to hit any more turkeys.” She laughed and they exchanged numbers.
Harry told his parents about the beautiful girl as soon as he got home. He had expected to call her first, but was happily surprised to hear his cell phone ring after he got home. “Harry, are you missing anything?”
He was sorely tempted to respond with a corny “Just you”, but didn’t. “Not that I know of, why?” She laughed, “Remind me not to ever send you to the store. You left your sage and chicken broth in my bag with the turkey.”
Harry apologized and left the house with the intention of simply retrieving the forgotten items. His Mother grinned at his Dad. They knew what Harry found out twenty minutes later. He never made it home for Thanksgiving dinner. It had been his first Thanksgiving dinner with Molly Maxwell. This year was his first Thanksgiving with Molly Oliver. All thanks to a can of sage, and a frozen “Sage Bros” brand turkey.