Jingle Bell Blog Fest: Linda Swift

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 Tis The Season
        We had just moved to Alabama a few months before Christmas. My husband returned to Kentucky to bring our daughter home from college for the holidays and he also brought my widowed mother, his mother and her husband. They were to arrive in the early afternoon so I had the morning to prepare the turkey and dressing.
        Not bothering to dress while cooking, I was wearing a faded chenille robe, floppy houseshoes, no makeup and had my hair in rollers. Things were going well as I attended other tasks while the bird basted in a plastic brown-n-serve bag. The stove timer alerted me that the bird was done and I removed the roasting pan and placed it on the stovetop. I was eager to get those succulent juices into the bowl of dressing I was mixing, so I attempted to move the pan to the counter across the room. It was heavier than I anticipated and the bird started sliding and ended up on the kitchen floor. 
        The bag burst and turkey broth spilled onto the floor and my fuzzy slippers while I stood in horrified shock. Then I went into action, grabbed a roll of paper towels and mopped up as much as I could.  I managed to get the turkey back onto the pan and hoisted it to the counter, lamenting the loss of that essential broth.
        While I mopped, I had a few choice words for Tom Turkey and the bag he browned in as I tried to figure out the best way to save the day. At least, this disaster had occurred while I was alone in the house and still had plenty of time to clean up the kitchen and myself. It was a moment before I heard the sound of a car horn in the driveway above my dark mutterings. And just then my husband stuck his head in the kitchen door and said with a wide grin, “Surprise. We got here early.”
        “Go drive around the block!” I snarled, as he crossed the kitchen with open arms to greet me with a kiss. Instead he slipped on the still-slick floor and clutched at me to steady himself, bringing us both down in a tangle. And we were thrashing about like two lovers in the throes of passion when the others appeared in the doorway.
        “Don’t come in,” I yelled.
        “Well, did you ever?” my mother-in-law said to my mother as they stopped in the doorway in shocked disbelief.
        I finally disentangled myself and struggled up, while I tried to explain the situation. My daughter led her grandparents to the front door while my husband got a mop to clean the floor. I went to greet the family properly, then got dressed and returned to cope with the situation. I found some chicken broth in the pantry and my mother mixed the dressing while I grappled with the bird. He was nice and brown and looked rather regal when I placed him on a platter. 
        “Did you remember to take the giblet bag out of it?” My M-I-L asked as she eyed the bird with suspicion.
        “Oh, yes, I did.” I would have thought she’d forgotten that incident from my early marriage by now.
        M-I-L made slaw while my daughter set the table. The men brought in the luggage and presents while we finished dinner preparations.  I reminded myself that all’s well that end’s well as we sat at table savoring the holiday feast. But I couldn’t help but notice that my M-I-L was eating dressing without any turkey.  
Linda Swift divides her time between her native state of Kentucky and Florida. She has been writing since she was ten and is an award winning author of published poetry, articles, short stories, and a TV play. Her first two books were published by Kensington.

     Linda’s holiday ebooks are THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS, Awe-Struck, and LET NOTHING YOU DISMAY, The Wild Rose Press. CIRCLE OF LOVE, TWRP, and HUMANLY SPEAKING (prose poems), Willow Moon Publishing, are available in ebook and print.  Her Civil War historical, two contemporary fiction and one Haiku collection will be released in 2011


  1. I’d like to thank LASR for inviting me to share the Jimgle Bells Blogfest and I hope you enjoy another Christmas remembrance today. All those I’ve read this week have been poignant and sentimental but I’ve chosen to share a story that I hope will make you smile. And I wish all who read today a Happy New Year. I’ll be back later to reply to your comments, in between preparing for a New Year’s dinner party. No, I’m not baking a turkey!

  2. I did more than smile I laughed out loud. I once ended up with Apricot Chicken all over my kitchen floor. It’s NOT funny at the time but…


  3. I know what you mean, Marybelle. At the time, it’s a total disaster but it makes a great family memory. All three of the parents are gone now, but they live in our hearts and especially at holidays. Thanks for coming by. Linda

  4. Made me smile. Stories like this makes the holiday one to remember!

  5. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall watching this! I am sure you laugh about it now, but I am sure it was not funny at the time 🙂

  6. Hi Jerri. It was so nice of you to stop and leave a comment. And yes, this is one Christmas I won’t forget! I don’t often bake a turkey now.

  7. Yes, Judy, this is one of our favorite family stories that we laugh about even yet. We made memories that day but it only seemed like a disaster to try and forget at the time. Thanks for taking time to leave a comment. I appreicate it.

  8. LINDA–I didn’t have a problem imagining this! It was bad enough,but to have your MIL see it? That was the worst part! Thanks for the memory, written in your usual witty, clever manner. Loved it. Celia

  9. Linda, OMGosh! What a story. I would have DIED. LOL!! You are a brave one to share it, but I suspect we all have a story or two in our hip pockets that are similiar! A great post about the mishaps of the holidays. Thanks for sharing.


  10. Yes, Celia, my MIL could never figure out what my husband saw in me, I don’t think. She was Mrs. Perfect cook and housekeeper and trim and cute besides. But she tolerated me quite well considering…….

  11. Thanks for stopping by, Steph, and for your comiseration. I have found if you can laugh at yourself and accept all your own blundering, and share the laughs with other people, life can be fun. But hey, I was a lot older than you are before I learned that!

  12. Way too funny. I once threw a steak at the wall. No – not on purpose. I somehow slipped and the steak went flying. You’ll have to put this scene in a book now. LOL

  13. Ciara, you were spot on. I did, but the womoan was an unmarried college professor who was cooking TG dinner for her old love and his children. It’s in Circle of Love at The Wild Rose Press. Yes, we use what we have when we write, don’t we?

  14. What a funny story. It happens to the best of us!

    For contest answer: Linda’s turkey slipped out of the pan, burst the bag, and landed on the floor!

  15. Thanks, Danielle, for stopping by. Nobody could be busier than you are but you always offer your support. I’m very grateful.

  16. Chiming in a bit late, but I had to add my “funny” to the list of others–at the same time saying it wasn’t funny at the time. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Hi Linda,
    Great story. Did anyone take a photo of you and your hubby in the “throes of passion” on the kitchen floor. Now that would have been a classic.



  18. Hi Judy, thanks for stopping by. You know the saying, better late than never and I do appreciate it. No, it wasn’t funny at the time but we’ve had a lot of laughs about it since. Happy New Year

  19. Hello Margaret. No, I’m afraid everyone was too shocked to think of a camera. It was chaos around there for a while. I can never remember whether your clocks are ahead or behind us but I think your New Year’s Eve is almost over. Anyway, I wish you and yours a happy new year. Linda

  20. Fun story, Linda. It will always be a funny memory to share with grandchildren.

  21. Thanks for visiting and reading my story. And yes, it would be a great story to tell my grandchildren, but I don’t have any. My loss. So I just enjooy the ones who belong to my friends.

  22. Oh LInda 🙂 Thanks for sharing and giving me a great laugh. I can just imagine your horror as all that great organisation shipped out the window.
    I, too thought it would make a grat scene in one of your books and now I know it’s already in one I’m off to hunt it down.
    Have a great 2011.

  23. Sorry I’m late, Linda.

    What a great and funny story. I’m glad you shared it. Loved the “throes of passion” part. LOL At least, you got to use it in one of your books.

    I don’t have any grandchildren either – you’d think I would after having a large family.

  24. Sherry, thanks for stopping. Sorry I haven’t checked for visitors in a couple of days. I hope you were able to order Circle of Love and read the fictionalized version of the turkey incident. Happy New Year.

  25. Diane, I appreciate your visit even if you were late. And I’m late responding to your comments. I only had two children but you’d think I might have at least one grandchild, wouldn’t you?

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