With Thanksgiving approaching, I’ve thought back over some memorable such holidays in the past. Two were strange enough I wanted to share them with you.
The first one was probably in 1956. Our family, along with two others, had a cabin in Ute Park, New Mexico, 7500 feet up in the mountains. It was built for summer use, and compared to our Texas heat the weather was delightful. Our air conditioning system consisted of a six or eight inch gap between the walls and the roof, which was very pleasant in the summer.
That year, we decided to spend Thanksgiving in the cabin. As we soon learned, that gap was a bit less helpful this time of year with morning lows of five, four, and six degrees for the days we were there. There was no provision for heat in the place, since it was a summer cabin, so opening the oven door was the only way to get any heat into the place. We bundled up in heavy clothes when we got out of bed, and kept them on all day, whether we went outside or not.
Somehow, we made it through the ordeal, and on our last day there, we came up with another brilliant idea. We would cut one of the abundant pine trees and haul it 600 miles back home to serve as our Christmas tree. The worst cuss word my father knew was “damn,” but he used it liberally on the drive home. I don’t know how many times the front end of the tree came untied, but it was several, and each time we would have to pull over and stop and reattach it. Lots of fun.
The other memorable Thanksgiving was in 1982. My 13 year-old daughter was flying from Oklahoma City to Lubbock to be with me. As always, there was a plane change at DFW—there are few places you can fly directly to from either OKC or Lubbock—and she got snowed in at DFW.
Fortunately, my wife had a sister who lived in the area, and she drove through the storm to the airport and took my daughter home with her for the night. The next morning the planes still weren’t flying, so we drove down to get her, missing the normal turkey time in the process.
Time had dimmed my memory of the details, but I think we ended up spending a day or less at home with her before we had to put her on a plane to return. Not exactly what we had planned.
What SNAFU’s have you incurred through the years trying to get family together for this holiday?
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