One minute everything was fine, and the next minute…
It was Thanskgiving morning.
I had gotten up even earlier than I usually do on Thanksgiving morning because this was the year I was determined that I was going to be ready and waiting when our guests arrived. I was intent on looking good and serving good food all the while making it seem like –
it was no trouble at all.
Everything was going according to plan and I was thrilled. Turkey in the oven, pies on the table, sweet potatoes baking…With less than 15 minutes to go before people would begin to descend, I was calm cool and collected. I was even sipping a glass of fine wine.
Wanting to make that perfect Rockwellian impression, I asked Auguste to take the turkey, all golden brown and shiny, out of the oven, thinking being that I would “serve up my guests” before I served them.
Happy to finally be able to help, Auguste reached into the oven to pull out my perfect bird when, don’t ask me how, he spilled the greasy contents of the broiling pan onto the oven flame.
Within a split second flames were all around him. Horrified, I didn’t know who to save first, my husband or my turkey. Thankfully, because of his fancy foot (and hand) work, Auguste managed to save the bird, catch it as it was falling back down to earth. But in doing so he had to drop the roasting pan, leaving a river of greasy poultry juice all over my kitchen floor.
With less than 10 minutes to go before the doorbell would ring, we moved together quickly and in silence. Like a well oiled machine we were mopping up grease, fanning out smoke, cleaning inside the oven, disconnecting screaming smoke alarms and calming a frantic child who had, just moments before, been screaming:
“Stop, drop and roll Dad! Stop, drop and roll!”
We were a team.
five, four, three, two, one…
We did it. We pulled together and we pulled it off.
As we greeted the first guest, and as Auguste took their coats and invited them in, he looked over at me and winked a wink of relief. I decided that, what I now knew but that he couldn’t see, I’d wait until later to share. In fact, I thought that I would wait until morning to tell him that –
his hairline had een singed, his lashes had been scorched and–
he no longer had any eyebrows.