The Bird is Back!

The Bird is Back!

Around the Bluhmin’ Town


Judy Bluhm

What are you doing on Thanksgiving? Let me guess. Dinner with family or friends and the guest of honor will be a Big Bird. We Americans love our turkey dinner. The National Turkey Federation claims that 88 percent of Americans will consume turkey on Thanksgiving. This translates to more than 46 million turkeys being eaten!

Have you started thawing the bird? If not, better hurry, because it takes a while for a large turkey to thaw out. I recall just leaving it out for hours on the kitchen counter, but science now tells us this will certainly kill us with bacteria, and we must place the bird in the fridge. For days. There are plenty of “turkey mishaps” on Thanksgiving. Preparing a turkey is an immense challenge. And one of our biggest holidays revolves around cooking a very large bird in a way that is easy to mess up.

Some of the epic fails include charring the turkey to a crisp, dropping the bird (either before or after it makes it to the oven) on the floor, or forgetting to turn the oven on. One guy added half a bottle of bourbon to the turkey while in the oven to “give it special flavor.” A massive fire ensued. One couple inadvertently set the oven on self-cleaning and could not open the door until the bird was a blackened lump of ashes. When I made my first turkey dinner, my uncle asked me if the stuffing was moldy. Well, too much sage will turn it green.

Yet, potential cooking disasters aside, we love our traditions. We honor a group of weary Pilgrims who in 1621 gathered to give thanks for their bounty and appreciation of this new, strange land. Thanksgiving might be the greatest holiday of all. It is the day that symbolizes the spirit of thankfulness. There is no gift giving to commercialize it, no one religion to limit it, and no elf to trivialize it.

I did witness a sense of Holiday wonder at a grocery store this week. I was checking out at a local store and the bagger was a young man with Down Syndrome. While he was packing my groceries, he must have said, “gobble, gobble, gobble.” a dozen times. The woman in line behind me rolled her eyes and muttered in a low tone, “I’d go crazy listening to this.” The friendly cashier that was ringing me up just smiled and said, “He loves the Holidays and likes to say gobble, gobble. And next week he will say, “ho, ho, ho.” All day long. For hours this woman listened to the word “gobble” repeated over and over, and instead of being annoyed, she showed grace and kindness. That is the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Yes, Dear Readers, the Holidays are coming! We are all shopping, baking, planning, decorating, traveling, gathering and getting ready for what lies ahead. Yet, one truth remains: joy is not found in the “bird” that we cook (or don’t), but in the “gobble, gobble, gobble” that we share with others.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Contact Judy at [email protected] or visit

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