For reasons known only to her, one year she decided to cook a turkey. It was probably because she had recently decided to get married again
The table was full of all the normal Thanksgiving things. Nice dishes, formal silverware settings, the whole shebang. I think there was even a center piece. I'd never seen any of this stuff before and wondered
Everybody was sitting at the table waiting to eat, my brother and I were sitting at one end and were the only ones who could see into the kitchen. My mom was at the stove transferring the turkey from the roasting pan to the serving platter with a couple of large forks. The turkey started to get away from her and she dropped it.
The turkey hit the floor with a thud, everyone at the table looked up in surprise. My mom yelled out, "It's okay it fell on a piece of paper!" Only my brother and I could see that there was no paper, or anything else on the floor but our dinner. She picked the turkey up off the floor in a split-second. My brother and I looked at each other and then looked back into the kitchen to see our mom staring at us. She was pointing at us with one index finger while using her other hand to make a "keep your mouth zipped shut" motion with her other hand. She didn't have to do either of those things. We knew by the fire in her eyes, that if we said anything about there being no paper, we were
My mom proudly marched into the dining room with the
Before carving, my soon to be step dad, started scooping dressing out of the bird and into a serving bowl. Yes, ladies, gentlemen and dear friends. You know what happened next. The last scoop was not full of dressing, it was full of the "giblet bag" that my mom failed to remove before cooking the turkey. Peyton looked at mom and said, "you are supposed to ta....." She didn't say a word, but somehow he knew by the by the look in her eyes, not to finish his sentence. She had a smile on her face for everyone else at the table and pure evil in her eyes for him.
Everybody in my mom's life understood what that glare meant, just as clearly as if she said it out loud. It meant, "I am crazy, I am more violent than you can imagine and I am capable of hurting you or worse." Amazingly, he married my mom anyway. It didn't last. A Las Vegas wedding and a Tijuana divorce...
The only positive thing that came out of the entire affair was related to her dropping the turkey. From that point forward, continuing until today. When somebody drops an item of food on the floor or ground, even if they have no intention of eating it, we always say, "good thing it fell on that piece of paper!"