Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving, 1985

Thanksgiving. A time of family, food, and fun—as I recently heard it defined. Yes, I have another Thanksgiving tale.

The year was 1985. I had just moved to Wisconsin in anticipation of getting married. My wife, who wasn’t my wife yet, and her family traveled to spend the holiday in another town. I had to work so I stayed behind to keep the house warm for the cat and dog.

Now before anyone starts feeling sorry for me, I wasn’t alone. For Thanksgiving Day, I was invited to some friends’ house. We had a good southern meal—odd for being in Wisconsin, I know, but these people were from the south—and afterward, we spent the day playing games. I stayed until well after dark and then returned to my future in-laws’ house.

Meanwhile, it had been snowing—all day. It was still snowing when I left for work the next morning—and when I returned. And, it continued snowing well into Saturday. By this time, the long driveway was pretty snowed in. I’d been driving my father-in-law’s four-wheel drive pickup and hadn’t bothered to think about removing any of the piles of white stuff. And neither had I thought to shovel. Probably should have started that the first day, instead of playing games all day long!

Waking up Saturday, I suddenly remembered my wife’s family would be returning that afternoon and they had taken a car, a car that I knew would have difficulty getting into and up the snow filled driveway.

So, I thought I’d help out. I went to the shed and started up the John Deere with a snowplow already attached. I figured the job would only take a few minutes. Well, as anyone who has been around me knows, that Mr. Murphy guy and me have a lot in common—if anything can go wrong, it will. I’d made only one pass down the driveway, when the John Deere stopped. Just stopped. I tried for several hours to get it running but apparently, I wasn’t much of a mechanic.

Looking at the driveway, I knew it would still be hard to get a car through it. The one pass I’d made hadn’t really helped much at all. So, I jumped into the pickup and drove back and forth until I had the snow packed down enough. Then I started working on shoveling the three days’ worth of snow from around the walkway and the house. By that time, I knew I definitely had waited too long to shovel. It was late afternoon when my wife and her family drove in and I still hadn’t finished.

My father-in-law, being a far better mechanic than I, seemed unconcerned with the stalled John Deere. As I recall, he had the tractor running in about two minutes. Then, while he cleaned up the driveway a little, I continued working on the shoveling.

I did apologize for breaking his tractor. He said not to worry about it, that any time a breakdown didn’t cost any money, it was good. Well, that’s true, except it had cost some money—I think I used close to a full tank of gas driving the pickup back and forth! But, as I recently learned, Thanksgiving is, among other things, a time of fun. And I certainly did have fun!

Happy Thanksgiving! ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Amazon Profile - Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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