Some of the strangest things happen around the holidays. Last year I was driving home from my in-laws’ house when something crazy happened. My son, Dylan, and daughter Elinor were in the car enjoying a movie and relaxing after a big Thanksgiving meal. I was on the phone with my dad when out of the corner of my eye I saw a large, dark “thing” fly from the tree tops smack into my windshield. I screamed, dropped the phone, and started crying. I pulled over to the side of the road and called my husband, who was still at his parents’. “I think a vulture just hit my car,” I screamed. Amused and holding back his laughter, my husband asked me to repeat myself. Once I had explained what had happened, he was pretty sure a turkey had hit my car. This “thing” hit my windshield so hard that the rearview mirror flew off and dangled back and forth. There were tiny bits of glass all over my dashboard from where the mirror used to be. There were so many cracks running up and down that it looked like a bunch of thin branches had sprouted right on top of my windshield.
Once I regained my composure and reassured my children that we were in fact, all still alive and what I had thought was something out of Harry Potter was really just a turkey, we continued our drive home. I drove about 40 miles per hour the whole way and called the windshield repair people the next day. When I explained what had happened, the guy on the other end of the line thought I was joking. “You mean to tell me that a turkey hit your windshield on Thanksgiving?” He asked.
“Um, yes. That’s right,” I squeaked.
“In all the years I’ve worked here, this is a first. I have never had someone tell me a turkey hit their windshield on Thanksgiving.” He laughed.
And the funniest part of all of this? I am a vegetarian. What are the chances that a vegetarian happens to be driving home on Thanksgiving when a turkey hits her windshield? When I received my invoice in the mail, under “cause” for damage it said, “Vulture Strike.”
Thanksgiving is the time for family to get together and share what they’re thankful for. But, with extra family members and friends who you haven’t seen in a long time–maybe even years–well, that lends itself to becoming a breeding ground for funny things to happen. Take, for example, Haley Frederickson of Bentonville, who was 40 weeks and 5 days pregnant when her family decided to take a last-minute trip to Target. She and her husband Ryan had just pulled into the parking lot when their 17-month-old son Eli threw up in the backseat. Ryan ran inside to buy new pajamas to change him into, and on their way home, Eli threw up again. “Ryan is one of those people who gets sick when he sees other people getting sick,” explains Haley. “I pretty much told him to suck it up, and a few hours later he got sick.”
Haley’s in-laws were in town anticipating the arrival of the new baby, and it was a good thing, because later that evening, Haley says she started feeling contractions. “I was like no way! Not today!” After the day they’d all had, Haley didn’t want to go to the hospital, so she texted her mom that night to let her know she was having contractions and they were five minutes apart. Her mom told her she better get to the hospital, since this was her third baby. Haley’s mother-in-law drove her to the hospital at 5:20am, and baby Isaac was born at 6am. “Ryan missed the whole thing,” says Haley, “because he was at home in bed sick. My mother-in-law tried to put him on speaker phone while I was giving birth so he could be part of it, but he kept running to the bathroom.”
Or what about the time when Lisa Olson invited her family over for Thanksgiving and while the turkey was cooking in the oven, and the power went out? “My sister drove in with her kids from three hours away,” says Lisa. When the power went out, the turkey was only half-done. My husband had to cook it on the grill for about an hour.” Lisa says their dinner was pushed back a few hours because of this, and her sister’s kids ended up getting sick one by one and had to leave, so they never even got to taste the turkey!
Caught on Fire
The holidays also seem to be the best time for family members to show off their savvy skills. Heather Sines says, “On Thanksgiving, my dad and uncle decided to see what it would be like to blow up a gallon of gasoline by putting a flame in front of it and shooting through the flame.” When the dry leaves that were on the ground caught on fire, Heathers says they had to put the fire out with blankets and jackets.
What funny stories do you have from Thanksgiving? I would love for you to share them with me over on my Facebook page, writermeaganruffing using the hashtag #Peekaboothanksgivingplunders. Be sure to make some memorable moments around the dinner table this year, and don’t forget to tell each other what you’re most thankful for. A holiday like Thanksgiving is a great time to pause, hit the reset button, and give thanks.
Meagan Ruffing writers about all things parenting for regional parenting publications across the United States and in Canada. Check out her work at www.meaganruffing.com and snag a signed copy of her book, “I See You: Helping Moms Go from Overwhelmed to In Control.”