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My father passed away in early August of 1997.  So when Thanksgiving rolled around the pain was still fresh and raw.  My mom really needed her grandchildren that first holiday after he left us.  My sister and her family lived in Oregon.  So my mother flew there to spend that holiday with my sister’s family.  I didn’t feel bad about her decision at all.  She was still working at the time, but I knew that the house was lonely for her.  It would have still been a sad day with Doug and I there with her.  She would have had that first holiday and the days following to cope with her loneliness and loss.  So my sister’s home filled with her four grand children was the perfect place for her.

Doug didn’t have any family in Texas, other than his daughter.  She was still a teenager and always spent Thanksgiving with her mother’s family.

So the Thanksgiving of 1997 was our first holiday completely on our own.  No big deal I thought.  Boy was I WRONG!!  At the silly age of 35 and never having to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner I was completely and totally in some other realm when it came to planning a meal for Thanksgiving.

Since it was just the two of us I saw no need in buying all the stuff and making a dinner.  After all Luby’s had a take out and I could simply walk into that little room where I sometimes went to get my lunch and simply get us two Luann Platters to go.  WRONG!!!  When I walked in there late Thanksgiving morning there was no one in that little room.  Just boxes and boxes and boxes of delicious turkey dinners with all the trimmings waiting for those who had placed their orders days in advance to pick up.  The dining room was packed and there was line out the door to get in.

So I sat in the parking lot wondering what to do.  There wasn’t much in the house because we hadn’t bought groceries.  I had left Doug at the house while I just ran down to Luby’s.  My My!! I was in a pickle.  Then I remembered Kroger had advertised turkey dinners.  I would just run down to Kroger and pick up a turkey dinner.  Sure I would probably have to heat it up.  But that was no big deal.

So I drove over to Kroger with images of us heating up the meal and laughing about the Luby’s mistake.  “We sure won’t do that again!!” I would say to Doug.  Holy Moly!!  I arrived at Kroger’s to a packed parking lot.  After parking my car and trudging across the parking lot I realized I only had 30 minutes until they closed.  I ran back to the deli department and it was dark and closed.  So very very sad.  I finally found someone and asked “Do you have any turkey dinners?”

Oh the humiliation!!!  The young man simply said no, but the look on his face!!  I ran to the meat department.  No turkey, no ham, NOTHING!!!  Well desperate times calls for desperate measures.  I ran to the frozen food section.  You know the “frozen dinner” aisle.  Anything that even vaguely resembled some kind of turkey dinner was wiped out.  I mean it was empty.  When you opened up the door and said “Hello”, you were answered with the echo of “Helllooo, Helloo, Hello.”

It was just so very sad.  And that’s how we ended up having frozen pizza for Thanksgiving dinner in 1997.  But we were thankful and I have never ever let that happen again.

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