I Can’t Have a Relationship With My Turkey

I live in a suburb that is home to several beautiful farms. Recently, I saw two different signs offering turkeys for sale for Thanksgiving. I pulled over to take photos of both signs so I could call the numbers in the next few weeks to place an order.

I thought it would be neat to tell everyone at Thanksgiving that they were enjoying a healthy, no-hormone-injected, no-inhumane-treatment-turkey from the local farm.

Then, at the second farm, I looked to my right to see the other sign that said “choose your turkey”. There in the cutest little coop were several, beautiful white turkeys clucking around with their fellow feathered friends and family members. The customer could select their turkey, visit it regularly, watching it grow plump over the next few weeks.I stared at them. They were adorable! I suddenly thought about how the kids would name the horses or cows down the street when they were little. I didn’t have the heart to tell them back then that those cows we were visiting would end up in someone’s freezer by fall.

Not to sound like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, but I’m a meat-eater. I love a good roast, pulled pork and definitely a Thanksgiving turkey with plenty of gravy. However, I don’t think my enjoyment would be the same if I visited my selection for a month before picking him up headless.A few years ago, one of our 4H Moms had us over to plan out the year of crafts for our daughters. About an hour into the meeting, her daughter got up and said, “I’ll be right back, I need to go feed him.” I inquired about who she was feeding. Mom explained that every year her daughter independently purchased a small steer. She fed it daily and cared for it, eventually selling it the following year at fair.

When the girl came back into the house, I asked if she ever got attached and felt bad turning it over for slaughter. She shrugged saying, “Nope. I get paid $1300 at fair. I’m saving for college.”

While some may not get attached, I fear I might. Knowing me, I might actually name the bird during a visit. Then, I’m likely to share with the family that our meat was once “Bob” and we are eating him. My kids might get a chuckle, but I may have trouble digesting.

I momentarily felt conflicted about the whole turkey situation, but it does not make me consider being a vegetarian. I’m looking forward to the cherished meal.  I have to go order my turkey now. But, I’ll let the farmer choose one for me.

Seasons Change

Yesterday I was listening to Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life author) on the radio who just happened to be discussing the several seasons of life. If you’ve read my blog in the past, you know that I’ve continued to struggle with the knowledge that I’m in my mid-40’s and don’t have what I’d call a “solid career”.  What if something happens to my husband? How are we going to pay for college? Who can afford the cost of a new mattress these days? So, I regularly peek at job opportunities, but whenever I’m presented with what I think might be the perfect career choice, being full time Mom always trumps the 45-hour work week. I don’t mind the hours; I just need to be home by 4pm! Needless to say, my request to start work at 7am isn’t appealing to most employers.  Ecclesiastes says, “there is a season to work”, and I am fortunate to be able to work around my kids schedules with the exact part time job I already have.

After another long interview process, and another full time job offer that I gratefully declined, I’ve come to the realization that with the remaining season that my teenagers are home before college (the oldest two-twins-are Juniors in high school), I’m unwilling to work during their after school sports times.  While that sounds great, living out the reality of less in the bank is always an inward battle for me. So, I’m practicing gratitude for what I have, and reminding myself that this season of daily parenting is fleeting. Several Moms of college kids tell me that often.

November is a special month for the obvious reason that we think about gratitude perhaps a little more than normal. It’s also very brisk outside, dark at dinner time (beginning Sunday), and the beautiful leaves are grounded, leaving barren branches.  We’re looking for comfort foods, and like it or not, the stores are filled with Christmas decorations, nudging us into lists and preparations. This is definitely a new season by the weather and the anticipation of the holidays.

PS: You’ll notice that “Tummy Tuesdays” have been replaced by simply “Recipes”. I’ll post a recipe occasionally, but no longer every Tuesday.

Thanks for reading my rambling after a couple-week absence, and I sincerely wish you a truly blessed month of gratitude!