Life lessons from a turkey

Turkey has two definitions in my family. 1) A large North American bird.  2) An endearing term used to describe an individual who has flubbed up in some way.

And around Turkey Day (American slang for Thanksgiving Day) both meanings periodically come together to teach simple lessons about life and character.  

from *clairity*



One year the turkey (large North American bird) was prepared and placed lovingly in the oven to roast while the family went off to church to express gratitude for so many blessings.  Going to church on Thanksgiving Day is a tradition for us.

When opening the back door upon returning home, smoke came wafting out of the kitchen.  SAVE THE TURKEY! (large American bird) was the immediate reaction.  So I went to open the oven door and as I did, flames ignited around it.  Now the smoke was black and heavy.

CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT YOU TURKEY (endearing term used to describe an individual who has flubbed up in some way)!  Apparently, opening the door allowed oxygen to fuel the fire.  The firemen arrived shortly after we had extinguished it. 

There were some darkened walls, countertops and appliances that needed cleaning.  The turkey (Large North American bird) was salvaged.

Life lesson: Make the best of it.  An overdone turkey can’t ruin a family gathering. The house was still standing, the meal was great, and we had a new Thanksgiving Day story to tell.  There is so much to be grateful for.  


My good friend Maureen recently shared this turkey story with me…  

Awhile back (ok, quite a while back) Maureen had a job as an assistant to Ruth Collier Frank, a Hollywood talent agent.  Ruth hired her to answer the phone at the office and assist in anyway needed. 

Around Thanksgiving Day, Ruth was to have a dinner party for some guests that included movie legends Rex Harrison, Doris Day, Isabel Elsom, and other notables.  (Gobble them…I mean Google them if you don’t know who they are.)   Maureen was helping in the kitchen.  She’s a good cook.

Ruth wanted to roast a large turkey and turned on the oven.  Maureen observed that the temperature gauge wasn’t nearly high enough to cook the big bird adequately in time for the party.  It was packed with a dressing of raisins, walnuts and celery.

 Maureen didn’t know what to do.  Should she tell her new boss that the turkey would never be done in time?  Maybe it was false modesty or a youthful sense of inferiority, but whatever the reason, Maureen didn’t voice her misgivings. Even when tempted to secretly turn up the oven dial, time and again, she was reluctant to interfere.  She felt as helpless as a turkey up a tree.

Well, as you can guess, the turkey was not a triumph.  When Ruth presented it to her guests, it failed to live up to their expectations and hers!  But the party was a success anyway.  How could it miss with all that star power? And my friend still ponders whether she should have rescued the meal by taking action.

Life lesson: Have courage to speak up.  Voice the truth. But don’t worry.  An underdone turkey can’t ruin a friendly gathering.  Maureen has a wonderful Thanksgiving Day story to tell.  There is so much to be grateful for.

There you have it, life lessons from a turkey (large North American bird and/or an individual who has flubbed up in some way).  Take your pick. But remember to include gratitude along with family, friends, and food this Thanksgiving Day.  It’s worth it.

S Salt