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The Little Things

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The aroma of cooking turkey drifts through the house and makes its way around to everyone’s nose. The scents give a feel of home as they diffuse. As the buzzer goes off indicating the turkey is done there is a hustle of feet towards the cramped space around the oven. It’s a group effort to lift it onto the counter and admire its perfection. The turkey radiates heat off its surface and flows towards the kitchen ceiling while slowly disappearing. The men power on the electric knife and dig the buzzing machine into the meat to cut even slices for everyone to taste. The children are sent to set the freshly cleaned tables, one in the dining room for kids and one in the living room for adults. Tablecloths that don’t match the holiday are thrown over the rough surfaces. Fancy, shiny silverware with a hint of age is laid out waiting to be placed in its spot. Elegant napkins wait in their pleasant holder until they’re needed. Mismatched and uncomfortable chairs line the edges of each table waiting to be sat on. Chandeliers cast dancing lights onto the walls while the polished wood floors echo laughter. The mellow voice of the commentator from the football game on television flows through the archways. The crowds cheer for strategic plays and a recurring sound is displayed before each commercial that advertises the channel.

Filled platters of: mushy stuffing, fluffy mashed potatoes, pumpkin bread with a burst of flavor, crunchy yet creamy green beans and thick gravy is placed on the table for everyone to pick at. Laughter fills the room as children joke with each other. The baby cries out in happiness then shrieks with frustration as food drops below his level and hits the ground. The slight clink of sharp forks and knives ring out when they hit the glass plates. The clock ticks on and bodies recline to digest or make their way over to the leather couch to catch the score of the exciting game.

When the main course is cleaned up there are shouts calling everyone to the buffet of sweets put on the counter. Spongy, pumpkin pie is waiting to be cut from the cake knife. Soft, store-bought cookies are set down only to be grabbed again quickly by small, searching hands. The traditional brownies made by Grandma with a smidge of chocolate chunks and heaps of love are in the center, but getting chosen quickly. Minutes later, realization of a full stomach hits and people retreat once again to their previous spots.
As the red hand on the clock slowly moves on and the sun slides down, this holiday of thanks nears an end. Sounds of goodbyes and slamming of the wooden door float around the home until there are only the original left. The day and smells are soon leaving but memories of the family reunion never fade away.





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