Christmas in Dullsville and Testosterone Explosions in My Kitchen

I never told you what happened Thanksgiving.

I gave you the run-up on our family holiday, but I never circled back around and told you how it all went down. Because I was (still am) out of action because of Gimpy the Foot, my husband and sons gallantly decided that they would cook Thanksgiving dinner.

Gimpy the Foot.


And they tried. Oh, how they tried. I could see part of the action from my recliner in the living room. It reminded me of the first time I tried to put one of these things together as a newlywed. Only they didn’t have a Fannie Farmer cookbook to cheer them on.

About 3 on that Thanksgiving afternoon, I heard my husband’s voice, coming from the kitchen. “I can’t do this.” he said. “There’s too much to get done all at once.”

He sounded sad. Lost. Defeated. Beaten to the tile floor by the mashed potatoes, dressing, ham, turkey and deviled eggs vying for his attention.  The chaos of our sons, bouncing around the kitchen like St Bernards as they tried to “help” only made things worse.

I have to admit, I got a bit of … what is it? … pleasure, I suppose is the word. I got a bit of pleasure out of this. It was one of those, see? It’s not so easy! moments.

After 30 years of cooking these big dinners for my extended family all alone, (my sister has multiple sclerosis, my brother-in-law has various health problems, my niece is a drug addict and never shows up, my husband has matrimony-induced cooking amnesia, etc, etc) those sad, defeated words coming from the kitchen felt kinda good. They felt like … vindication.

Then, my better instincts kicked in.

I could’ve sat there and done nothing. No one would have blamed me. It was, after all, doctor’s orders. But that plaintive voice, and the growing certainty that we were headed for Spam turkey with a side order of Beanie Weanies for Thanksgiving dinner, got to me. I reached for my walker. It was clearly time for mom to set things aright.

They brought me a chair and put it next to the kitchen counter so I could stir and season while sitting down. They more or less obeyed my orders as I told them, “The turkey’s done. Take the lid off the roaster and turn the temperature up and let it brown. When it comes out, put those dishes in the oven and put the roaster on the stove to make gravy.”

It wasn’t exactly military precision, but they bustled around while I put things together and we — finally — sat down to eat.

Now, Christmas is upon us and I am still not supposed to stand. Gimpy’s moving on, so to speak. She has a spiffy new boot that looks like it was stolen off a starship trooper and I can walk for short distances unaided. What I can’t do is stand. More than about five minutes of flat standing and the Gimpster gears up the old pain alert.

The boys have invited their friends for dinner. Other friends have asked to come. I’m not sure why they want to spend Christmas here in Dullsville. I won’t let them curse. They have to say grace. And they’re probably going to end up having to cook a big part of their own dinner. All I can figure is that we have an intact family and we all like one another, something these young people don’t have. One of them said he wanted to get away from his family because he didn’t want to have to go from one house to the next.

Whatever. They’re welcome here.

I plan to put them to work. At our house, you don’t sing for your supper. You windex the glass dinner table (genuine hand-me-down, circa early matrimony) set the table with our mismatched plates (genuine Target) and our equally mismatched stainless steel ware. Then later, you help load the dishwasher.

They know that, and they still want to come. Go figure. If somebody lights a match at the wrong time, this house may blow up from excess testosterone. I expect great clouds of the stuff. Frankly, the thought of  so many young men trying to peel potatoes, make gravy and whip up deviled eggs in my little kitchen is pretty funny. I will, once again, conduct this tuneless orchestra as they labor to produce an edible meal.

I’ve also made a list of restaurants that will be open Christmas.

Just in case.

  • Karyl

    Laughter is the best medicine, as the Reader’s Digest declares. God’s Word declares that a “merry heart doeth good, like a medicine.” With love and good humor, almost anything can be accomplished. Rebecca, I wish you a very Merry Christmas. When will you be able to go back to the State House? I am certain they need your common sense and moral anchor. Opps, I asked a question you probably will need to reply to on FB rather than here. I’ve never figured the way to follow comments.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      We have organization day in early January. I’m already working on my legislation for next year. Merry Christmas Karyl!

  • Mary

    Enjoyed the pictures you painted with your words! Merry Christmas to you and yours, Rebecca!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks Mary. Merry Christmas!

  • Wendy

    Merry Christmas Rebecca! Thank you for telling us how it really went on Thanksgiving. You sure are a good and funny historian! Blessings to you, your family and Gimpy ~ Wendy

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks Wendy. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  • jim Fields

    I missed what happened to your foot…heal quickly. For Christmas dinner and prep. you should sell tickets, maybe put up some bleechers like there used to be at the Grand Ole Opry backstage.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I didn’t think of selling tickets. Not a bad idea! Merry Christmas Jim!

  • Particia Pledger

    Truly sounds wonderful, what memories these young people will have. God bless you and have a Merry Christmas Rebecca!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Patricia! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  • Terry

    It sounds like Christmas will be anything but dull in Dullsville. Merry Christmas, Rebecca and may Gimpy continue on the road to recovery. A very happy, fruitful 2013 to you and yours!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Terry. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family!

  • AnneG

    Merry Christmas. I’m sure they will survive. Just hope you can get the kitchen back to normal by 4th of July. Marriage induced cooking amnesia? My husband never learned to cook, so I sympathisize. A tip: turkey cooks great on the grill and they can probably deal with that.

  • FW Ken

    If the kids want to be there, you’ve got something good going on.

    A blessed Christmas to you and yours!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Ken!

  • neenergyobserver

    A bit late, since I’m out of town, hope you had a wonderful Christmas, Rebecca, and many more to come, and yes, I do love your stories. How lucky those young people are to be with you. Cheers to you, my friend. :-)


  • Manny

    LOL, that is so funny. What would we do without our wives and mothers? I’ve always said, mothers are what holds the world together. Hope you’re foot gets better. It seems like a long time now.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      It seems longer to me! The doc told me the first day that I was looking at a six month time out. I didn’t believe him. But … two surgeries and rehab still ahead, I’m beginning to think he may actually have known what he was talking about.

      For all that, it is getting better. Much better.

      Thanks for the good wishes Manny. Wishing a good Christmas season to you and yours.