TIME OUT WITH LOIS: Turkey story prompts the giving of thanks

Holidays with cooking involved scare me to death. He-Who-Took-Long-Steps brought a sign home from a church missions dinner. It is framed and hangs in our kitchen. It says, “Welcome to the Promised Land.” He brought it home right after a turkey episode that happened while we lived in Colstrip.

Our church ladies were taking a meal to a family because the mother had been sick. We decided on a turkey dinner. I volunteered to bake the turkey.

I had gone to bed, thinking about my plans for the next day. “YIKES!” I said. He-Who sat straight up in bed. 

“You know what? Turkeys are frozen!” I said. He didn’t catch on. “Turkeys are frozen!” I repeated. He went back to sleep.

 I prayed for God to send a thawed-out turkey to the Colstrip IGA. The next morning I was at the store as the owner unlocked the doors. “Jerry, do you have any thawed out turkeys?”

“Only at Thanksgiving. Not in March,” he said.

“Well, then give me two turkeys quick.” (After all, I am a smart enough woman to know you can’t bake a turkey at your house and not do one for your family.)

I raced home. The microwave was out. There was no way I could smush the frozen turkey into it. (I tried.) I filled the bathtub with cold water.  I wanted to use hot, but I didn’t want to poison the people either. I alternated them between baths and showers. Rolling the turkeys around in the water, I realized one frozen turkey might be keeping the other frozen turkey from thawing out. I put ours in the refrigerator. Tomorrow I’d cook him for us.

Zero hour was 2 o’clock. I still had to get the giblet things out for the dressing.  I tried everything. The icy giblets would not come out. I was desperate. I went out to He-Who’s shop. I found a tool that had a hooky thing on it. I poured boiling water on it. (Not to sanitize it — I hadn’t thought of that. I figured being hot it might slide in better.)

I got the turkey on a towel between my legs. I grabbed on to the bird with my left hand. With the tool in my right hand I pried and pulled and pushed and yanked. Out the giblets flew! I boiled them on high.

At 2 o’clock the bathing turkey was mostly thawed. I prayed over him again. After all, this was a religious mission. Then I did what you do to turkeys and put him in the oven.

At 6, I called the family and explained I’d be a little late. At 7, I took the bird out of the oven. I had a fit of giggles when I took the lid off the pan. The little red thermometer thing was out. The turkey was a golden brown and done. But in my haste to get him in the oven, I had forgotten to tie his legs and wings down. There he lay, in golden splendor with hands and feet spread wide. He looked as desperate as I felt. I tied him up so the family wouldn’t be frightened when they saw him looking like that.

I didn’t sleep much that night. I was praying for the turkey and the family. I called the first thing in the morning. They were still alive. The turkey wasn’t. God had answered my prayers. When we had our turkey dinner the next night, I didn’t eat much. I was kinda sick of turkey.

So there you have it. I trust God is filling your heart with gratitude this Thanksgiving. Jesus said, “I am come that you might have life, and that life more abundant.” Let us thank Him for all the days this year we didn’t think we would make it through, but we did … with His grace and mercy. Happy Thanksgiving.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Lois Olmstead is an inspirational speaker and author who lives in the Shields Valley. Email her at loiso@wispwest.net or visit www.timeoutwithlois.com.