There was one Thanksgiving I’ll never forget when I was a kid.
We lived in Madison, Maine for a short time, a two-year break from growing up in Boston. The funny thing was we went from a tenement in Boston to a three-decker tenement, of all places, in rural Madison, population three thousand.
To say that we had no money was an understatement. So there we were on the second floor on a dead-end road. Fortunately for us we had become good friends with the folks above and below our apartment. When Thanksgiving rolled around it made sense to combine forces and share a meal together with our neighbors.
My mom had determined that we should all sit together at one table, which, given the fact that we only had a modest sized round kitchen table, seemed impossible to make happen.
But Red, my mom’s boyfriend, who in time would become my step dad, had a plan. From somewhere he got two large sheets of plywood and fastened them together. We cleared out the living room and juxtaposed the now extra long sheet of plywood out from one wall. A sawhorse on one end provided the “legs” of our makeshift table, while the end against the wall was screwed down fast atop the wall’s trim board that conveniently ran the length of the wall at a perfect table height.
Various dished began arriving from above and below our place and before long we were all sitting, about a dozen strong, to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal together. The turkey got carved, drinks went around, stuffing got passed and all seemed well.
We kids were situated on the inside close to the wall, I suppose to keep us away from the other end which, because the makeshift table extended so far into room, put those at the outer end rather close to the gas-powered space heater that kept our apartment warm. Of course another reason may have been just to keep us contained!
There was the usual chatter that accompanies holiday meals, when suddenly we heard a loud ear-piercing ripping sound as the entire trim board, to which our table was attached, broke aw from the wall! Before any of us could react our table dropped on one end and landed square on our knees. Anything liquid, milk, adult drinks, gravy and whatnot cascaded downward splashing over plates and onto the floor next to the wall.
Everyone froze in place, though as memory serves me, none of us could move anyway with the weight of a Thanksgiving meal, and the plywood, directly upon us.
Red, who was sitting at the other end, with sawhorse still in place, was up in a flash, grabbed a chair and jammed the back of it in by our knees to hold up the works from falling any further. We, mostly the kids, were soaked but relieved that our meals were more or less intact!
In no time at all gasps of horror turned into laughter. Plates and glasses were righted, the floor got wiped and our Thanksgiving meal continued.
Near the end someone said, “Hey, at least we won’t have to wipe up the table!”
Happy Thanksgiving to all.