Cause the times they are a-changing

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slowest now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fading
And the first one now will later be last
Cause the times they are a-changing

Lyrics by Bob Dylan

(antique color plate of a wild turkey / Julie Cook)

Normally at this late inning in the game, I would be up to my elbows in flour, giblets,
and sweet potatoes…franticly watching the clock tick off the precious seconds of time…
time until it was…
Go Time…

But not this year.

Not this year, at all.
No flour.
No giblets.
No sweet potatoes.
No festive deserts.
No dressing (as in what we southerners call stuffing that’s not stuffed)
All simply…

I’ve been cooking Thanksgiving, or at least the bulk and better part of it, ever since I was
a junior in high school…

Because that was the year my great aunt died in the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning
and my mom, as her only living nearby relative, had to drop apron and
mixing bowls in mid mix…with Turkey quickly slammed in the oven,
as she practically threw me the basting bulb,
while shouting over her shoulder as she dashed out the door…


I think I was still mumbling questions when, like a bat out of hell, my mother with the car
slammed in reverse, barreled out of the driveway,
racing off to a distant nursing home leaving me in a puff of confused exhaust fumes….
still holding a forlorn basting bulb.

Did I mention that on this now discombobulated Thanksgiving it was also the Thanksgiving
that our pet parrot, the one we had rescued a couple of years earlier,
after a brief cold, had decided to also give up the ghost on this Thanksgiving morning?

So needless to say that this was not to be like any Thanksgiving that I would be able to,
in my youthful naive memory, recall.

Yet might I add that the turkey, by shear pluck, turned out really quite lovely.

And so I’ve been cooking ever since…

Oh I started out somewhat slowly, with but a few components of the feast left to my expertise,
eventually becoming the full Master of Ceremonies…
as those were the heady days and weeks of plotting, researching, planning,
buying and preparing…
The aromas leaving all in their wake salivating….
It was to be the stuff of legends….

Until this year.

Yet had I not seen it coming?
Slowly and methodically coming my way…
Despite my not wanting to acknowledge it…
it was hell-bent on coming.

My husband, over the past couple of years would gently, if not a bit too tactlessly,
remind me that the time was coming…
that the day and time would eventually come….
Our numbers were now diminishing at a far greater rate than they were multiplying…

As those we have loved and have known…have come and now have sadly faded…
in other words, the family has shrunk.
My husband’s side and now mine…
lost to the annuals of time.

The time when Dad would be too old to come to us…
The time when our son would be too old to stay…as he would now have to divide his time…
and the time I would be too old to manage it all…on my own….

Don’t you hate it when husbands seem to actually know it all…
or perhaps more accurately can suddenly, after 34 years, find the gift of verbalization…
As in verbalizing what we try so desperately to deny…
Whenever did they become ones to verbalize…?
When you least want it, that’s when….

And so it is…

No linens have been pressed.
No grandmother’s silver polished.
No burgeoning refrigerator bursting at the seams.
No massive turkeys sitting in brine as basting bulbs have long since been discarded.

For we will become one of “those people…”
The people I use to turn my nose up to who would go out to eat on Thanksgiving.
The people who make other people have to work and miss time with their families
because they were having to cook and service “those people”……

We will eat out and then take plates to dad, my stepmother and the caregiver.
As our son travels to in-laws as my in-laws are now longer…
Aunts, uncles, nieces, grandparents, parents, brothers have all since departed…
leaving but us…left to find solace in our memories of times now past…

So Bob Dylan was right all along…
for the times, they are a-changing…

you should know that going out to eat was not my idea.
It was my husband’s…
The same husband who, after 34 years of marriage,
has suddenly gained the gift of verbalization.
He has also gained the gift of thoughtfulness….
as in he has felt sorry for me these past several most trying months
and he has decided it is time for me to become one of “those people”
and I am actually both grateful as well as thankful….

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,
for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9

21 comments on “Cause the times they are a-changing

  1. We are on our way to Colorado Springs for Thanksgiving and I think that we’re going to try to together cook something but if not we’ll go out to eat. I’m so glad you’re not having to cook all of that food this year and that you’re going to be able to go out and eat and take it easy and relax and enjoy yourself. Love and hugs, N β€οΈπŸ˜˜πŸŒ΅πŸ”

  2. Lynda says:

    Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner! And your dear spouse for suggesting that you take a rest. Blessings and prayers.

  3. Wally Fry says:

    I’m sorry, Julie…this is sad.

    • No, we must find the thankful in the sad– and that it’s different and Gregory wanted to step in when he knew I’d be sad– well that is a thankfulness–and I see where you followed me again– do you keep losingme Wally?– now that would be sad πŸ™ƒ

      • Wally Fry says:

        First, how awesome you have a mate who does that….just what he is told to do.

        And yes, you keep falling out! I have to check comments and likes every few days to make sure I don’t miss anything from writers I really enjoy. Funny….some people never seem to fall out LOL.

      • well I wonder who that is that just won’t “fall out”, kind of like a bad penny, just keeps showing up πŸ˜‰
        Tomorrow was all Gregory’s idea. I had pretty much resigned myself to half cooking here, schelping it all up to Atlanta, sloshing and sliding…then half cooking there…but dad can’t leave the bed, Gloria is confused and the caregiver would just stare…so Gregory said, no…as in putting his food down—we’ll meet Brenton and Abby for lunch and I talked with the restaurant and they were happy to put together 3 additional plates…to go.
        So that works.
        plus, since both Brenton and Abby won’t be here this year to help Gregory at the store, I will most likely have to pinch hit at times when I normally wouldn’t…so for the very first time in my life I’ve done something I said I would never ever do—slip Christmas in ahead of Thanksgiving…cause I hate that…Thanksgiving deserves to stand on its own…and all this black friday crap, which is so utterly out of control…
        Christmas is up on the outside…lights, wreathes, you name it….
        but the inside is still up in the air as I said I wasn’t going to do squat this year… I just don’t feel like…and I certainly don’t have time, the back is still iffy, and life is upside down…so despite my son and daughter-n-law who may breeze in and out lamenting that “I just have to”…I will see…
        onward and upward wally—I’ll email you shortly with the latest as there is more….

      • Wally Fry says:

        Yeah..some people are the gift that just keeps on giving!

        I love tomorrow, it is bar none my favorite holiday. Honestly I ignore all that shopping crap. I just hang at my place…I don’t go anywhere, ever. The family comes here.

        My kids don’t ,they go to their Mom’s place. But the new family all comes here. I was so blessed to get a new family, Julie…it’s as if I have always been part of them.

        Yes…let me know anything you want to let me know Julie. You know I am always around..for my friends.

      • thanks Wally—and many blessing to you and your entire family!!!!!

  4. ColorStorm says:

    The heck with Dylan, I’m going with ‘the annuals of time…………..’ πŸ˜‰

    Great thoughts here j. Happy Thanksgiving too.

  5. says:

    Thoughts and prayers coming your way,my friend. Life changes, but God never does. Great news to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving πŸ—πŸ—πŸ—

  6. lljostes says:

    Our’s is a quiet Thanksgiving day as well for many of the same reasons, Julie. Thankful for your thoughtful husband and wishing you both a blessed Thanksgiving! ~ Laura

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