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Mary E Lacey, Desertrat

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Thanksgiving before Marriage
By Mary E Lacey, Desertrat
Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rated "G" by the Author.

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this is about the first Thanksgiving my father had at her parent's house. They weren't married yet...almost never were.


      “Yes, Herbert, I’ll marry you!”
       They kissed passionately and walked to the car.   They got in the Model T and began kissing some more. Betty pulled away suddenly said, my parents, how will I tell my parents!   I’ve got a great idea, Thanksgiving is coming up and I’ll introduce you.
         At that Herbert turned an odd shade of green. He was so clumsy around parents of the girls he dated. This was going to be the most important meeting of his life, how would this go, what if he made a fool of himself?
    He looked at Betty and expressed his fears. She looked at him and laughed.     
    She laid her head on his shoulder and said,     
   “Don’t be ridiculous darling; they’ll love you as much as I do.
   Herbert wasn’t so sure of that, but he’d do anything for this woman and if she wanted him to humiliate himself, well, he’d do it. Let’s hope her parents didn’t kick him out.
    Several days later the big moment came. He drove up to Betty’s house and rang the doorbell. An old man, smoking a pipe and wearing too big suspenders, looked at him suspiciously, and said,
    “Mr. Gordon?”
    The old man gave him a once over and
   “ Yes, what can I do for you son?”
    Good grief, didn’t she tell them he was coming. He loved that woman so much but there were times when she was such a scatterbrain!
   “I’m Herb Schlee, Betty invited me to dinner.”
   “Oh, that’s right! said the old man. She told me she had a young man coming to call. Please come in”
    Herb entered tentatively and looked around the room.   He looked at one special picture of a woman.  It was a portrait of Betty.  He admired her bright smiled and shining brown hair.   He glanced at the huge wing back chair, and the comfortable sofa. They were both early American. In the corner sat a spinning wheel. He knew Betty loved to sew.   His attention was broken when the old man asked him to sit down.    Mr. Gordon sat in the wingback chair; Herbert sat on the couch.
    Mr. Gordon gave him a once-over which Herbert was very conscious of.
    The kitchen door swung open and an older version of Betty stepped in.
    “Time to eat”, she said sweetly.    She than noticed Herbert. 
    “Oh you must be Betty’s young man; she’s told us so much about you! Come on in, dinner is served.”
     And now the fun begins.
     They all sat down at a huge feast.  It was a very beautifully spread with enough food to feed an army. He couldn’t understand why she made so much for just the four of them. He began daydreaming when he heard:
        “Turkey, Mr. Schlee?”
       Herbert politely accepted and said,
      “Please don’t be so formal, call me…uh uh…
       Betty came to his rescue. 
       “Herb has a one month furlough until his next assignment, isn’t that wonderful.

        Mr. Gordon looked at him and said,
        “Well, Mr. …Herb, and just what do you do in the army. When I was in the big one, WWI, I was in the Cavalry, shame they don’t that anymore, horses are more friendly than people”
        “I, uh….I peel potatoes”
     This was not far from the truth, since Herb was always in trouble, it seemed like K.P. was his occupation.    Before he met Betty, he was always going out on the town when he should be on the base. He also loved to play practical jokes. Plus when it came to work, he was more than a little lazy.  He could shame Beetle Bailey when it came to goofing off. 
   “Excuse me, son, did you say you “peeled potatoes?”
    “Well, not all the time, just when I’m in trouble” Oh Herb, he thought to himself, you put your foot in it now! He corrected himself,
    “I’m a foot soldier, and sometimes it seems all we eat are potatoes.”
  He then realized Betty had just handed him the mashed potatoes.   He quietly thanked her and wished he could die right here and now.
 “Some gravy for your mashed potatoes,Herb?" Betty’s mother said to him.
  Herb accepted the gravy boat, when suddenly it had become a part of his uniform.   The entire gravy boat was in his lap. He stood up and  gravy covered the floor.
    Betty’s Mom hurriedly got up to get some towels and handed them to Herb while she cleaned the floor.
   “No, no, Mrs. Gordon, I’ll do that. He bent down to help her and just as he did, she rose to get off the floor. Their heads collided.   They both held their heads and laughed. He was so thankful this lovely woman had a sense of humor.  
    “Hatcher, don’t you have some clothes Herbert could change into while I try and clean his uniform?”
    “Hmm, Hatcher said, he’s too damn tall, I don’t have anything. Boy ought to watch what he’s doing.”
    “Hatcher Gordon, you go get him your robe this instant!!”
    Hatcher threw his napkin on the table to fetch a robe. Hatcher was a very small statured man, whereas Herb was 6’. The robe he gave him looked a bit like a mini-skirt.
    After the disaster was over and the kitchen was clean, Eva invited everyone  in for dessert. This is when Betty and Herb were going to give them the news. No time like the present.
   Betty arose from the table and looked into the faces of both of her parents, then smiled at Herb.
   “Mom, Dad…Herb and I are getting married!”
   Hatcher stared Herb down, and said,
   “You’re a foot soldier that peels potatoes. How on earth do you intend to support my daughter!
   Herb swallowed hard,
   “Well, sir, I have a lot saved, and we weren’t planning on getting married at least until I get back from overseas.”
    Hatcher looked at Herb wearing his robe, held onto his cherry pipe and looked at him.
   “Betty, THIS is the man you want to spend the rest of your life with?”
   “Yes, Daddy, I would like the blessing of you and Mama.
   Eva looked at Herb and smiled and said,
   “Son, welcome to the family”
    Hatcher just held onto his pipe and said,
    “Hmph; could do better than that, but I guess he’ll do. After all, he’s fighting for his country, even if he does peel potatoes. He then gave Herb a little wink
 “Pulled a bit of K.P. in my time too son, welcome to the family!”
     This Thanksgiving really happened, although I’m sure Mom gave it a little “pep” Everyone is gone now, Grandpa, Grandma, Mom and Dad. But I always remember the gleam in Mom’s eyes as she told this story. And I sure miss listening to her tell it.
                                         Mary E. Lacey







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Reviewed by Kathleen McDonald 1/25/2011
Aren't memories wonderful? I loved your story and I am so glad I dropped in to read a few
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 11/11/2010
Thank you for sharing this heart-warming, apt, and timely anecdote, Mary. Love and best wishes,

Reviewed by Charlie 5/15/2010
Cute story, Mary. One to hand down thru the generations. My father-in-law fought in 3 wars: WWII, Korea and Vietnam, was shot down twice over enemy territory, and married before twenty. Oddly enough, he had to get special permission to get married because of his age. Too young to be married, but not too young to fight in a war-- crazy. It certainly was an age of more chivalry than what we have now. --Charlie
Reviewed by Jon Willey 11/29/2009
Mary, your family story is marvelous and you told it quite well my friend -- peace and love to you this day --Jon Michael
Reviewed by Louisa Dobbins 11/22/2009
A most appropriate offering.
Reviewed by Rose Rideout 11/22/2009
A wonderful story Mary and you told it just fine.

Newfie Hugs, Rose
Reviewed by Terry Robertson 11/21/2009
What wonderful memories, so vividly told. I could feel the poor man's embarrassment. The fact that you laced it with humor, is something all families can look back and chuckle on. As always, excellent. Concisely written piece.
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton 11/21/2009
A heart grabber, Mary, and one that the two love birds had many a chuckle over during their years together. It is sad to say that people in this day don't fight to stay together like the older ones and that is a shame. Good story.
Reviewed by Swan Son 11/21/2009
What a wonderful memory! That twinkle in her eye must be really special to you now -- especially now that both of them are gone.
Gone but certainly never forgotten -- always loved. Thanks for sharing. Susan
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 11/21/2009
Great story, Mary; well done! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :D

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