Gather ’round, kids. It’s story time!
Every year, I get out one Thanksgiving decoration to add to the few fall things that I otherwise decorate with. It’s funny, it makes my kids laugh, and it brings back such great memories for me and Matt that I can’t envision Thanksgiving without it.
It’s this: a silk turkey with real forks for feet.
Well, the story goes something like this…
In the early spring of 2003, after attending a new church (which is still our church now) for several months, we got hooked up with a group of 5 other young couples (one of whom we knew from our previous church) to form a small group Bible study (one couple moved a few months after our group started, so we were 5 couples for a long time). We had no idea at that time how this incredible, amazing group of people would change our lives and become a part of our story.
We met every other week, without our kids (there were a total of 5 boys 2 and under at the time we started), studying the Bible and getting to know each other. It was evident pretty quickly that this group just meshed really well and enjoyed each others’ company. Soon, we were celebrating our kids’ birthdays together, going on picnics, having wine tastings and dinners together.
The months and then years started flying by, with us seeing each other through lots of wonderful, happy things (job changes, multiple pregnancies) and also some incredibly difficult things (job loss, my mom’s cancer diagnosis, and thyroid cancer of one of our group members). Being with these people helped Matt and me examine our faith and deepen our belief and understanding of it.
As all of us began expanding our families, we decided that we’d throw baby showers for each other…smaller, more intimate gatherings than for our first babies, but celebrations, nonetheless, of these new little lives that were joining our families and, in essence, our group.
Are you wondering where the heck the turkey comes in? Sit tight. I’m getting there.
Our friend K’s shower took place at my house in the fall of 2005, with the four other girls in the group serving as hostesses. K was pregnant with a girl, after having a boy the first time around, so we decked the house out in pink and had a great time celebrating. And K, who is just so sweet, brought us hostess gifts.
Except, she explained, she didn’t have time to run out and get us the gifts. So she sent her husband, who we all knew to have really good taste, to a local gift shop to pick out something for us girls. Aaaaand he came home with 4 silk turkeys with forks for feet, which the salesman, apparently, insisted were the next big thing. K was less than pleased with his choice, to say the least.
But the four of us? We died laughing. And immediately all put them on display in our homes.
However, we felt bad for K, because she didn’t have a turkey of her very own like the rest of us. The gift shop where they’d been purchased was sold out, but, as luck would have it, the following November one of the girls in our group found an identical turkey, being sold at a local grocery store. She snatched it up right away, wrapped it, and we presented it to K at our next small group gathering.
Our group dissolved in June of 2008, around the time my mom passed away. No hard feelings; just time to move on (also, by this point, we’d added another couple and had a total of 15 kids!). And that whole “friends are for a reason/season/lifetime” thing really is true; we’re still close to a couple of the families we were with, and not so close to others, but it’s fine. These couples will always, ALWAYS have a really special place in our hearts.
And, on our mantle every Thanksgiving.