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Mishaps can happen even during the holidays. And in fact, according to my own experience, you can almost expect them during the holidays.
I've been pregnant with twins for Thanksgiving, and the mother of twin babies for Christmas.
I've spent more Thanksgivings and Christmases than I care to count knocked back with crashes from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or my other specialty, tendinitis in one or both arms.
My husband has cooked plenty of meals that he wasn't expecting to cook, often with only hours' notice. One dinner in particular that stands out was a few years ago when overnight, my right arm had become a screaming useless bundle of raw flesh due to tendinitis.
I'd had it many times in the past and knew what to do to handle it. But handling a special dinner the whole family was showing up for -- that was another matter. This particular occasion was a big deal because our oldest son was bringing his fiancee home with him from Oklahoma.
That year, fortunately, we had lots of extra hands. Our three daughters and youngest son jumped in to help my husband pull this off.
I sat in the living room, huddled in a chair, babying my sore arm. The dinner crew was one room away in the kitchen.
We always say that that year, I cooked dinner by remote. One of my girls was in charge of the potatoes, another did the stuffing, and my other daughter was in charge of pies. Our son was going to be on cleanup and made himself scarce while the cooks rushed around each other.
What choreography that must have been. I have to guess, I didn't get to see it. Still in my chair.
My husband cooked the turkey and made gravy. Anybody that had a question about their dish would holler from the kitchen and I'd holler back. In tricky cases, they'd bring their pot or bowl into the living room to show me, and I'd give them instructions.
Our son and daughter-in-law-to-be showed up just before dinner, and despite all the earlier chaos, they walked into a welcoming house that smelled and looked wonderful.
It was a great dinner. My family did a terrific job.