Story last updated at 11/25/2009 - 12:03 pm
With the arrival of Thanksgiving, it's time to open the mail and share a few holiday memories sent in by readers. I hope you enjoy them:
Susan Chittenden and her husband drove to her parents' home one year to celebrate the holiday with family.
"My mother is a wonderful cook," she said. "We always have an enjoyable meal with them."
They watched while her dad took the roasting pan out of the oven and remove its lid.
"All he did was stand and stare at the contents," she said. "He didn't say a word - he just stood and stared. Then he looked at Mom. He asked her what was in the pan. Turkey breast, she replied.
"She explained she'd purchased a turkey breast rather than a whole turkey because she didn't want to cook a whole bird.
"Finally, he asked her where she'd purchased it."
In the store's deli section, she replied.
"All of a sudden we realized why Dad was so dumbfounded," Susan said. "Inside the roasting pan was the biggest oval piece of meat any of us had ever seen. It was kind of an odd grayish-pinkish color. It turned out my mother had bought a large processed turkey breast, like the kind of turkey they have in a deli - not a fresh turkey.
"By this time we were all starving, so we gamely sat down to try this meal. Normally I like deli turkey sandwiches, but they need to be cold. But when the meat was cooked, the texture changed and it was awful - salty, rubbery and just plain awful."
They gave it their best.
"We all tried to eat the meal in front of us, but none of us could," she said.
Still, Susan made the most of the day.
"I did sit and count my blessings in other areas of my life - family, food, friends, a home and a job - but that was one Thanksgiving meal we were not thankful for!
"After all these years, we lovingly refer to that day as the Great Turkey Ball Incident," she said.
Amanda Gragert Rogers' Thanksgiving involved a blizzard and a missing dad.
"My dad was gone down state for hunting," she said. "We didn't think he'd make it back because most of the roads were closed.
"My mom kept trying to stall making dinner, but finally she started final preparations. My brother and I were outside building a snowman when she called us inside to eat."
Then - a miracle.
"Just as we put the carrot on our snowman's nose, my dad pulled up to our house," she said. "He was just in time for Thanksgiving dinner! It seemed like a small Thanksgiving miracle."
Thanks, Susan and Amanda, for sharing your special memories with us. For all of you wonderful readers, I wish each of you the very best this Thanksgiving.