I was hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, so when I first heard the news reports of predicted turkey shortages, I was concerned. I hurried to my local grocery store early in November to place my order for a fresh turkey, just to make sure I would have one. But the clerk at the meat counter told me that they weren’t taking orders for turkey or anything else this year, and that he wasn’t sure they would have any fresh turkeys for sale at all. He told me that if I wanted to be sure to have a turkey for my Thanksgiving dinner, I should buy one of their frozen ones right now, before they ran out.
I thanked him and went over to the inspect the frozen turkeys. They were covered with frost, and when I scraped off the label in order to read the price, I was shocked to see that it would cost $37 for a 14-pound turkey. Call me cheap, but I just couldn’t make myself pay that much for what looked suspiciously like a turkey left over from last year. I decided to keep looking, and that if I came up empty-handed, we could always celebrate Thanksgiving with a nice lasagna instead.
Luckily, I found a store that was happy to take my order for a fresh turkey, and while it wasn’t exactly cheap, it was free-range, so that made the price easier to accept. Much harder to accept was the sight of the literally dozens of turkeys, both fresh and frozen, available in every grocery store in the days just before Thanksgiving. All that worry, all that schlepping from store to store searching for turkeys, and it turned out that there were more than enough for everyone. I haven’t felt quite that conned since the days after the Beanie Baby craze, and I could blame that one on my kids.
No one who knows me well would ever call me an optimist, but even I have had enough of the doom and gloom predictions that seem so relentless these days. Yes, there are very real issues to worry about and I’m quite sure that there really are bad things coming our way. But I also know that not every dire prediction comes true (the predicted turkey shortage certainly didn’t) and that perhaps the time has come for me to be a little more discerning when I decide how I respond to the constant reports of how “the sky is falling.” Because maybe it is, but maybe it isn’t.
We actually had a rather nice Thanksgiving this year. The vaccines allowed us to gather as an extended family, and for that I was thankful. I was even more thankful that my husband’s long battle with cancer finally seems to be over, and that we will soon be welcoming another grandchild into our family. Also, I managed to cook the turkey without setting off the smoke alarm, which doesn’t always happen. All of which is to say that, even in these troubled times, there is still a whole lot of good going on. We just have to be willing to see it….