The Twelve Days Of Turkey by Heidi Thurston

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We are well into October and you know what that means: Thanksgiving is just around the corner. So here are some thoughts before you go out and buy that big Tom Turkey:

Everyone knows about The Twelve Days of Christmas, but how many of you have ever considered “The Twelve Days of Turkey?” Turkey is uniquely American and to most citizens it would not be Thanksgiving without a meal with a big bird complimented by all the trimmings. But unless you are part of a family consisting of at least a dozen people, a large turkey can create a big problem – namely, leftovers.
Most women, having spent a small fortune on a turkey, will look forward to spending a little less on meat for the week following Turkey Day and, heaven knows, we budget conscious household-runners enjoy that! The rest of the family, however, does not always see it that way and a pattern, at least in my family, is set:

On Thanksgiving Day my family says to me, “Oh, what a delicious big turkey!”

On the day after Thanksgiving my family says to me, “Boy; those cold turkey sandwiches sure taste good!”

On the third day of turkey my family says to me, “Hot turkey sandwiches are a real treat!”

On Sunday afternoon, while they all watch football games, my family says to me, “Turkey hash goes good with a game!”

Coming home Monday, from school and work, my family says to me, “Do we indeed smell turkey soup?”

On the sixth day of turkey my family is impressed, and say, “Hmmm…soup to chowder; that’s a clever transformation…”

On the seventh day of turkey my family is resigned and says, “Well, this is different. We did not know you could fill crepes with turkey!”

On Thursday after Thanksgiving the turkey, served with leftover trimmings, receive just a, “Not again.”

By Friday they all yell, “Oh, No!”

picked over turkey

By the 10th day my family says absolutely nothing at all. On the 11th day, while looking at what’s left of the hated bird, they tell me they are not hungry.And on the very last day – the 12th – as I sit alone (they all called and said they were sorry but they could not make it home for dinner), I take what’s left, dump it in the garbage and settle down with a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of milk.

Needless to say, we do not have turkey for Christmas.

Golf Rumination by Chuck Thurston

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I don’t necessarily – and I will qualify necessarily in a bit – view golf as a spiritual exercise, although Robert Redford did once. Check out his scrumptiously filmed “The Legend of Bagger Vance”. It is formed within the framework of the Bhagavad Gita – a part of Hindu scripture. I have claimed that golf is one of the most redemptive games in the world; no matter how bad you screw up, there is always another club in the bag, another shot, another hole, another course, another day. I suppose that you can assign some spiritual qualities to that.

The lesson behind the redemption, though, is a lesson that every pro – at one time or another in his or her career – has offered to an interviewer holding a mike: put that last bad shot or hole or round behind you. The next shot, the next hole, the next round needn’t be like the last one. It simply isn’t good enough to know that you have another chance – You have to shrug off your misfortune and take advantage of the next opportunity. It may be simplistic to say so, but I think the key to that is (oh no, not THAT old sermon) focus!

I went to meet a buddy for a round of golf this morning. He had a doctor’s appointment, and would arrive later; I could be there early and get in a few holes before he arrived!

Charlotte skyline through trees

It is a great little urban course within sight of the Charlotte city skyline, and I knew that the morning rush hour traffic would be brutal. It was – and I barely made my tee time – 8:28. It was Ladies Day, and they would start at 8:30. I would have to hustle to keep from being pushed. The course was wet from two or three days of drizzle and fog. Balls hitting the ground threw up rooster tails of water before rolling to a sodden stop. My buddy called me around the third hole and told me he couldn’t make it. My wife called to tell me the heating and air guys had to order a part to fix the heat pump. My game – sucked.

All of the morning’s irritations were working their way into my game. The nerve! I grumbled along, and then along about the fifth hole, I woke up. I knew what was wrong with me and I knew how to fix it. We almost always know this. I am convinced of it. I know how a shot is supposed to be lined up. I know what my grip should be. I make pretty good club selections. I have played this course many times and know what drive placement works best if you want a shot at par – or bogey – a result that mollifies, if not completely satisfies, me. I knew all this stuff, but I wasn’t doing it. I wasn’t doing it because I was focused on the other baloney of the day. I would like to say I creamed the last four holes, but I rarely cream anything on a golf course. But – my last four holes were three strokes better than my first four.

I don’t offer this as the wisdom of the ages, but pick that ball up from the cup, soldier on to the next hole, select the club you want and take a good long look at that flag waving enticingly at the far end of that beautiful fairway. An old Jesuit priest gave me this wisdom once: “Yesterday was history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift – that’s why we call it the present.”