Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: When Problems Become Traditions #SOL18 #TWTBlog
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Slice of Life: When Problems Become Traditions #SOL18 #TWTBlog

Hey! Hands off!

I swat my son’s hand off the turkey.

I just want one piece of bacon.  It’s my favorite part and it’s best when it is right out of the oven.

I laugh and remember …



That doesn’t sound good I think to myself as I hear my mom run down the stairs.

Oh, it’s ruined.

It sounds like my mom is crying.  I decide to venture downstairs to see what is going on.  I start to have second thoughts as my warm bed beckons me back.  Then the banging begins.  I have to see what is going on.

As I enter the kitchen, I see half of the contents of the refrigerator laying all over the floor.  My dad is searching for something.  Dirty dishes are all over the counter.  My mom is making space in the sink for the turkey.  None of this is matching up.  Maybe I should just quietly go back upstairs.  My dad sees me.

Find the cat.  Now.

His tone made it clear there was not an invitation to question his reasoning. The cat was not his favorite, but this had to be more.

I start in the family room.  One of Nell’s favorite spots.  I then make my way upstairs and check my bedroom and my parent’s bedroom.  I decide not to wake my siblings and head back downstairs.  I turn and see her.  She is outside on the railing peeking through one of the front door windows.  She tilts her head as if to say, “How’s it going in there?”  Not well I think to myself.

Nell is outside. I report to my parents.  Do you need her?

No leave her out there.  She may never come back inside.


Because if she does, I just might ring her neck!

What did she do?

She ate a section of the turkey.

But it’s still raw.

Didn’t matter to her.

What are we going to do?

Well, we can’t get another turkey, so we are going to make do.

My mom pats the turkey dry and places it back in the roasting pan.  She begins preparing it as she always does except there are two sizable holes on the top of the turkey.  The scene is a bit much and I fight the laughter that is building within me.  I know this is not the time to laugh.

You are going to still cook it.  And serve it.  And eat it.

What else are we going to do?  We have thirteen people to feed and this bird needs to get in the oven if it is going to be ready on time.

My dad unwraps what he was looking for in the refrigerator and sets to work.  My mom watches over his shoulder.  I can see her lips moving as she quietly recites the Hail Mary.

My dad backs up and examines his efforts.  He nods his head and makes a few adjustments.

That will do it.

I walk over to see what he did to distract our guests from the holes in the back of the turkey.  Bacon.  And lots of it.  He covered the entire back of the turkey, a little extra in some spots, with bacon.  It actually worked.  You really couldn’t tell at all.

Have a little turkey with your bacon?

Their necks snap toward me and they glare.  Clearly it was too soon for humor.


I smile at my son.

I know.  Just wait for everyone else.

We all gather around and snatch a piece of bacon off the turkey as it rests on the counter before carving.  My son is right.  It is best right out of the oven.

How did this tradition begin?  What is the story?

We eat our bacon together in the kitchen as I retell the story – which is now a tradition as well.


Tammy and I hope you find time this week to share stories of traditions with your students, family, and friends. These moments of story – slices of life – are what bring joy and meaning to our lives.  We are grateful to have each of you with us on our professional journey of learning.  Best wishes for a happy, restful holiday.


Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers, and teachers here.

  • Avatar
    Rose Cappelli
    Posted at 16:05h, 20 November Reply

    What a great story, Clare! And it’s so special that you have continued the tradition. I guess it’s true what they say – Bacon makes everything better! Have a wonderful holiday.

  • Avatar
    Julieanne Harmatz
    Posted at 18:57h, 20 November Reply

    I love traveling with you on this journey! Great story and connection to tradition.
    It reminds me of a time our dog took a piece of cooked chicken off the broiling pan that was sitting conveniently at his level. Cats, on the other hand, have no obstacles when it comes to height!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  • Avatar
    Stacey A Shubitz
    Posted at 19:54h, 20 November Reply

    This story made me laugh out loud! I didn’t know cats had a penchant for raw turkey. What a story!

    Happy Thanksgiving. May your dinner prep be seamless!

  • Avatar
    Posted at 19:55h, 20 November Reply


  • Avatar
    Posted at 19:56h, 20 November Reply

    Okay, let me try my first comment again. I totally lost it after I hit submit.


    I didn’t realize cats had a penchant for turkey. That’s some story!

    May your holiday meal prep be seamless this year. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Avatar
    Melanie Meehan
    Posted at 22:11h, 20 November Reply

    I’d much rather have bacon than turkey! Loved your story, Clare, and I hope that there’s plenty of room for humor now!

  • Avatar
    Tina Santoleri
    Posted at 00:14h, 21 November Reply

    Turkey covered in bacon? I may need to try that this year. Thank you for sharing your memory.

  • Avatar
    Natalie Dunne
    Posted at 02:28h, 21 November Reply

    Great Story! I found myself identifying with you as the kid, knowing things like this happened growing up and seeing my parents and how they reacted. I also found myself identifying with your parents, knowing I’d be in tears if this happened to me. And then I’m laughing, imagining your dad draping bacon over the turkey, Lmao.

    Annnnd… Then a little grossed out that you guys all still ate it lol.

  • Avatar
    Susan M Kennedy
    Posted at 13:43h, 21 November Reply

    Once our cat ate the center out of the pumpkin pie… on the table. I thought my mother would flip… That’s what I miss most, the full house, the absolute pandemonium. Bacon wrapped turkey sounds yummy. Perhaps next year. xxoo sk

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