Saturday, December 18, 2010

Celebration Failure Part 6

Sadly every one of us Hammonds seems to be lacking mechanical/practical skills. This has a tendency to work against us at the most trying of times, namely every time something breaks. In fact, the need for a family member with practical skills is so great that I have issued a wish list for future sons and daughters-in-law that includes a plumber and a computer programmer. 
We have all developed our own coping skills over the years when things fall apart, and it generally follows the theme of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Kellen immediately phoned his future father-in-law, an incredibly handy guy, and asked for advice. After some discussion it was decided that the problem could be the bottom element. If I would just keep restarting the oven every fifteen minutes or so the top element should come on and keep the oven close to the temperature it needed to be in order to cook the cursed bird. 
What followed is not something I am particularly proud of, but remember- I was sleep deprived and had already taken a few life hits this fine Christmas day. This is how the next five hours played themselves out. Push off button on oven. Set oven to 450 and push start button. Set timer for fifteen minutes. Sit down and knit furiously until timer rings. Repeat process. All the way from 90F to 180F. The novelty wore off somewhere around the 105F mark, and by the time it reached 180F the bird wasn’t the only thing that was finished.  
At exactly 8:00 on Christmas night I pulled the thing out of the oven. I placed it on top of the stove and told everyone that dinner was ready, which in my current frame of mind simply meant the turkey was done. It did not mean the vegies were cooked, the gravy made, the potatoes mashed. I then walked upstairs to my bedroom, closed the door, curled up under a blanket on my bed and sobbed. 
Some time later there was a tentative knock at my door. Apparently Rebekah drew the short straw and had been sent up to tell me dinner was, indeed, ready. I won’t even say I tried to pull myself together before going downstairs. I simply sat at my place, sniffing and taking food from each dish as it was passed to me. After what was probably the quietest meal our family had ever eaten I went back upstairs, had a bath and went to bed. The day was beyond redemption. 

Now I know what you are thinking. Christmas is over, so the story must be finished as well. Not quite. Remember, this is North of 49, where Christmas is followed by Boxing Day. Another holiday, and perhaps the biggest disaster of the whole season awaits.

Christmas 1995
Kellen, Rebekah, Alexandra, David, Karsten
Christmas 1996
Rebekah, Karsten, Kellen
Christmas 1996
Jay, Kristie, Kellen, Karsten, Grandma, Grandpa
David, Rebekah,Alexandra


  1. It's amazing what sleep deprivation can do to us. You actually got out of bed on Boxing Day?!

  2. No, no more! Fate couldn't be so mean. The great thing is you persevered and finished the turkey. The family would have wanted to do the side-dishes anyway--and Rebekah knew it wouldn't be Christmas dinner without you at the table. No short straw! =)

    PS - In this age of cell phones, who you know is just as good as what you know.

  3. Now I know you shouldn't laugh at other's misfortunes but, giggling aside, can things get worse? can't wait for boxing day:)
    Ps. I'm glad you managed to eat dinner through your sniffles!