No, it wasn’t a balmy day two Thanksgivings ago, but the weather was pretty nice for late November and on a whim, dad had decided to open the pool cover on our new, Liquid Assets pool that we had installed earlier in the year.
It would be a great chance for all the relatives to ogle our newly updated backyard so they could invite themselves over for a swim the following summer when the weather turned warm.
We were expecting quite a crowd, a regular Griswold-style gathering complete with Uncle Larry and Aunt Rose who were coming in from Dubuque. Nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, all gathered for our Thanksgiving feast which both mom and dad had been busy preparing for at least a week or two.
The turkey was in the oven, football was on the tube and throughout our house our guests were making themselves at home, especially my cousin Lance who apparently had really sharpened his pool skills while away at college. He ran the table twice and most of the other kids were reluctant to take him on.
Mom and Dad seemed focused on the food so a bunch of us kids ventured outside to toss a football around in the yard behind the pool. Our large golden retriever, Ollie was happy to try and steal the ball away but eventually grew tired and decided to spread out right near the back door.
That turned out to be a very poor spot for what ensued next.
Mom must have been talking about the new pool to a few of our guests and a parade of aunts and uncles shuffled out the door to marvel at our backyard oasis. About that time, the timer must have gone off and Dad decided to remove the turkey from the oven and put it on the platter.
In his wisdom, he saw all the people outside gathered around our new pool and decided he’d let everyone know that the turkey was ready. So out he waltzed, proudly carrying the turkey on a platter while announcing its arrival to our guests.
Apparently, he was more focused on our guests then where he was going and he stepped on Ollie’s tail who yiped and jumped up, startling dad who lurched forward, bumped into our patio table and the turkey went flying.
Yep, right into our new pool with its missing cover.
There it sat, at the bottom of our pool as everyone gathered around to stare at the bird that had lost all ability to swim.
Dad was dumbfounded. Mom was furious. Our Thanksgiving feast had done a belly flop into our pool and wouldn’t be able to be revived.
That truly made it a Griswold-style family Thanksgiving gathering.
But all was not lost. We sent my brother out to a nearby store who bought some pre-cooked Turkey and our celebration went on as planned and we had a new pool memory that we won’t soon forget.