Freddy G

Lily L., Narratives

BRRIIIIIIING! The bell rang at Ruth and Kathryn’s school. At the same moment, Andrea slammed her office door and Jim shut his computer. 11-year-old Kathryn and 13-year-old Ruth biked home in the crisp autumn air. When they arrived home, a rosy pink blush speckled across their cheeks and noses. Andrea drove home from work in her Honda Accord, and since Jim was working from home, he prepared for the rush of home comers. Everyone walked in at the same time, the two girls entered through the back and their mom came in through the front door. Kathryn shouted, “It’s Thanksgiving break!” 

Andrea sent the girls upstairs to clean their room, for extended family was to arrive later that evening and the next morning. This year was their turn to host their dad’s side of the family. Kathryn and Ruth ran upstairs together. Ruth opened the door to their shared bedroom. They had the option to have separate rooms, but decided to stay together. There was a bunk bed in one corner, and a bookshelf in the opposite corner. In the middle of the room was a table where they drew all kinds of gorgeous works of art; both sisters were very creative. The walls were lined with sketches and designs, and scuff marks from all the pretend games of veterinarian and house in prior years were clearly visible. A giant chest of drawers stood against the wall to the left of the bed. The two sisters spent many happy years together in this room as they had been best friends since day one. They weren’t excited to clean, but they did want to show off their room to family, so vigorously set to work in order to get it over with.

Later, the doorbell rang. Kathryn was in the middle of making a cherry pie. She was rolling out the dough for the top of the pie. She made two little roses out of pie dough, and little pie dough leaves branching off of the flowers. Ruth was less of a baker, but just as creative. She was creating placemats for everyone that had their names and was decorated with pretty leaves and turkeys. However, at the sound of the bell, both girls abandoned their work, jumped up, and ran to the door, filled with sudden, excited energy. 

“Oma and Opa!” they screamed. 

Their German grandparents stepped beyond the threshold and squeezed the girls tightly. Then the procession started. Next, came Jim’s two brothers, Gayle and Jordan, with their families. In the morning before more relatives arrived, the Michigan mansion was covered in snow. Soon though, Jim’s cousins came, snow-covered and ready to enjoy the day. The house became a lively circus tent and spirits were high. This family loved each other very much, so these precious moments spent together were cherished by all. 

This was Thanksgiving Day. The parents gathered in the kitchen and began the dinner preparation even though it was only 11:00 in the morning. Preparing the feast would be an all-day task. The young cousins and their second cousins suited up in their snow pants and ski jackets, ready to battle the snow. They grabbed sleds from the garage and started the hike to the sledding hill with Kathryn and Ruth in the lead. 

Halfway through the sledding fun, it began to snow, which only excited the kids more. The cousins stuck out their tongues and sled down the massive hill with their mouths wide open, releasing squeals of joy and catching the occasional snowflake as well. But as the snow amount of coming down increased, the children’s visibility decreased. This excited the cousins because they all loved snow, but they knew what that meant, no more sledding. Ruth, the oldest, pulled the cousins together and did a headcount. The cousins dragged their feet, but eventually, everyone made it to the meeting spot. They walked home together before the snow could get any deeper; they didn’t want to risk being stuck outside in a blustery winter storm. 

As they were walking, the wind began to howl, scratching across their faces leaving them rosy, but stung. They covered their faces with their gloved hands and trudged on. They didn’t notice as they fought the wind that block after block, all the lights of the houses around them went out, so when they walked into their house and found the lights off, they were very surprised. Ruth ran to the light switch, but it was already flipped on. Kathryn screamed, “Mom, why are the lights out?” 

She answered, “The power is out all over the city; a power line must have fallen in the storm.”

Everyone knew what that meant. The oven was electric, the stove was electric, the fridge was electric; there was going to be no Thanksgiving dinner. This fact hit everyone with shock; this had never happened before. By that time it was almost 4 o’clock, and they were supposed to eat at 4:30. The turkey in the oven had stopped cooking, and the potatoes had stopped boiling. Andrea went into the living room to build a fire in the fireplace. The family huddled together in the room, staying warm by the fireplace. Everyone was thinking the same thing: We had such a nice dinner planned…. Everyone was so bummed out about not having Thanksgiving dinner, no one really felt like doing anything, they had all been defeated. 

Finally, Kathryn got up. “Are we going to mope around here, or are we going to make the most of it?” 

“Yeah,” Ruth said joining at Kathryn’s side, “there is still plenty of food in the pantry to eat, like PB&J.”

“It isn’t what we planned, but at least we’ll be together,” Kathryn added. 

Then she went into the kitchen and came out with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She ripped it in half and gave the other to Ruth, and they ate their sandwiches together. Soon enough, everyone was sitting in front of the fire, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The family was so happy and thankful just to be together. They learned that happiness doesn’t come from what people do together, but who is there when doing it. That night, Kathryn and Ruth high-fived before going up to bed, so proud of the way they saved thanksgiving from slipping away.

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