The turkey had been roasting for about forty-five minutes when we heard the POP! At first we thought juices had spattered, but then the oven timer went off.
I hadn’t set the timer.
When I got to the oven, a bright green “F1” was flashing where the temperature setting should have read 325 degrees. Uh-oh.
I tried to open the oven door. It would not budge. Locked. Tight.
My twenty pound turkey was stuck in the oven. Thirty people would be arriving for a Christmas feast in just a few hours.
“Go turn off the breaker,” I said to my husband. “Maybe it will reset itself and the door will open.” Meanwhile, I was mentally scanning my neighbor’s kitchens. Who was likely to be home, not needing their oven a week and a half before Christmas?
“Did that work?” my husband called from the basement.
“Yes! The door’s open!” I hollered back as I dialed the neighbor most likely to have an empty oven. “Hi, Jean? I need a huge favor.”
Fifteen minutes later, my turkey was safely tucked into Jean’s oven. But I still had mashed potatoes, butternut squash, and broccoli to worry about.
“Well, we were going to get a new oven soon anyway,” my husband reasoned. “I’ll just go buy one today.”
Within the hour, my well-used, trusted oven was on its way to the great appliance graveyard.
Within three hours, our new oven was settled into its new home, gleaming brightly.
Four hours after that ominous pop, the turkey finished roasting in our new oven, the potatoes were mashed, and the squash was boiling. When our first guests arrived, everything was under control. They only reason anyone knew anything had gone wrong was because we told them.
At school, we help students to put their problems in perspective, categorizing them as bummers, glitches, or catastrophes. Thanks to a good neighbor and a handy husband, what at first felt like a catastrophe turned out to be only a glitch. Dinner was on the table a bit later than originally planned, but otherwise, our Christmas celebration with my husband’s family went off without a hitch. It was a miracle!
Wishing you all a glitch-free holiday! Thank you to Stacey, Betsy, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Kelsey, Melanie, and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories every Tuesday. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.