A Turkey-induced Stupor—or Not

I am writing, or trying to write, in a turkey-induced stupor.

Well, that’s at least partly correct. But not, I think, the turkey part.

Our family had a really nice Thanksgiving. I hope you and yours did, too. Into a relatively normally-sized house we crammed more folks than the house was designed to easily accept. The grandkids buzzed around like happy little bees, playing with the dog (who is never happier than when the kids are home and now seems to be in a stupor of his own), heading out to a rather cold trampoline, helping hang lights in the shed/greenhouse “magic” princess-prince castle, pulling out way too many toys, piling onto PawPaw, etc. (“PawPaw,” asked the littlest princess, “who wakes you up when we’re not here?”)

Some of the “littles,” as we call the youngest four, even joined in, for the first time, in a card tournament (with some modifications to help them compete).

Nertz (it has other spellings and names) is usually something we get around to playing when we’re together. As is true with so many holiday traditions, our version is an amalgamation, a blend, of the practices of the families that marriage has brought together to make our bunch.

I was playing at something of a disadvantage for a few hands as I came in late and nobody had told me that our usual 13-card pile had been temporarily downgraded to a 10-card stack. I would’ve lost anyway. I always do. I’m a word guy, and no one will play word games with me.

We’ve long ago come up with rules that work for us. Different members of our bunch come from families with different rules governing how you flip your cards. That disagreement has been handled. And we all agree that it is forbidden to “two-hand” cards when smashing them into the piles in the middle of the table.

I don’t know why I’m picky about such. I am destined to lose anyway. I’m at a disadvantage whenever speed is required and numbers are involved. Two strikes starting out. I enjoy it anyway because I love my adversaries. And losing means that I never have to spend the energy it would take to move to the winners’ table.

Of course, we ate far too much. Which brings me back to the turkey.

From what I’ve read, it seems to me that the turkey gets a bad rap. Yes, the bird contains a bunch of tryptophan, but the research says, not that much more than many other meats and proteins. Yes, tryptophan is, I’m told, involved in our bodies’ serotonin production.

You can do your own research to check this out (I promise that there’s more than you care to read, especially if you’re in a real stupor already), but if you really want to know what makes you drowsy after a big Thanksgiving meal, the culprits are likely at least two-fold: way too much food and way too much dessert (carbohydrate-rich). How much you stretch your small intestine (yeah, that’s a thing), the miles you traveled to get to the celebration, the work you did to prepare for the celebration, and sleep deprivation figure in as well. A whole lot of folks stacked up, a serious change in “routine,” and much more, and, yes, it’s a great time, but you’re toast at the end of getting stuffed with stuffing.

It’s all worthwhile, of course, including the stupor at the end of the festivities.

My wife’s family had a Thanksgiving tradition that, though sensible, was new to me decades ago. Almost as soon as the main Thanksgiving meal was over, what was left of the turkey “hit the fan.” I mean that the leftover bird quickly became turkey salad. It wasn’t bad in that form, but I always campaigned for a little to be left in recognizable form to go with leftover dressing and cranberry sauce. I don’t mind several opportunities for the traditional meal.

No turkey salad this year. The bird was pretty much completely dispatched very quickly.

It was a good time, and I’m thankful for that. Sleepy. Tired. I don’t think I could put two cards together tonight. In a stupor, for sure.

But very thankful.

Oh, and here’s a reminder for this and all of the holiday season. Holidays don’t have to be perfect (there’s no such thing) to include plenty for which we should be genuinely thankful. With that, I am now gratefully taking my stupor and the rest of me to bed.

You’re invited to visit my website at http://www.CurtisShelburne.com, and I hope you’ll take a look there at my new “Focus on Faith” Podcast. At the website, just click on “Podcast.” Blessings!

Copyright 2022 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.

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