For many years, I’ve gone to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.

It’s lots of fun. We watch the Macy’s Day parade and eat at noon while we watch The National Dog show.

After I’m full of delicious turkey, dressing, gravy, rolls and assorted vegetables, I fall asleep in “my” chair, often snoring, to the delight of the other guests.

I also attend a Christmas Eve dinner at his house, but it’s a smaller gathering where we also have lasagna and red velvet cake. And I usually stay awake.

At my urging, we’ve even started getting together at Easter.

This year was different, of course.

My friend is gracious to provide Thanksgiving for many people, but I knew that gathering would not occur this year, so I made plans to get a carry-out dinner someplace and nap at home.

I was a little surprised to hear my friend planned to cook all the dishes he normally cooks. He invited us to stop by and pick up a plate.

However, don’t come in the house; pick up your plate in the garage.


That’s right. What I have come to call “garage turkey” was on the menu.

My friend, who has underlying conditions, lives with his senior citizen mother, who also has underlying conditions. He might be erring on the side of caution, but he wasn’t going to risk "the COVID" by allowing anyone to traipse through their house if there was even a tiny chance of being exposed.

On the flip side, he dearly loves Thanksgiving dinner, from the green bean casserole to the pumpkin pie to the star of the show: turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing and gravy. Plus, he knows some of us are without family and inviting us is a generous act toward his friends and it makes him feel good to share with us and make us feel like part of his family.

Hence, "garage turkey."

This year, he left not only a bag of "garage turkey" and all the fixings for me, he left a bag for my mother-in-law, who lives nearby. She received another bag of food from her other daughter-in-law, but there’s nothing quite like a surprise bag of "garage turkey."

Some of my other friends thought it was thoroughly odd to leave bags of food outside for people to pick up. Some laughed out loud and some just gave me that look I often get when I talk about my life.

We don’t care, though. This year, tradition has been tossed to the wind, in favor of safety. Not only was the food delish, it was a sweet and thoughtful gesture.

Plus, I like saying "garage turkey."

And I’m looking forward to next week, when my friend presents me with “porch ham.”

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