A post-Thanksgiving day margin of error

Published 8:00 am Thursday, November 24, 2022

DOWAGIAC — At the time of this writing, my family Thanksgiving Day celebration will not have yet begun.  Based on several years of experience I have become pretty good at accurately predicting much of the happenings and outcome with a +/- 3 wine glass spill margin of error during this traditional family gathering.  By the way, a margin of error is the “plus or minus” part you must add to your statistical results to tell everyone you acknowledge that sample results will vary from sample to sample, (or in this case family to family) and could vary from the actual population condition.

So, our Thanksgiving Day began at approximately 4:30 a.m. when our Bichon Frise wanted to go for a walk.  There was much debate between my wife and I as to whose turn it was to take him out.  After that was settled and I returned home from his walk, the realization came that we were short about 52 items from the grocery store.  After cleaning the snow off the car, I was on my way to the store only to realize 15 minutes later that I left my wallet in my pants pocket from the night before.  You see, as soon as I got home Wednesday night before Thanksgiving Day, I was greeted at the door with a duty roster from my wife as to what needed to be vacuumed, cleaned, purchased, retrieved from the attic and basement immediately.  In my haste I quickly changed into some old clothes and thus, my wallet that was not on the kitchen counter, was forgotten.

After my second trip to the grocery store to return the wrong items and purchase the ones I forgot, I began my marathon cleaning session which pretty much left me with 15 minutes before our family and a few other unexpected, but welcomed, guests arrived at our home.  My wife had been cooking and cleaning as well for about the past 48 hours.

We had the typical uncomfortably, yet subtle request for folks to put their wet shoes on the floor mats if they chose.  Some obliged and some were perfectly fine walking across the white rug.  After cleaning up the mess on the floor that our dog made from all the excitement of guests arriving, I was tasked to run out and buy some diet Ginger Ale.  There is always one oddball in the group.

As our family and friends began to settle in around the fireplace, I could not help, but think about how much per minute that natural gas was costing me as it burned up through the chimney while providing absolutely zero heat.

After 3 or 4 cocktails the stomachs were all primed and ready to feast.  Finally, the turkey popped its timer, and we gave thanks, and I worked my magic with the electric saw.  It was another incredible meal prepared by my wife, good conversation and rooms full of people I love so dearly. 

By the time I finished half of the first set of dishes, everyone was ready for the dessert plates.  After dumping a few gallons of Oxy on the white carpet where the previous 3 glasses of red wine spilled, a few guests began to drift into their catatonic state on the couch and loveseat and even a couple on the floor near the fireplace.  This gave my wife and I a few moments in the kitchen together to give thanks to each other for the bounties bestowed upon us.  It was about that time a call was heard coming from the upstairs, “Rich, where is your plunger?”

With all the stresses the holidays sometimes seem to bring, try to be with the people you care about and reach out with kindness to those you do not know.  Be the person who does something special for a stranger.  I predict a +/- margin of error of 0% that person will be so thankful for your kindness.  Enjoy the holidays and let’s all be thankful for what we have and prepare for what we can give.  Be happy, be healthy and be generous!