The Breakdown Over A Turkey

My extremely capable and talented daughter Kendra had a near breakdown yesterday over a turkey.

This is the woman who can put up drywall and drag bushes out of the ground by tying them to the back of her car. Of course this is after she’s been digging at it herself for hours.

She’s exhausted and it just goes to show you what happens when you’re stretched far too thin. She rarely takes a day off. Kendra is also a realtor and has houses to show and closings to attend.

An Unfortunate Time To Flip A House:

And she bought this flip house just before the cost for materials soared, when she was adding 600 additional square feet to what was already there. If only she’d known the world was going to be consumed with a deadly pandemic.

She’s way behind on this flip house because of all the problems that have ensued over not being able to get supplies. And then when she can find them, they’re extremely over priced. How can they sell a stupid board for $70 and sleep at night? What a racket.

She closed on yet another flip house at the end of last month, so that one is looming over her along with the mortgage.

The Thanksgiving Meal That Almost Wasn’t:

All she wanted was to provide a great Thanksgiving dinner for Marley and Riley. Of course this is after they’ll have had Thanksgiving lunch at their dad’s. So they won’t starve or anything.

But alas, every mother wants to provide an Instagram worthy Thanksgiving meal I suppose. Instagram doesn’t really interest me. I can’t imagine feeling the need to photograph every occasion. She doesn’t do that either. Where would she find the time?

Her boyfriend, the cook in the house who can produce gourmet feasts, is currently out of state helping his mother. She has cancer and it’s really bad. It’s probably his last holiday with her.

So he’s stressed out as well, as he is taking time off from his job as a public defender. They’re always overwhelmed and overworked with too many court cases to show up in court for.

A Kind But Equally Stressed Partner:

So he very thoughtfully ordered Kendra and the kids a complete Thanksgiving meal before he left town last week. All she had to do was pick it up. Except the store called her and said there was a mix up and they ran out. No turkey meal.

This sent her right over the edge after all the other things in her life were already inching her toward it. She had sort of a meltdown, tears and all, and the store called her back and said they’d arranged for her dinner and it was free.

Which made her cry all over again at the generosity. She’d already called all over town and no one had turkey dinners left. Kendra will probably spend every waking hour before the kids come over from their dad’s house working at the flip house.

Pouring Your Heart Out To A Stranger:

She ended up tearfully explaining her predicament to the person at the store who brought the meal to her. Because isn’t that what you do, end up crying in front of a complete stranger, when your life has become overwhelming?

If only she’d called me. I went to the barbecue place owned by a famous Oklahoma football player. He probably makes a ton of money, maybe more than he did at football. Because he now has these popular restaurants, Billy Sims Barbecue, all over the place.

I drove through there yesterday and bought a quarter of a turkey, already sliced, for my own Thanksgiving meal. They know me there. I frequently pick up a sandwich meal and take it to Kendra at the flip house nearby when she can’t get away.

What I Do:

Sometimes I order myself half a pound of chicken or turkey. When I get home I put single meal portions in baggies. Then I pull a baggy from the freezer, stick it in the fridge to thaw, and make veggies to go with it.

I could have gotten Kendra and the kids however much turkey she wanted, already cooked and sliced. And the sides if she wanted them as well. They sell complete family sized dinners there every day of the week.

But when you’re already so stressed out simple things often don’t occur to you. If only she’d called Mom.

I talked to her last night and the horrid day was already a funny story instead of a tearful one. I’m sure one of us will think to bring it up every Thanksgiving for years to come.

19 Comments

  1. I feel for Kendra. I can totally understand why she had a meltdown. I think many people feel pushed to their limits these days. Kendra receive 2 gifts…. the kindness of a stranger and a mom who was willing to listen to her story and frustrations. A mama who gives a shoulder to cry on to one of her kids is the best kind of a gift!!! We’ve gone from our house in NY to our place in FL. NY people are taking this virus very seriously… FL residents, not so much. I actually had a bit of a mini meltdown Friday. We may just turn around and go back to NY…. yes, FL is that bad and just feels unsafe to me. Everyone acts like there’s no pandemic. Many, many people without masks and generally not following CDC guidelines. It just seems like I’m living in an upside down world.

  2. This story hit home for me as I have had some frustrating times trying to train someone on my job. I cannot work from home as I have been since March. There are DAILY problems with the computer system, telephone and the many unique circumstances with hiring this new person. Slap COVID and the holiday season on top of an already distressing situation and yup, let the meltdown begin.

    Brenda, I think you touched on a beautiful point about calling Mom, or connecting with someone who might help center ones perspective.

    At this time when we’re told there is so much we shouldn’t do, perhaps one of the little things, that really is a big thing, is to say “tell me how you’re doing” and then just listen . . . . just listen. . . . .
    Grateful for your blog!

  3. My heart goes out to Kendra!
    Please let her know this ~ Girl, you are doing the BEST you can under circumstances that are trying for all of us. Remember these two things ~ be gentle with yourself, and Breathe.
    It will all work out ~
    Sending hugs ~

  4. Oh Brenda,
    I really can relate to poor Kendra’s plight. My daughter has just finished building her home in Murietta, California. She just had her final inspection; but what an ordeal! She was a year over her original build time. She had to re-qualify through her lender three times! Because of this pandemic, some of her kitchen cabinets are on back order for almost a year. She had to custom build in cabinet boxes so she could get her sink plumbed and her countertops installed! She will face these cabinets with doors when they come in next year! She and her husband ended up tiling two bathrooms after the shower pan and tub were installed because the plumber tried to increase his price! Thank God she took tiling classes and bought her own saw and tools. She completely rebuilt her last house; while having three children and working from home as an accountant! She often tells people, You Tube is the best thing for learning skills and fundamentals. A few days ago, her contractor told her that the cost of framing materials and drywall have skyrocketed among other things. He estimated that to build her house today would cost around $75,000 more… Crazy and Outrageous! She is having a small Thanksgiving, her immediate family and one of her brother-in-laws; who is a recent widower. His wife died of pancreatic cancer right before the pandemic began. Our daughter is counting her blessings everyday.

  5. Hi Brenda
    I had to agree after reading about Kendra ‘a meltdown. I just this morning I was on the phone with the my
    pharmaceutical trying to get a free drug this month for Multiple Sclerosis $8000.00 a month as my grant is exhausted. I was on the phone for two hours. They’d send me from one person to the next asking each time for my name, address, birthdate and phone number. How many times do you have to confirm that for heavens sake! I accidentally hung up on them and had to start over. Yes! I had a meltdown not to mention no sleep last night worrying how would I be able to have this infusion.

    I do have a turkey but am stressed about preparing a meal.

    Thank God for mom’s like you and caring people to help in Kendra’s situation.

    1. So sorry Ladonna…I am on one very expensive drug…even jumped through hoops to try to get it cheaper (after all, have been on it for over 20 years),,,,finally wrote the company and asked them to give it to me cheaper. No banana…no answer. Pfizer is simply not rich enough I guess. Mine is a lot cheaper than yours, but still too much. Will pray that somehow someone finds your situation and helps…there may be groups so doing…if I come across something…will alert Brenda and here…

  6. Glad Kendra was able to finally get her family’s turkey dinner. I well remember making big dinners for my family of seven plus a set of grandparents. Happy times to remember but I was very stressed by the end of the day. Now my dear daughter makes a lovely turkey breast. Due to restrictions she will bring over my dinner. I told her I will enjoy it in solitary splendor. LOL

  7. In all the terrible stresses we deal with nearly daily now, your daughter just shows she is human!! Poor thing…when you are a divorced mom especially, you are already under extra stress just from that alone. I watch my daughter struggle every month with things to do with her situation. We happen to live in a very crazy state where the gov uses every opportunity to hurt people. We are forbidden to gather AT ALL…no matter how much you see your kin on a frequent basis. I think it upsets our daughter more than it does us…she is coming to exchange a few food items with us tomorrow, over our patio fence, not coming inside. Today I am making hubby an apple pie so she will want part of that, of course. Monday I tried to get a small turkey breast to cook…no banana…plenty of HUGE turkeys that I could not fit in my oven, if I had fridge or freezer space…plenty of hind portions, legs etc which my husband does NOT like. So I went to the deli and had them slice me 4 thick portions of mesquite smoked turkey breast (we already shared one piece) and it tasted great. I hate that I paid a small fortune for those 4 pieces…but such is life now. Were I writing a book, there is no way I could have come up with all the extreme craziness we have lived through this year alone.

  8. Yes Kendra sounds very stressed out. She is definitely a hard worker. I thought when you said the kids would be having lunch at their dad’s that they just as soon have pizza! And they’d always remember the Pizza Thanksgiving!

    Our electric company, SCE, has issued warnings due to high winds for us that they might turn the power off tomorrow
    Through Friday around noon! Fortunately for us I have a gas stove top which I can cook on but electric oven. My daughter is making beef Bourgogne so I hope we can just cook it on the stove too! Have a happy Thanksgiving 🍁🌾🍂

  9. OH poor Kendra. Glad they made things right for her. Sometimes those meltdowns can be very therapeutic and needed. Glad she will have a nice dinner for her and her kiddo’s. Have a good day tomorrow. Enjoy your peace and quiet with Ivy and Charlie. Happy Thanksgiving.

  10. Your photos are especially lovely today, and I feel for Kendra. It’s tough when you’re stressed to the max, especially when you’re trying to be the best mom you know how to be. Here’s wishing all of us a very pleasant Thanksgiving!

  11. My son just went to pick up a turkey and sides. The turkey wasn’t cooked and the sides weren’t either. My convection oven will hold a twelve pound turkey so we are out of luck. The whole purpose of ordering a meal is to avoid standing up and cooking all day. We may just have to eat what I have in the freezer.

  12. Oh my goodness someone needs to give Kendra a very tight hug (maybe more than one). I think most of us have experienced something very similar. Initially it’s just not funny and then later it becomes something we can snicker about and then it’s downright hysterical.

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