Joe called his son Tom on All Souls Day to confirm Thanksgiving.
Sure you’re up for it?” said Tom.
“No problem,” said Joe.
That night, Joe sat at the kitchen table with a calendar opened to November, a clean sheet of notepaper, and a pencil stub. Licking his pencil as he wrote, Joe made two columns on the notepaper: one for food, the other for chores. Then, he transferred each item to his calendar, making a neat entry on the day he would perform the given task.
The next day, Joe started upstairs with each of the bedrooms, washing the linens and cleaning the floors. When each room was in order, Joe closed the door.
Early in the month, Joe acquired non-perishable items, such as canned squash or frozen corn. He bought corn muffin mix and cranberry sauce.
Later, he focused on downstairs. He placed a pillow on the kitchen floor to protect his knees and waxed the linoleum. He disinfected the downstairs bathroom and left the window open to keep it fresh, though the seat was cold.
On Monday of Thanksgiving week, Joe purchased perishables – eggs, milk, bread.
Joe set the table on Tuesday. There were six places. He put chocolates at the kids’ seats. He laid Saran wrap over the table to keep the dust off.
On Wednesday, the store manager walked the turkey over.
By late Wednesday afternoon, Joe was ready. He sat in the dusk at the head of the table and practiced his talking.