Thanksgiving, The Proposal
Pulling up to the house, there wasn’t hardly a place the could park. Everyone in the family generally met at his mothers, and this holiday wasn’t any different.
The traditional Thanksgiving couldn’t have been more crowded with the Indians and the pilgrims. Chuck had come, with his kids. Kathy was happy, Teri’s mom was there. Aunts uncles, grandparents and a couple of people who just joined the Montero family by means no one was really sure of, they were just family.
The Montero’s had a family tradition of leaving notes next to the plates of those family members who had touched their lives, telling htem how Thankful you were for them or for what they had done. Michael, now, walked over to the table and placed a note next to Teri’s place and his sister’s. He noticed that She had several all ready. In the old days everyone had read their notes outloud, but as the family grew only new members of the brood did. He knew Teri would read hers, and was happy.
The table was beautiful, it was set with his mothers best china. They had put both leaves in it so it sat 20, It was very close to the wall with barely enough walking room around the table.
The centerpiece, a evergreen and holly combo with three candles in the middle of the setting and a white and sile bow, had been made by his sister. Each place had a water glas, a wine glass with a large plate, salad plate and soup bowl. Again the place cards and placemats had been made by the kids undr direction of his sister.
He went through the swinging door into he kitchen, and kissed his mother on the cheek, told her what a wonderful job she had done. She smiled, very tiredly
“Everyone helped, she said handing him a pan and pointing to the sink to indicate he should put it there. Mike went one step further and washed it and the rest of he pans in the kitchen, then went out to the back.
For him, It wasn’t yet Thanksgiving until he saw the mustang pull up, the back out and park next door at the restaurant. Hs heart swelled, as he watched her scrumptiously get out of her car, and shut the door. She went to the back door opened it and pulled out a covered dish. Then preceded to walk over to the house.
He couldn’t explain how his world brightened up when he saw her or was in her presence. She was dressed simply, her hair down because she knew he suspected he liked it that way best.
The sun had been out all day, but when his eyes met her the world brightened, he caught his breath and he knew they meant when they said someone took their breath.
“Macaroni and cheese,” she said to his unanswered question “my regular Thanksgiving contribution. I didn’t feel good about not bringing something, even though I guessed there would be tons of food here,”
And she was right, besides the Turkey and Ham, there was mashed potatoes, corn pudding, two kinds of hello, broccoli, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, Candy Yams, three kinds of different salads, sliced tomatoes and a host of other foods. But no Macaroni.
You saved my Life, “Mari said gratefully as Teri handed her the dish. I forgot about the macaroni and cheese my family will be very happy. They may even forgive me for forgetting,”
She smiled, and watch Mike lead her away.
Michael has never acted this way with any women I have ever seen him with, I can look in his eyes and see how smitten he is, he totally adores her. I hope so much this works out for him.”
She clapped her hands, and called everyone to the table.
Teri busied herself helping to serve the little ones at the kids table, Michael helped her. He wasn’t letting her get to far away.
Because there was so much food they simply place the extra dishes on the side bar and just put the Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and relishes on the main table.
James walked ot the head of the table, took his wifes hand and bowed his head to give the blessings.
He squeezed her hand, then he picked up the knife and peered merrily around the table, said “I guess this turkey is just for me right?”
The adults chuckled, but the kids laughed and cried out no, Uncle James! the like.
His dad had made that joke every thanksgiving since He was born, Mike Thought.
The feasting began, with everyone talking and eating. Mike sat next to Teri who was in between him and her mother. Although she and Mike chatted somewhat,
Mike felt shy today for some reason. He put his hand briefly on her shoulder the quickly removed it, she gave him a private smile, the turned back to talking o her mom holding a fork full of mashed potatoes poised between the plate and her mouth.
Everyone made short order of the dinner, and Mari announced it was time to read the cards.
She explained what the cards were for. “new people have to read theirs today, but those of us who have been here before, well I’ll call on some of you, but we don’t want to be here all night, there’s pies and cakes to be had,”
Everyone applauded for her, and agreed the pies and cakes were important, the settled back to listen. She called on Kathy to read hers because she had done it before, Mari didn’t want visitors to feel uncomfortable.
Kathy plucked up her card and opened it, she blushed as she begin to read it.
It’s says she began, I appreciate you for being there when ever I needed you to give me the women’s point of view, you are my favorite sister” she looked at Mike beaming
Everyone clapped. All the visitors, new members of the family began to open their little cards,
Consuelo got one from Mari telling her how much she appreciate her working for her,
She grinned and said thank you for taking in an inexperienced widow!“
Mike got one from his cousin telling him how great she thought he was being a Marine, Teri had several, one telling her thank you for being a soldier and for making Mike Happy. She smiled at that. Thinking, they don’t know how happy they have made me.
She had one last one, and everyone looked at her expectantly. expecting the card to be another along the same vein.
She quickly opened it, read it,her smile left her face, then paled. Tears sprang into her eyes,, and everyone became concerned. “Teri, what is it?, her mother reached over put her hand on her shoulder,
She sat at the table holding the card, with Tears streaming down her face. Everyone could see the struggle she was having getting herself under control.
She couldn’t look at Mike for a minute and Mike became concerned he had read her wrong.
Finally, with her emotions under control, without looking at him she whispered, the answer is yes. Her mother dropped her hand, and stood up to go to her and give her a hug, she guessed what it said.
Teri started to read the card, whispering at first. The table was very quiet, so still you could hear a pea drop on the carpet
I want to Thank you for coming into my life and bringing total joy. I want to experience that joy for the rest of my life,
here Teri turned halfway to Michael and put her hand up to his cheek and stroked it gently, she set the card down and finished the rest from memory still stroking his cheek, and looking int his eyes, it says she sniffed, “Will you Marry Me,?” She stopped stroking pulled his head to her, and said Yes, I will be honored to,
Applause and pandomioum broke out at the table. Chuck whooped, Mari and Consuelo began to cry. Men were yelling congrats to mike and the women were sayin the same to teri.
But even as the pandoium went on around them, the only thing either of them noticed was each other. IN a room full of people. They saw not one other person.
Later after clean up, and most of the family had gone home, Consuelo was waiting for chuck to say goodbye to Kathy, so they could go by and visit his kids. She stood by the door in her coat and hat, putting on her gloves when she looked over nad saw Teri and mike, talking in a corner.
“Hey mike, she called, when are you going to get the ring?”
Everyone in the room looked toward them curiously, though with big smiles on their faces, Mike looked sheepishly, hug his head a bit and started fishing in his pocket. He had planned on giving her the ring in a less conspicuous setting, but everyone was expecting it, so he decided to give it to her now.
Teri put her hand to her mouth to hid a big grin but her eyes were merry, and she laughed out loud delight as he puled a small ring bo from his inside jeans pocket got down on one knee opened it for her.
"Really, Captain, Will you marry me?"
The ring was a beautiful diamond, with a tiny ring of blue stones surrounding it, the band was silver.
Teresa, carefully took the ring, looking at it in awe she held it up to show the ring, but noticed the inscription inside.
Forever and Always, i The ring was unique obliviously, as she handed it back and held out her hand for him to put it on her finger she whispered, a second, yes
this is unusual you didn’t get it at a regular jewelry shop, did you?
“Don’t you like it? Mike asked concerned
“Yes! She said, “I was just wondering….it doesn't seem right to ask that now does it? It just makes such an impression on me..
“We’ll talk about it later,” he said there is a story behind it. It comes from an estate of a very old Charleston family.
Excerpt from my book "Candles on King Street"
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