Letter From Home: Fair warning as you prepare Thanksgiving dinner


This column, adapted slightly, originally appeared n 1998. Young people, read and heed before it is too late.

I’d like to ask how your holiday has been, but inasmuch as you can’t answer me except by voice mail, e-mail, text or tweet, or snail mail, let me just say that I hope yours wasn’t as “memorable” as ours.

Christmas Day was going fine in our house. Maybe too fine. Our 5-year-old daughter actually slept in on Christmas morning, allowing Mr. and Mrs. Claus some extra rest that was much needed after being up until 2 a.m. “delivering gifts.”

By 10, the presents were opened and enjoyed (we are well past the time when the wrapping paper is the prime attraction of the holiday). As the grandparents headed for the breakfast table for orange juice and stollen, my wife attacked the kitchen to prepare the turkey.

These things can be dangerous on a day like today.

These things can be dangerous on a day like today.

Having attended Mass the the night before, we then had time to visit friends before returning home in the afternoon to make the final meal preparations. My wife trusted me with the green beans while she took care of the potatoes — leaving quite a stack of peelings in the garbage disposer.

I don’t recall reading that potato peelings shouldn’t be washed down the garbage disposer, but I will think twice about putting them there again, as our sink stopped up tighter than the Hoover Dam. This left us with an unsettled feeling as we sat down to dinner, knowing we likely were going to spend Christmas night trying to unclog a sink. And if we were unsuccessful, the dishes were going to have to sit overnight, as it would take a fortune to get a plumber on Dec. 25.

Well, Christmas is a day for miracles, but not this Christmas. Following dinner, I plunged until my arms were about to fall off, but no luck. I succeeded only in bringing up water, sludge — and hundreds of bits of potato peelings.

I even took apart the pipe beneath the disposer, hoping the problem was there. Of course, it was clear. The clog was farther downstream. Meanwhile, our china was crusting over with potatoes and turkey grease.

First thing Saturday morning, I was off to The Home Depot to buy one of those drain-cleaning tools, a snake to which you can attach a drill. It opened the drain in seconds, and, after soaking those dishes for an hour, we were able to restore order to a kitchen that had been a disaster area.

I don't remember Christmas 1992, or even Christmas 1997, but I sure am going to remember Christmas 1998!

Harold Bubil

Recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean, Harold Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Born in Newport, R.I., his family moved to Sarasota in 1958. Harold graduated from Sarasota High School in 1970 and the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. For the Herald-Tribune, he writes and edits stories about residential real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He also is a photographer and public speaker. Contact him via email, or at (941) 361-4805.
Last modified: November 26, 2015
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