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At first, Maggie wasn't sure that it would be important enough to impress Jeff. But, when Charlie asked her to also serve the guests the pre-dinner snacks when they arrived and to make sure that everyone's coats and bags were neatly placed on Vera's bed, Maggie was content. She had two important jobs to do.

While Maggie worked away at the cheese ball, Charlie preheated the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit so that it would be ready to accept the turkey once it had been prepared.

Trying to recoup yesterday's loss of the two pumpkin pies, Charlie left Maggie alone in the kitchen while she ran to the store to purchase two substitutes. It was a decision she would soon regret. She had not been gone for fifteen minutes, when Charlie returned to find the kitchen in an absolute mess! Maggie was standing by the counter where she had been preparing the cheese ball, an electric mixer in her hand right and a mixing bowl in the other.

"I thought the cheeses wouldn't be so hard if I blended them for a while," explained Maggie, trembling with excitement, "but they wouldn't mix. So then I added water, and I kept adding it until it was really gooey. Then it didn't look so good, so I added honey. But then it tasted too sweet so I added peanut butter to balance out the flavor. Here, try some!" she offered shoving a spoonful of the mixture in front of Charlie's face. In her exuberance to impress Jeff with her cooking prowess, she had electric mixered the kitchen into a mess of spatters and puddles. Maggie herself, was in no condition to greet guests. Her hair and clothes reflected the state of the rest of the room.

Choosing to accept the test from God that this obviously was, Charlie tried hard not to become frustrated or angry.

"Well," commented Charlie, leading Maggie off to the bathroom to clean her up, "Jeff can always hire a cook."

Maggie was soon out of her sullied clothes and into Charlie's bathrobe. As the washing machine tried to do its part, Charlie faced the kitchen. She had four guests, (Maggie's parents, and Jeff and his daughter), that were due to arrive in about four hours, and if she didn't hurry the turkey into the oven immediately, it would not be ready in time. With Christ-like patience that reminded her of a certain Master Plumber, Charlie was ready to meet the task.

As Donna, her longtime friend back in Montana used to say, "People are like tea bags; you never know how strong they are until they're in hot water!"

However, the water was about to get a little hotter! In her rush to get the turkey into the oven, Charlie lost her balance on the sticky floor. Hearing a cry and then a loud thud, Maggie came rushing into the kitchen.

"Are you all right?" cried Maggie, helping Charlie onto her feet.

"I'm all right," answered Charlie, "but I just twisted my ankle." Maggie helped her to a chair. "What a day!" exclaimed Charlie. "I can't fix Thanksgiving dinner while standing on this sore ankle."

"It's my fault," said Maggie, apologetically.

"Anyone can make a mistake," consoled Charlie, surprised at her own patience. No matter how many things continued to go wrong she kept remembering the verses, "In your patience possess ye your souls," and, "I do not frustrate the grace of God." She didn't know how or why, but she just knew the day was going to somehow turn out for the better.

"I can fix Thanksgiving dinner," offered Maggie.

"No," replied Charlie, quickly, "that's very kind of you, but I'll call Grandma and Daddy, and they'll help get things ready."

"Oh, please," begged Maggie, "let me try!"

"I don't know," replied Charlie, hesitantly.

"Tell me what to do, and I'll do it," said Maggie. "Please?"

The success of the meal seemed to mean more to her than to Charlie, so she decided to let Maggie have a second chance. Worst case scenario, they could always postpone the dinner for a later date (although Charlie wasn't looking forward to repeating this event too soon).

"The oven is already preheated," instructed Charlie, "so I'll tell you how to prepare the turkey. Only, we must hurry a little." Charlie didn't want to sound too anxious, for Maggie looked nervous enough. Step by step, Charlie told Maggie what to do.
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