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Matt Beem
President and COO
Kinetic Fundraising, Inc.

This year we were thankful that we ate

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Independence, MO – Watch out, Martha Stewart: Betty Snapp’s in the house.

That phrase kept running through my mind Thursday evening as we drove to Kate’s family’s farm in Brookfield, Mo., after spending the day at my parents’ Independence Thanksgiving feast.

It was anything but typical.

The van we saw parked in their driveway as we turned onto Norwood Avenue foretold the day’s events. Its logo said Redi-Rooter.

Uh oh.

We parked on the street and made our way to the house. There we learned that, several hours earlier, the kitchen faucet had exploded like a geyser.

“It shot water everywhere,” mom said with a grin.

No worries, I thought. There were lots of relatives to catch up with, and the kids had already divided into teams for their backyard soccer match.

I enjoyed talking with Dock, my cousin’s former husband who was visiting from Texas. He’d joined the feast to catch up with our family and spend the holiday with his sons.

I also got acquainted with Colin, the brother of another cousin’s husband. The Stilwell, Kan., native, who was visiting from New York, is an accomplished professional pianist who regaled us with concert-quality renditions of Chopin and Debussy, among others.

The second report came to me and my hungry relatives waiting patiently in the living room as Colin explained his experiences at InterLochen and Julliard.

“The microwave just broke,” somebody announced. It was an important and potentially meal-delaying detail about which the courier felt the family should know.

The significance of the broken microwave was its important role in the day’s meal. The 23-pound turkey had come out of the oven a bit undercooked, either because the thermostat had broken or – even though it was sold as a fresh bird – because it wasn’t fully thawed when mom put it in. The kitchen pit crew was finishing the meal’s main attraction in the microwave.

“Don’t worry, gang,” I heard mom cheer reassuringly. “It’s almost ready!”

Though I’d stayed out of the kitchen to let the cooking team triage the problem, I decided to swing through for a quick personal update and to provide moral support (aka sample the turkey). That’s when I learned mom’s pep talk wasn’t in response to the broken microwave – that was old news.

She was encouraging her troops because the mixer, with which a family member was mashing potatoes, had also broken.

“They may be a little lumpy, but at least they’re the real thing,” mom said with a laugh.

Several minutes later, dad called the family together in the dining room. He blessed the food and offered thanks for our fellowship.

All I could think of was how thankful I am for mom. What an amazing woman.

Others would have crawled into a corner in the face of the day’s setbacks, pinching themselves to wake from the nightmare. But not Betty Snapp.

She faced the day’s challenges head on, as she does all obstacles. And with her typical grace and aplomb, she enlisted those around her to help solve the problem.

The Thanksgiving meal was great. Even better was how our family came together to solve the day’s challenges and work as a team to get the fantastic feast on the table.

Behind it all was my amazing mother, the person I’m most thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend.

> Matt Beem Bio