Somehow or other dinner ended up on the table by one o’clock. Dad put the extra leaf in the table to expand it so the six of us wouldn’t bump elbows. Mom cooked every Thanksgiving food she could get her hands on at the commissary: green bean casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, potatoes—sweet and mashed—and, of course, turkey. She’d even bought brown and serve rolls, my favorite. They were fluffier than the Pillsbury crescent rolls that came in tubes.
“Looks great, LeAnn,” Grandpa said as we all scooched our chairs close to the table. My chair made a loud screeching noise against the wooden floor. Mom shot me a glare even though I knew she hated those floors.
“Well, Mom helped,” Mom replied, sticking a large spoon in the mashed potato bowl. She’d finally relented and let Grandma peel potatoes. “Dig in, everyone.”
I took a scoop of everything except the sweet potatoes. For a few minutes the only sounds were clinking silverware and quiet chewing, which meant we were all searching our brains for possible conversation topics. Then Grandpa asked Caroline about college and I wished we’d all stayed silent.
“I’m taking the SATs in the spring,” she said, spreading butter on a roll. “I hate standardized tests, though—I’m bad at multiple choice—so I’m not really holding my breath for a great score.”
“But you’re a smart girl,” Grandpa said. “I’m sure you’ll do just fine.”
She shrugged. “I don’t even know what I want to major in. Maybe I’ll take a year or two off after high school and figure it out.”
Dad choked on the water he’d been sipping. “Excuse me?” Mom and I were equally stunned. Caroline had never mentioned this to any of us.