Well, the holidays are right around the corner and they have bit me in the posterior. It happens each and every year, without fail. You'd think I would have learned by now to be on my guard, but I've always been a little slow. Thursday is Thanksgiving and in a month...Christmas.

Thanksgiving is usually easy enough. Just bake a couple of things and go to mom's house. Yeah...you'd think it would be easy, wouldn't you? No, not so much. I always take a pumpkin roll, at great insistance from family members. I don't mind making it so much, but the mess is horrific. Nonetheless, that's my thing.

So, I went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few groceries and the necessary ingredients for my share in the upcoming fare. I thought I was doing pretty well going to the store a week in advance. I managed to find everything I needed...except...pumpkin. I need one small can of pumpkin for my pumpkin roll and one small can for a pumpkin cake which I had promised our illustrious sports editor. I went down the baking aisle where the canned pumpkin is usually kept stocked. Empty. Okay, I thought, they've got it on an endcap or in the center aisle for the holidays. Indeed. I found the place in the center aisle where it was kept. Empty. I checked out and made my way out of the store with my tail between my legs.

Do you have any idea what I'm going to have to contend with if I don't show up at mom's house with a pumpkin roll? Moreover, have you ever had to face a hungry sports editor, who is expecting a lovely, moist pumpkin cake, empty-handed? It's too frightening even to imagine.

As I slowly made my way home, I remembered that Save-A-Lot stays open late, so I stopped, and, much to my relief, yes, you guessed it, they had pumpkin! I was saved.

So this Thanksgiving, along with being thankful for my family and friends, my health, and all the other things we are all thankful for, I am thankful that Save-A-Lot stays open late. That and the fact that my brother and his family are always late, so I can beat him to the deviled eggs.*