Monday, November 28, 2005

11/24 A happy, and unusual, Thanksgiving

What a glorious day.

Woke up at 6:30 and ate the free continental breakfast in the lounge. Normally we don't get to eat it because it doesn't begin until 7 and we're usually gone by 6 or 6:30. Wendy and Reg came in and said they were going home; that they were released early because the need for caseworkers has diminished.

The same can't be said for mental health specialists, since none of us are being sent home early. I'm sad to lose Wendy and Reg.

I went outside after breakfast and spoke with some of the hotel staff about our planned carry-in dinner at 2 PM. Jerry, the pool guy, ended up asking the hotel manager if we could do this because normally they don't allow anyone to bring in food from the outside. Patty the bartender got us some table cloths, and Jerry put up umbrellas to shield our food from the sun.

About 30 people showed up, and that was a great turnout. This picture shows about 20 or so of us. It was great fun and people got very creative in making dishes to share. We had baked turkey with dressing, salad, sweet potato casserole, cole slaw, rolls, butter, veggies and dip, green beans, macaroni and cheese and TONS of desserts.

We began with a prayer of sorts. I didn't want to offend anyone by saying a Christian prayer, because we were from so many different places, so I asked us all to think about why we were there, and to think about our time sleeping in the shelter--how it was by choice and that the people we serve do not have a choice. We looked around the table at each other and were grateful we were there.

Henrietta (Henri) emailed the picture to those of us who gave her email addresses. We found a tourist from Germany (I think) to take pictures. You can tell by our smiles that we were in a festive mood.

What a wonderful blessing the day was. And I'm so happy that Tracy thought of it, and that I was able to help organize things.

I thanked everyone for helping me to NOT think of my family during the meal. That was a momentous feat.

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