November 22, 2006

Meals On Wheels Story

From Better Homes And Gardens, November 2006, Then & Now Section: "A Movable Feast" by Mike Butler:

"I've always had kind of a strange relationship with Thanksgiving. It might be rooted in childhood, which in most respects was a happy one. But Dad, a chef and restaurateur, didn't care much for turkey beyond its ability to make stock. He yielded grudgingly to the tradition of turkey on Thanksgiving, only because it gave him an excuse to conjure up his magical bread dressing laced with sage.

During my married years, which in most respects were happy ones, too, Thanksgiving tradition required us to go over the river and through the woods to my mother-in-law's house. There, the men drank red wine and sat in front of the TV all afternoon while the women sipped white wine in the kitchen and prepared dinner. They always seemed to be having a better time, but the men weren't allowed in the kitchen until it was time to wash dishes.

A few years ago, hearing that regular volunteers clearly wanted to take off Thanksgiving Day, I signed up to deliver Meals on Wheels. My route is different every year. I always seem to get a couple of people who take their turkey dinners (donated by a grocery deli) and shut the door with hardly a thank-you. Sometimes I get mysterious notes saying to leave the meals on the porch. There's always a genuine character though.

One, Betty, a widow, insisted that I come in and chat and watch football for a while. She chain-smoked but her energy level gave me no doubt that I couldn't keep up with her on a brisk walk around the neighborhood. There was Ed, who with great sacrifice to his hip joints, lured me to his basement den and regaled me for a few hours with delightful stories of his railroading years.

My latest Thanksgiving Day ritual has me returning to the grocery store after my route is finished to buy my own deli dinner: turkey, dressing with not enough sage in it, mashed potatoes, and canned green beans with canned cream of mushroom soup and canned french-fried onions mixed in. I love it.

The turkey and glass of wine will make me drowsy, and I'll drift into sleep with a feeling of gratitude---for giving a little and receiving a lot."

This article is touching, thoughtful, and tender; the three T's. I enjoyed reading it; I hope you do too.

1 comment:

happy and blue 2 said...

Liked the article. Helping and spending time with other people is something to be truly thankful for..