I have to admit, I was very whiny last week. I am sure God was looking at me shaking His head. I was called Jonah by Sanj. This is the weekend of Thanksgiving. Every year for the past at least 7-8 years, the boys school has a now Annual Thanksgiving Dinner for Seniors. I’ve written about it many a time. It was one of my most favorite times of the year. Everyone in the school is involved in some way.
This year I did not want to do it. I guess I was tired. I wished over the years that someone would stand up and say- I’ll do it! And yet this event must happen as we now how Seniors that expect it and call without even advertising it. Very cool! Yet… I was tired. I was whiny. I was ready to just take a very long break. It had already been a long annoying week… including 2 visits to the ER.
I started the ball rolling- emails out… asking for food and volunteers. The one thing that has changed it the amount of working moms now. And yet I loved that so many called in their offerings of food. I loved that so many said they would be coming on their lunch break to help.
Then there was the small dilemma about the stuffing. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember who or how we did all that stuffing. So, recruiting a buddy, we spend Wednesday making a crazy amount of stuffing!!! Later, I was reminded that last year we had a girls night at the school and had a blast making stuffing. (Of course, I can’t really remember this- I am worrying a little of Alzheimer’s – but I know it was awesome because how could it not be)?
This is around the time panic set in. My list of helpers to help was very short. There’s a lot that goes into a day like this. Grade 5-6 spend time putting up tables and setting the tables with all the dinner wear. Really plates, real cups, forks, spoons, knives… You get my panic? Who was going to wash all those dishes??????????????????????????????????????
This event calls for 100+ plates, 100+ juice glasses, 100+ coffee plates, 100+ coffee cups, 100+ forks, 100+knives, 100+spoons, 100+ dessert forks, 100+ dessert plates!!! When you add serving utensils, and pots and pans and chaffing dishes… it’s over 1000 pieces of things to wash! (It reminds me so much of laundry).Every year God shows up. Period. Every single year. Why was I in such a worried state? Our school has gone down in size, significantly. Where were the volunteers going to come from? Let me just say, in the morning, we had just the right amount of helpers to get it all done smoothly… the heating of turkey, boiling and making potatoes, the stuffing, veggies, the rolls, cranberry, and what ever was missing. We had a traditional home made Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings.
Then as the morning ended, more and more people came. To help. To do dishes and clean up.
Grades 1-4 come and sing the songs that they learn with Sanj every Friday morning. The gym was packed. The kids sang and as I stood against the wall in the gym, I found myself so moved, my throat got thick and my eyes began to fill. You could feel God’s presence in this place.
I’ve got goose bumps as I write this. The seniors that come are so happy to be the guests. They are so pleased to sit with the hosts (the grade 7-8 kids all split into groups of 2-3 and they are the hosts of their table). You know, every year I am taken back by how these kids can step it up and put the brightest smiles on the faces of our guests.
As you can see by the pictures, we had plenty of help!!!
*** Thanks to Esther Lee for some of the photos.