The folks here at WNED are blessed to have at least two Thanksgiving celebrations. Every year around this time, we gather together for a mini-bird feast. Lots of planning goes in to this special event. The ‘’food-list” is posted weeks in advance. Individuals claim their spots on the sign up board for sides and desserts. Many are known for their signature dishes. Chris B’s hot meat balls (the name changes every year), Maria’s flan, Peter’s salad, Nancy’s homemade cranberry sauce. The list goes on and on! The list is to me what wrapped presents under a tree are for a child. I am always excited to get to the line first to see the wonderful parade of food placed in the studio with pride. When we are called to the “big studio” around 12 noon, I am reminded of my grade school years when the principal announced that it was time to head to the auditorium for a special event, which required us to bring a canned good for admission. The anticipated reaches its peak when entering the doors of the studio which has been transformed into a festive dining hall.
Our prayer leader blessed the food asking the question “what does Thanksgiving mean to you?” “Family traditions", "my wife’s food” were a few of the responses thrown out. Others opting to reflect quietly on the question. Then the main event begins.
Picking the “best seat” has become a silent art form and although I have picked well in the past, I have not become a master of the trade. Sitting with the best team of co-workers who you believe will earn you the coveted first place in line is a huge deal which few will admit to. There’s always been a contest to determine which table gets to enter the line first. We’ve tried everything from hidden numbers under the table, picking numbers out of a hat and trivia questions (the latter of which has proven to be my enemy)! I never know the answers and I leave it up to my fellow tablemates to secure the winning answer.
Once we have all sampled the fare, we sit and laugh (sometimes too much laughing, especially at my table) and learn things about co-workers that we were perhaps unaware of some two hours before. We get to know them a little better and see a side that we’ve never seen before and may never see again. We are thankful for this break away from the norm. We are full from the food we have brought to share and the food that has been shared with us. We are, in the end, just thankful.