I had the most unusual Thanksgiving Day of my life! My nephew Casey (our cook for the day) came down with the flu, so my sister Jo said, "As long as you have another invitation, take it and remove the risk of being exposed."
The invitation came from my friend, Rob, and his family. I can never remember the pronunciation of his last name. I say, "Take all the consonants in the alphabet, put them together, and you'll have Rob's last name."
Rob is a very special friend. It's the most unusual friendship I've ever had. A day two years ago I was having a lawn sale. This tall, lanky young man came up to my table and said, "I just dropped my kids off at the playground and I passed your house and the Lord told me to turn around and go talk to the lady at the table."
I was dumbstruck. Who wouldn't be? I didn't know what to say, so I said, "I don't know what to say. All I can think of is I'm a born again Christian if that helps."
"So am I," he said, and we shook hands. He then bought some things from me and looked at my fireplace andirons, but he had to think about those. Well, they didn't sell, so I drove up to his house and gave them to him. Believe me, that was the best investment I ever made. Since then I have the whole family - his wife, Kim; six kids; his mom; and two sisters who have all become family to me. Since then, anytime there are special programs at the college or at the Opera House, Rob buys tickets for his family and one for me. Do I feel special or what? So of course I took him up on his invitation to Thanksgiving. What a treat!
I'm not only talking about the food, but about the atmosphere. We all held hands and one of Rob's daughters said grace. It was the most unique dinner, because everything was made by the kids, even the pies! On top of that, they gave me the remainder of the turkey. There was so much meat, I put some in the freezer and then made turkey soup - enough for all of us! How many of you use the turkey carcass that way? If you just throw it away, that's a wasteful shame!
We sat at the table and talked for hours. When I finally got home, I thought, "I thought I was supposed to help him, but now I'm beginning to think the Lord sent Rob to help me!" Maybe both.
I have to report my failures as well as my successes. I didn't get a single volunteer from this column to be a greeter from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Methodist Church for today.
Josie Christopher and I had volunteered beforehand. She'll stay for one hour and I'll hang around for most of the day. The people my age are mostly dead or can't stand for an hour! Well, like I say, "We only have to try. We don't always succeed."
I visited the Opera House to see if they could provide family movies on Fridays. I was informed that it would cost them a $300 viewing fee! So we'll have to come up with another idea for Fridays. Got any ideas? We're trying to come up with three-day packages for those who are on a budget. We figure the hotels, restaurants, gas stations and some of the retailers would benefit from these visitors. What do you think? Ideas are valuable!
Margaret Valone is a Fredonia resident. Send comments on this column to firstname.lastname@example.org