In Preparation for Thanksgiving Day

Written by AmeriCorps member Kahlulee.

Michael Jordan is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. The slam dunk king, I’ll dub him. He grew up here in Wilmington, North Carolina. He has been in the news recently- he is opening up low-cost health clinics in Charlotte. Spud Webb comes to mind too. He was the really short slam dunk king.

Today I helped pack turkeys and break down boxes with someone who knew Michael Jordan secondhand; his mother tutored him. This someone happens to eat a plant-based diet like me, mostly. It is funny how we attract those who are just like us.

These holiday times’ food and parties are abundant. Today we had a party, of sorts, in the basement of First Christian Church. The day before was when it started for us AmeriCorps folk. We met and unpacked a truck load of turkeys. We also sorted the rest of traditional Thanksgiving meal items- green beans, yams, sweet potatoes, dressing. We packed it all in bags ready-to-go for the next day.

Today, we gave it all away. People were lined up out-the-door at 8:30 am ready to pick up their turkeys. It was quite the operation. There were at least twenty of us doing various jobs to make the morning go smoothly. There were even food samples being handed out by Recipe For Success. Recipe For Success is a nutrition program started by UNC Greensboro, in conjunction with the USDA and the food assistance program SNAP, and offers free cooking and nutrition classes. They held a cooking class today at the church.

Today was a dynamic day with a diverse set of folks coming out to the church. I am really appreciative of my AmeriCorps friends. At one point a woman needed help with her car and my AmeriCorps friends stepped-up gracefully and helped. A bottle of steering fluid appeared magically and suddenly the car was moving and all was well. Miracles do happen. Things come together.

It came together today. I met many new eyes and faces, and saw familiar ones as well. I greeted people and helped haul thawing turkeys and canned and bagged food items to people’s car.

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I stayed after and helped clean up. In between handing out turkeys and clean up, I checked out a local sandwich shop called Lox, Stock, and Bagel. It was pretty delicious. A veggie bagel with fruit and carrots on the side.

Being thankful brings magic. It is key to opening up to the heart of the universe which is benevolent. It is listening to each other and hearing your own words as they come out of your mouth. I am reminded of a game in improv comedy called Yes, And. It basically means to accept the offer given by your fellow player. For instance, if your player says, “My what lovely green hair you have.” You might say, “Yes, and it matches my green and purple socks.” The green hair may be fabricated and the offer may not make sense and you may not agree with it but you go with it!

This comes up all the time in life. One can go against the grain and put up a big fat no (not that there is anything wrong with that!) or one can simply accept the offer and go with it! When appropriate, going with the flow is usually so much more productive than paddling up stream.

Thanks AmeriCorps members for reminding me of this.

It was a fun day. I love seeing you all and working with you. I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving.

p.s. I want to start a new genre of music. It is called Thanksgiving songs.

Here is my first Thanksgiving song:

Sitting ’round the table

the dressing is passed

It’s past time we said grace

Let’s dig in

Let’s get full

of Thanksgiving cheer

Let’s get full with all the dressing and

Good things from this great, green Earth

Let’s be merry and sing

‘Round the table with family and friends

‘Round the world with abundance for all

With abundance for all

We sing

Thanksgiving Day is here

And it’s time to cheer

Give gran’ma a hug

Pet the dog

Pass the cranberry

And sing

Thanksgiving Day is here

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