Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

As I stepped out of alley onto 10th Street sidewalk, a woman sort of hesitated, dour expression on her face, mumbled something as she stepped off curb to make her way around car to unlock driver's side door. It took me a few to realize what she had mumbled was "Happy Thanksgiving." I smiled, replied in kind. Do not know if she heard me, as she was already getting into her vehicle.

My first thought had been: she must think I am a homeless mugger. Why homeless? I mean other people do walk out from alleys. I was dressed in a nice beige hooded sweater I probably got from Village clothing room; my one and only skirt ~ a leopard skin just-above-the-knee flare, the only dress-up wardrobe item survived my homeless days ~ did not wrinkle, light-weight ~ wished I had kept my mothers waffle weave midi skirt ~ did not take up much space, rolled up, but a bit too heavy for carrying in backpack.

I had on a long-sleeved gray light-weight sweater, which may have clashed with the outer one, but hardly visible and matched the skirt better than a green heavier sweater. I likewise probably got a pair of thick black stockings or tights from the Village ~new. Well those things are so darn tight, I cut the toes off them, before putting on Thanksgiving morning. My slip-in shoes are so old, I opted for ankle boots. Okay that may have been weird, but with black socks rolled, I think a style some wear and needed something to keep legs warm.

If not for that woman whom I might have startled, it is not likely that I would have said a cheery "Happy Thanksgiving" to the next person I saw. A man, head down, a few feet from the alley entrance. He looked up, returned the greeting than asked if I had a cigarette. Then he asked if I ate dinner yet (at noon!) (maybe he said "Thanksgiving meal"). He said he was on his way to church to get one. He showed me the invitation.

D.C. friend from homeless days had told me about that church a couple of years ago. I got the bright idea to go to both churches. I was curious, D.C. had sung the praises of whatever holiday meal he ate there. Truly regretted my choice. I was stuffed. I did bring a container to fill with stuff I could not comfortably finish eating, had a small piece of pie, then left for the walk to 2nd church.

Um, I tried to memorize name of this church, slips my mind. Again. Well, this church a woman greets me, asking where I want to sit. Well, I dunno, so I say "with sociable people". She seated me at a small round table with a few people telling them I wanted to sit with "talk-able" people (and that would be them.) Then the woman asked what I wanted  to drink (I opted for green tea, do not recall other choice). When she brought the drink she asked what I wanted to eat, naming items (Turkey? Stuffing? Corn?).

Well, I was embarrassed to say "Just turkey."  I  was expecting the typical buffet type line where I could see offerings, possibly add something other than turkey, but all I wanted was turkey. The turkey at 1st church was shaved, and yummy. If I had stayed, I would have gone up for seconds after a while, as I have done in previous years. And I would have stuck around offering to help clean up, because I did not show up to help prepare, serve.

Turkey at the 2nd church was sliced ~ big slices of white meat. I am partial to dark meat. Plus generous slice of ham. Very salty ham. I happened to be sitting next to the chef or cook. Very nice man. Topic of stuffing, he said something about too much sage. Again I was embarrassed to say anything other than "Thank you, God Bless, very good, delicious" when I was leaving. The turkey had too much sage ~ did not taste like turkey at all.

Yet still appreciated. I asked for a 2nd plate to cover my unfinished food. A lady brought me foil instead. I got to eat more turkey later (and sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, corn, mashed potatoes, white sweet potato wedges, yummy). Next day heated ham, covered with applesauce as I did as a child. Heating the ham seemed to reduce the salty taste; applesauce covered, not salty at all.

After seeing that first guy I did remember to say Happy Thanksgiving to the few passerby's I saw. Two men that I recognize (maybe from picking up food at Food Bank, maybe former homeless cats I once knew by sight) told me about the church I was on my way to. It was a very nice day, despite stomach aching as I walked home.

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