It’s been a busy few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving here on the continuum care campus. I mentioned but didn’t write about what the management called ‘A Week of Giving.’ I didn’t know what to expect of a something billed as “new opportunities to help the community every day” but I decided whatever they had lined up I was going to put my selfish tendency aside and pitch in and the gods of good deeds blessed me with easy stuff to do.
One day we volunteers spent the afternoon knitting loom hats for kids in need. Another day we decorated paper lunch bags that will get filled for weekend lunches for kids in need. A third day it was making small lap blankets for the Linus Project. Another giving day we were supposed to get bused over to the sister campus to help make lavender cuddle bunnies but that got canceled due to a Covid out break over there. It was wide-spread enough that the entire campus was in quarantine.
The same core group of crafters took part in all the hand-on portion of 'A Week of Giving' including me, but there's no way of knowing who might have donated in other ways giving cash or supplies instead of time. There are plenty of people who live here who I've never seen who probably bought into the complex because it a nice place but who haven't immersed themselves into culture. The point being there was no shortage of donated yarn, crafting supplies and fabrics for us to work with and there's no pressure to take part in anything.
For Thanksgiving day I along with 20 others signed up for a buffet here on campus. They cooked a traditional meal with everything anyone could want on Thanksgiving and served it with pinot noir wine. We had carved turkey, shrimp scampi, ham, stuffing, buttermilk potatoes and gravy, roasted squash, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and eclairs. 'Gotta say I’ve never had eclairs for Thanksgiving but they might be my new favorite thing. It was a great meal and they even sent us home with left-overs. I haven’t had many traditional holidays meals in recent years so this was a real treat. Except for those two hours at dinner this place was like a ghost town and I spent the rest of the day binge-watching Outlander. I never got through all the books, but I can't seem to stop watching the series on my new Netflix account.
And you’re not going to believe this but I actually dressed up for the the buffet, even gave myself a French manicure, my all-time favorite nail look. I worn an old Pendleton wool jacket in a classic style with a silk blouse underneath paired with real slacks, not the pretend slacks with the elastic waistbands I usually wear. I pulled my ungodly expensive Israelian-made Mary Janes out of its place of honor in my closet to complete my non-caregiver look.
I also dug out my bling. Wore my diamond earrings---the larger ones of the two pairs I own---and wore them along with a silver locket that contains some of my husband’s ashes plus my wedding rings. When I was first widowed I wore that locket often when I was facing a new social situation. It gave me courage and a sense of not being so alone in the world because it reminds me that I was once loved. Jeez! I just had an epiphany! Is that one of the reasons why Christians wear their crosses? I always thought it was a declaration of their faith like wear a jersey to declare which team they support but maybe the symbolism go deeper than that? That's a rhetorical question, no need to answer.
If felt good to look nice, to be wearing quality-made clothing for a change but the bling all went back in their boxes afterward. The rings are too big and in danger of getting lost. In the past I never took off my smaller diamonds but I would swap them out for the larger stones for special occasions...until masks became part of our lives. Now with hearing aids, glasses, masks and earrings I was getting paranoid about something getting pulled off with the mask and lost. I had it happen with a hearing aid and an earring both and am not willing to risk it anymore. When I do wear all that crap on my ears I'm constantly checking to makes sure the earrings and hearing aids are still in place so I probably look like I've got a spasmodic tic.
I'll wear my bling soon enough though. A Christmas party is on the calendar and they're taking a poll to judge interest in a New Years Eve party plus a second poll to see if anyone wants to take part in an apartment tour to show off our holiday decorations and general furnishings. Other things in the works if Covid doesn't get them canceled are a bus trip to see the holiday lights downtown and a piano concert of Christmas music. Our county recently had the highest rate of hospitalizations for Covid in the nation. Oh, and that resulted in a get-your-booster shots event here on campus. ©