Away for the Holidays

As I sit down to write another blog I once again have the television going (this time I’m re watching the final season of Breaking Bad) and am having a nice, cold glass of beer. I should know better that to do this combination as it always gets me to reflect on past events. Luckily, I volunteered to write the blog I’m posting today so it worked out just fine. As I write this it is the day before Thanksgiving and I wasn’t able to travel home for a few days to visit with family and friends this year. This isn’t actually the first year that I’ve spent away from family and friends during the Thanksgiving holiday; there were a couple of times in college that I had decided not to return home because of school work or having to work on Thanksgiving day. However, this is the first time that I’ve genuinely not been a car ride away from returning home and it feels a bit different than previous experiences.

The good thing is that the experience feeling different than previous experiences is mostly all positive. In fact only negative I can even put my finger on is not having the ability to return home if I wanted to at the moment. The fact is I have been treated very warmly by the people at St. Peter’s & St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, the Colorado Episcopal Service Corps, the 32nd Avenue Jubilee Center, St. Clare’s Ministries, and the locals in Denver in general. I will be going to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow at Bev Thomas’ house; she is a member of St. Peter’s & St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and has been very gracious to host us tomorrow as well as a few other times in the past. However, the St. Columba house was also invited to dinner by other members of the church, a member of the Colorado Episcopal Service Corps Board of Directors, and at least one person from every other organization that I mentioned.

It warmed my heart to know that we have all of these individuals in our corner to make sure that we have somewhere to go and a place to feel welcome on Thanksgiving. This is especially true considering my initial plan involved having a brunch with my housemates and then “going to watch the Cowboys lose at the closest bar.” The most surprising thing to me, however, happened last night when I was returning from my Tuesday night shift at St. Clare’s. I was walking past a man and his son who stopped me, handed me a flyer and told me that they’d love to see me at their church, Ministries Ultima Cosecha, on Thursday for a free dinner and church service; they then told me “God bless” and Happy Holidays. This type of action outside of church is always somewhat surprising to me considering I am in a rather large city, but would probably come as more of a shock to some people back home. This is because, considering who you’re asking, there is a perception that no one is friendly above the Mason-Dixon line or West of the Mississippi. This perception is, of course, shattered by almost everyone I’ve come into contact with since arriving in Colorado.

All of this being said, I am very happy that I have a place to go be with friends tomorrow and watch some football. I am also extremely grateful for all of the help and hospitality from everyone involved in the Colorado Episcopal Service Corps and all of its affiliates. By the time I will post this, Thanksgiving will have come and gone and I will be in a terrible sweater singing “Jingle Bells,” drinking eggnog, and setting up Christmas decorations. However, I do hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving and has a wonderful holiday season!

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