November & Color TV, Devils & Angels, Thanksgiving Day and Worker Bees

Greetings to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

November is just such a fun month. Going from one season to another is exciting. Whatever to whatever, it doesn’t matter which way, it’s just exciting. Fall to winter. Winter to spring. Those two are the most fun. That spring to summer is sometimes, most of the times, kinda hard to know when you’re there. It’s one of those things like “ya get used to warm weather quick” But ya don’t get used to cold weather quick. Ya fight it every step of the way.

I’ll never forget my dad’s first comment when he and I watched color television for the first time. When asked what he thought about Color TV, my dad said “ya get used to it quick” As a child, I thought that was dumb, as an adult I realized how profound the statement was. Seeing color is natural, seeing black and white TV is not natural. As far as color TV is concerned, ya get used to it quick. At least me and my dad go used to it quick when we saw Color Television for the first time, there at Toto.

A while back I talked about a little angel and a little devil setting on my shoulders. And my life being a constant struggle of who to listen to. Of how a final decision was made when the little angel reached behind my head and punched the little devil with a left hook, and said “forget about it”.

Of all the emails last week addressing the sad state of affairs s at the Penn State University, one simply said “If they only they had your little angel and devil setting on their shoulders, the world might be a better place today. Two devils on shoulders are a disaster for mankind”.

I so agree, two devils never make the decision to do the right thing. Not in the Garden of Eden nor at Penn State University. Devils just make bad decisions, when it comes to the welfare of mankind. That may be the reason why hell’s not yet frozen over. I sure hope you’re not waiting for that, are you?

Such a fun day. Thanksgiving Dinner at Grand Central in North Judson, last Thursday. Lots of old friends, lots of new friends, and everyone so very special to me and my family. The number of people who volunteer to help the Family of Howard put this Thanksgiving Dinner together amazes me every year. And as the number of guest who come to dinner increases, so does the list of volunteers available to help us.

Our Thanksgiving Dinner has grown from a flickering candle in the wind to the brightest star in the night sky, the last darkness before Thanksgiving Morning. The Thanksgiving Day Dinner’s success is not attributed to the efforts of my Family of Howards, but to the combined efforts of those volunteers willing to forgo their own holiday to become a member of the Worker Bee Team for the Thanksgiving Dinner at Grand Central Station in North Judson.

Worker Bee activity starts on Monday and ends late Thanksgiving Day, only after Grand Central Station is all cleaned up from the party. Worker Bees now assist in cooking the turkeys. Peeling the potatoes, making the pies, making the dressing, setting the tables, serving the meal, bussing the tables, resetting the tables, greeting the guests, visiting those who have come alone to dinner, making everyone feel welcome.

Much of the work can be seen by everyone, but wait, there’s more. The kitchen side of the party on Thanksgiving Day is a whole world unto it’s self. The foods been cooked and now it’s a major warm up project to have everything ready by 11:30 AM. All the food is moved from last night’s cold storage to kitchen counter tops. We, me and the She, lay out a plan to bring everything up to serving readiness at the same time. Once the food is served, another part of the plan kicks in.

The clean up part, dishwashing of pots and pans and baking sheets, and all the other tools used to construct the party, the big things, are placed in the three bay sink area. There a Worker Bee attacks the mountain of stainless steel, aluminum, cast iron and glass with a vengeances . Shortly after the meal is served, dirty dishes start to arrive back into the kitchen to be recycled and put back into service as soon as possible.

Just to give ya the devotion of the Worker Bee Force, one fellow who was a few years behind me and the She in high school, (yeah, me and the She were high school sweethearts, held hands in the halls when we could, the She wore my high school ring, big fuzzy angora thing on her finger, went steady, and loved it, oh and by the way, me and the She, well, me and the She, we got married and lived happy ever after, just like in the movies, at least in the movies of me and the She) Anyways, the guy we went to school with, Clifford, says he will be a Worker Bee only if he can wash the dirty dishes.

Washing the dirty dishes in a commercial dish washer is not a fun job. It’s hot, it’s wet, and at times it seems never ending. For Clifford, that’s his job as the Worker Bee Dish Washer on Thanksgiving Day. Clifford is always one of the very first to call and volunteer, in fact Clifford contacted me in August to see if the Thanksgiving Dinner was a go. When I said yes, he said “put me down as dish washer”.

This year it turned out that Clifford was too ill to come to Grand Central on Thanksgiving Day. He was heartbroken, as if he’d let everyone down. He left a message on the answering machine apologizing while near tears expressing his regrets for not being able to do his part. The message was heart rendering. And even though too ill to be there on Thanksgiving Day, this year, he asked to be the first volunteer for next year, and to put him down as dishwasher.

As I filled in for Clifford this year, another Worker Bee, Don, walked into the kitchen, saw the pile at the three bay sink, walked over and started the process of turning the dirty mountain into clean kitchen ware. Don said “They taught me this in the army, I might as well show my skills.” When Don walked away from the three bay sink , a mountain of dirty had disappeared.

Worker Bees, God love ‘em. A special place must exist in heaven for those who are willing to devote their time or treasure and for some, both time and treasure, to help their fellow man along the way. The Clifford’s and Don’s of the world, along with all those who so unselfishly gave their time and energy to the cause, they’ve never sought the lime light in life, yet have surly, by their actions, they’ve gained favor in heaven.

A most sincere thank you from me and the She, we love you all. You know who you are, and so does God. Next year we pray to do it all over again.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From the EastWing With November & Color TV, Devils & Angels, Thanksgiving Day and Worker Bees

I wish you well,