JOHN DAY — November is racing by. On Monday, Nov. 12, Redeemer Lutheran members Betty Holznagel, Buzz and Bobbie Gilmore and Bonnie and Francis Kocis served us at the tables. Betty led us in the pledge to the flag, Nadine Smith won the Len’s Drug gift card, and Bonnie won the free meal. Francis gave a heartfelt devotional prayer to open our time together. Bonnie and Francis also made deliveries to our homebound friends in John Day and Canyon City, while David Gill and his Step Forward Crew delivered to Mt. Vernon. Altogether, they delivered 30 regular and 32 frozen meals. Thanks to all who volunteer so faithfully!

We all loved Shay’s supreme pizza, salad, bread sticks with marinara sauce and, due to a dessert “glitch,” we had ice cream for dessert with the promise of berry cobbler next Monday. Thanks to all who stepped up to help Shay out, especially Anne Lewis. Welcome to Gordon Franky, originally from Dayville, now here from Anchorage, Alaska.

On Thursday, Nov. 15, we had a full house (all 12 tables, 96 in-house meals, plus the 39 meals delivered) for our senior center Thanksgiving dinner. Our dear friends from the Methodist Church and Ye Olde Thrift Shop came together in full force to serve us. Sherry Feiger, Marge Gritz, Jean Willey, Dolores Belden and Marge and Alva Conlee did a wonderful job, as always.

Sponsored by John Day Auto Parts NAPA, and the Lundbom family, Ron, Sherri, matriarch (momma) Blanch, Steven, his wife, Tasha, and Alyse, we feasted family style on turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, veggies, rolls and pumpkin cheesecake pie. As usual, I waddled out like a Macy’s balloon in a windstorm!

Special guests included Vivian Rookstool, Leone Meador and Louise LaBaugh, Father Christie from St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, Christopher (magic man) Winesburgh, Jim Smith and Paul Dirker. From Valley View Assisted Living, led by Kim Ausland, Chuck Corwin, Randa Persinger, Ben Leuthe, Shirley Yeorgi, Georgia Osborne, Nancy Burns, Lois Bidasolo, Dorothy Howard, Betty Sprague and daughter, Pam Durr, and Norma Rynearson. Thank you all for joining us for our special day. You helped make it even more wonderful.

Our librarian/decorator/emergency kitchen help, aka Linda Stoltz, has asked me to thank Evelyn Ogilvie via Nancy Elliott for the large and wonderful book donation! If you haven’t visited the library lately, check out the new shelving, donated just in time for more books. I take this moment to thank everyone who donates books; I have read so many of them.

We have learned that our dear Lisa (chef’s helper) will be leaving soon. We will miss her very much but wish her all our best! And just to warn you, you will only have about six weeks of my nonsense. We are still looking for another senior who will step in and put their own thoughts in this column. You need to be or become a regular here on Mondays and Thursdays. It’s a blessing I will miss as we near the time we will move away.

The senior center will be closed on Nov. 22. Happy Thanksgiving!

2 Corinthians 9:15 NIV “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.”

MONUMENT –– We had a nice crowd that showed up for our Tuesday Thanksgiving turkey lunch. Yes, we celebrated a little early. Terry Cade and Teawna Jewell made us turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, dinner rolls and oh-so-delicious pumpkin buttery cake with whipped cream. Mm, mm, I especially liked that pumpkin cake. Oh, OK, I confess, I had two pieces! I think I will have to drop hints to Terry that she should make it more often.

Our greeters were Jimmy Cole, Linda Blakeslee, Kristi Guimont and Judy Harris. Judy led us in the flag salute and made the announcements, yours truly prayed the blessing over the meal, Jimmy and Linda collected and counted the money and Kristi checked off the guests.

We had a total of 52 guests on the books and 15 takeouts. We had guests from Spray, Jean Hammel, Carolyn Adams and her brother Tim; Diane Britt was also present from Pilot Rock. Colleen Wiley joined us from Long Creek. We hope our guests enjoyed their meal and come back again real soon. The winners of the free meals were Carolyn Adams and Clifford Smith, and Jeanne Strange was the lucky winner of the Len’s Drug gift card.

Some of the announcements were that David Stubblefield had finished the handicap ramp in the rear of the senior center; we appreciate and thank him for his work and dedication.

Judy Harris had some door prizes for everyone to have a chance to win. The winners were Cindy Helsley, Max Breeding and Bruce Kramer. One of the door prizes was a big, beautiful, fall wreath. We thank Judy for her generous gifts to the senior center.

The VA lunch on Nov. 11 was a very crowded and tear-jerking event. My family and I got there a little late because of church. I was especially surprised at how many people were there; the place was packed. We hope that those veterans know that we are all thankful for their service and sacrifice. We also hope that they love their quilts, for they were made with love.

Well, to continue my story from last week, I was able to walk to the Ciochetti home, which was thankfully not too far from my car. I had a small flashlight. I thank the Lord that it didn’t happen somewhere like in between Spray and Kimberly where there aren’t very many houses. God is good all the time. Dave Ciochetti was kind enough to come out and help me change out my tire. I’m so thankful for kind and helpful friends and neighbors. Thank you, Dave. Apparently, my tire was pretty bald. Hey, on the bright side, I got my money’s worth on the tire. Ha.

I’m just so thankful that I live where you know, if something happens and you need help, people out here will help you. I love that everyone out here is looking out for one another. Note to self, I need a better flashlight in the car.

Psalm 68:5 “A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, Is God in His holy habitation.”

PRAIRIE CITY — We had a good-sized crowd for our traditional Thanksgiving dinner on this cool, crisp fall day. Seventy-one names were on the registration book, and we still had room for more. Why, I can remember when there was hardly room to get around because there were so many people in the dining room. Ah, yes, the good ol’ days. Just did a crossword puzzle that had this quote: These are the good old days the next generation will hear so much about. Which should make us be sure that these days will be good.

Larry, Carlos, Ginger and Derrol took care of the home deliveries. Drew Harmer led the flag salute, and Jack Retherford asked the blessing. Larry Wright was the winner of the gift certificate donated by Valley View Assisted Living.

Head cook Amber and assistant cook Dick, with lots of help from Tom and Margie, prepared a fabulous dinner of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, carrots (no green beans!), rolls, a relish plate that had olives, pickles, beets, cranberry sauce and celery. Then there was the table full of desserts. All kinds of pies and other delicious desserts awaited your selection, yummy, yummy all around. There was even some eggnog for your dining pleasure, wow. Lorna and Trish brought Carl Lino, Gordon Sindt, Marilyn Randall and Thelma Kite from Blue Mountain Care Center. Some other long-time-no-sees were Pastors David and Keith from Prairie Baptist Church and the Simmerals.

The building is open at 10 a.m. for the pinochle players, and we always have a good time. Then, after the meal, Crish comes for her tai chi class so you have the opportunity to spend the day with us! If you don’t like those activities, there is always the library. I noticed that there is a new bag of books that I need to put in their proper places, that way I get first choice. There are some nights when there is nothing worth watching on the TV so get a good book.

There will be no meal on Nov. 21 so don’t come to the hall. Instead, go to the Teen Center on Nov. 22, and you may partake of another great traditional Thanksgiving meal furnished by the churches of Prairie City. There is a chance that you can take leftovers home, too! Tom’s food for thought says that leftovers will not last forever, but God’s love will. Amen.

I am thankful that I don’t have to cook anything for this year’s family dinner. The daughters-in-love say that they will take care of everything. Hallelujah! All I have to do is get Derrol there.

In the future, what will people say about our present days? What can we do to make sure that these days will be good and remembered fondly? How have you “loved your neighbor” this past year? That is your assignment for this season. Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

Romans 13:9, 10 “The commandments… are summed up in this one rule: love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

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