By Sean McClellan and Betsy.
In Klamath Falls, the atmosphere at the Dragonfly community center Mychal’s Place was lively and festive with hand-decorated banners detailing individual students’ gratitude and words of welcome. Students, staff, parents, and siblings alike gathered together, and just before beginning the meal Glenn offered thanks for the amount of effort and planning that students and staff had contributed and asked for a moment of silence so we could each consider what we were thankful for.
The buffet-style tables that were packed with three separately prepared turkeys, every kind of potato, colorful roasted vegetable blends, various versions of stuffing, numerous sugar crème pies, Turkish Borek dishes, and gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, and paleo-friendly foods to boot! It was an all-inclusive holiday meal to remember with good company, great conversation, and of course, a football game to watch. The entire process from early morning preparation to designating a clean-up crew was spearheaded by a student who is currently enrolled in culinary classes at Klamath Community College and plans to pursue a career in the culinary field.
At the Ashland campus, guests, phase 4 students, and mentors all joined us for dinner. One student even brought her mother and much-loved dog along for the feast, and they came bearing gifts: several bottles of organic, carbonated juices and two beautiful cakes with thick cream-cheese frosting from a local bakery. All of us worked together to set the table, choosing a beautiful, glossy tablecloth the program had gotten during a previous trip to Cambodia.
Before we settled in to eat, we all agreed that we would offer our thanks for things as they came to us, in no particular order or time. This lead to jovial cries of gratitude between bites of our rich, delicious feast for the entire length of the meal. Once seconds were finished and all of us began to settle into our various turkey-stupors, some of the group migrated into the living room to watch a movie by the fire, while others began the cleanup process. Eventually the guests all shuffled off to their homes while those of us left baked cinnamon rolls and drank tea and cocoa before dropping into our beds for the night. All in all, it was a lovely, warm and comfortable night full of friends and food that all of us were deeply thankful for.
Dragonfly sends gratitude to all our students, families and staff – you inspire us each day.