Ranger Kathryn's Arches

December 26, 2011

Community Christmas Meal

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 9:54 am
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Hundreds of plates stand ready

2 pm Christmas Day: the lined ambled forward at a steady pace as savory aromas wafted out the door into the hallway. People from every walk of life, all ages and socioeconomic strata, mingled and chatted amiably. It was yet another event showcasing the generous and compassionate hearts of Utahans.

Eight times a year the town rallies to put on a free feast. For Christmas, the wonderful folks at Red Cliffs Lodge donate and prepare all the food (last year 375 meals) for a meal for anybody who cares to come. Turkey, ham, roast beef, salmon, mashed potatoes, stuffing, yams, cranberry sauce, rolls, pie, cake, ice cream — I got a full feeling just looking at the abundance before me. An army of volunteers in Santa hats dished up the plates, bussed the tables, and washed dishes. This is Moab at its finest, in my estimation.

"Yam lady" made me smile

After partaking of the sumptuous feast, it was my turn to help out. They needed drivers to take meals to the homebound elderly who had requested this, and I knew that would be just the ticket to keep me from sinking into the morass of self-pity on a traditional family-oriented day. Off I went with my Google map of Moab  and take-out boxes which I’d filled.

If you’ve not had a chance to spend a few minutes with old folks lately, drop what you’re doing and arrange this. In my park ranger job, the elderly are under-represented among our visitors. I miss them. Their sweet smiles and heartfelt gratitude for the simple meals I carried chased away the Loneliness Blues. I drove back to my home on the mesa top with a lighter heart and a deeper resolve to find more ways to serve others.

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