The weekend was packed with activities starting with a service project on Saturday. In Atlanta Dr. King's birthday is celebrated with city-wide service projects and other special services. Normally I volunteer on Monday but had an opportunity to work at a place I'd been wanting to visit.
About a year ago I read a blog post about a young woman who went with a group of friends to take dinner to a place called Trinity House-Big Bethel. The woman described how she reluctantly went along with a group of friends to make the delivery but after visiting with the residents was stirred with great emotion. I felt much the same way. Our group went to help with a painting project and we'd planned to have lunch with residents afterward. As the painting wrapped up we all gathered in a large room for mealtime. At first there was casual conversation but then one resident asked for everyone's attention and he began to speak. He gave his name and told how long he'd been at TH. He went on to openly share his personal struggles with alcohol and drugs and so the circle of sharing began. As we went around the circle, each of the residents shared stories - some college educated while others were high school drop outs. Most had been living on the streets after losing homes, marriages, contact with family, children, etc. One of the youngest residents was just 25 years old and had been on drugs since he was 14. All of the men had one thing in common - turning their life around. Many of the men thanked us for coming to help them paint adding that the thing they appreciated most is having volunteers come to support them in their personal journeys. We left with plans to visit again. It was a great day.
Sunday was the chili party and what fun we had. We had four different chili's to try - turkey sausage, Cincinnati-style, hot 'n spicy and vegetarian. (You can't judge a chili by its picture but I included one anyway).
We also had some other delicious things to try like hot spinach artichoke dip, broccoli muffins and an apple tart. The broccoli muffins are so popular with my family. In fact, one year for my daughter's birthday, she asked for these instead of a cake! I decided that when you have a chili party, you need to have some small "to go" containers on hand for guests to take home leftovers. Sort of like a cookie swap. Lots of candle light, great wine, fellowship and plenty of chili!!!! This may become an annual tradition. My husband brought me flowers so I had to add them to my blog!
FINALLY we were able to see It's Complicated today and I enjoyed it so much. A great way to end the weekend.