Lunch at the senior center

Posted on 05. Jul, 2012 by

Every day my job is different.

It’s one of the things I like most about it. You can come to the office with a plan and it change instantly with the tones of a police scanner or inspiration for a great feature story. Day in and day out there are surprises. Some are good; some are bad.

Tuesday I was happily surprised.

At noon I was scheduled to take a photo at the Decatur Senior Center. The winner of a raffle was coming to pick up his prize — a quilt.

I’ll be honest, this was not the most exciting thing on my calendar for the week. Compared to an indicted commissioner, the possible closing of a county road or two and the upcoming opening of the college’s new building, the quilt raffle was small potatoes. But I also understand our obligation as a community newspaper, and I was happy to go take the photo. I knew if nothing else, I would likely meet a group of nice people. Heck, might even see someone I knew.

I zipped down to the center on North Miller St. with plans to “run in and run out.” As soon as I walked in I saw a friend from church, Coy O’Neal, and before I could introduce myself to everyone else, they were inviting me to lunch. Actually, insisting I eat with them. They were in the middle of a potluck.

Despite my growling stomach, I, of course, attempted to decline, but before I knew it, someone had fixed me a glass of iced tea, so at that point there was nothing left to do but fill a plate. The quilt winner hadn’t arrived yet anyway.

It was a smorgasbord of goulash, meatballs, homegrown squash, tomatoes, cantaloupe and cake. The food was delicious, and conversation was easy.

Eventually we got around to taking the photo, and I ate the last few bites of my meal. I was reluctant to leave.

It’s been said the best moments in life are often shared around the dinner table, and this was true for me Tuesday. My outlook had changed by the time I left, and I was grateful to have wandered into that place and met those people.

Overly-sentimental? Maybe.

But at the core, it’s a simple story about meeting a sweet group of people.


3 Responses to “Lunch at the senior center”

  1. Skip Nichols

    05. Jul, 2012

    Kristen is such a pure joy to read. She reflects the simplicity and complexity of Wise County. She connects with her writing … keep up the great work.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Angie Tyson

    05. Jul, 2012

    Loved your story and glad to see this bunch get some credit and attention! I get to spend one meal a month with this special group of folks. Can’t say “ladies” because Coy often braves the bunch of gals for his lunch, and I wouldn’t want to leave him out. They are kind, thoughtful, determined, independent, generous– they manage building rentals, organize lunches and keep the dominoes shaking. They are volunteers and grandmothers and caretakers. They like to laugh and they are the epitome of hospitality. They boost my spirits EVERY time I see them and they always make me wonder who I will be playing dominoes and Bingo with in 30 years! Always enjoy your perspective, Kristin!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Becky

    07. Jul, 2012

    What a wonderful story, Kristen!!! Thanks for sharing it!

    Reply to this comment

Leave a Reply