Saturday, May 19, we opened our doors to the public. It was quite a dreary day but our volunteers and I had big smiles on our faces as we worked on different swag stations in all the rooms. We enjoyed some coffee as we “knocked on wood” that the rain would stay away. It didn’t.
We welcomed a few strangers and gave some tours. We blew bubbles with the littles and did chalk art under the overhang. The rain didn’t wipe off anyone’s smile or drown our attitudes but it didn’t help with the overall attendance of “new to us” folks. At noon we welcomed 60 friends to share a hot dog lunch with. Billy knocked out over 150 hotdogs and sides for us to enjoy and man, we were stuffed!
As the volume in the fellowship began to rise MaRanda gave a speech before handing the floor over the Hugh. When Hugh speaks I can’t help but take in all his words, even the dad jokes. He really has a way with words. As he was wrapping up his talk we were all “cutting onions”.
Hugh is my friend, mentor and a man I highly respect and have learned so much from over the last year. I will miss hearing his keyboard clicking away or our conversations using only grunts and sighs after a long day or week. I’m going to miss Hugh but am excited for his next adventure. A road trip to Missisippi might be in order.
Towards the end of the day I was reflecting on everything. My favorite moment was being in the kitchen during lunch and hearing the laughter, the smiles, seeing all the hugs and feeling the love. It hit me that all these friends were not only here to support Hugh, but also to support me, Blu and MaRanda. They have confidence in us and have our backs in the work. It was humbling to know that Hugh saw something in me when I was a volunteer to hire me. And I’ve survived the first year!
Love Wins isn’t just a Community it’s a way of life, every day.