To say we had a unique Thanksgiving is an understatement. We took advantage of our schedules aligning and decided to take a trip before the busyness of Christmas, band trip, and finals happen.
And the next time we travel there will be five of us!
We are super excited for the future!
But we wanted to take advantage of this opportunity so we traveled to our happy place, Park City, Utah. We had a wonderful time that included food, skiing, Christmas Vacation, food, phase 10, and food.
Did I mention food?
So here’s our Thanksgiving- breakfast burritos to start the day, spaghetti with meatballs prepared by chef Jace, and then a tub of buttered popcorn at the movie Glass Onion. Spoiler alert- it’s amazing! The movie that is. Although the popcorn was pretty great as well. Definitely see the movie. Especially if you saw and liked Knives Out.
Now for the interesting part- it’s Thanksgiving day. We are hungry after the movie because eating popcorn does that to a person.
As if we needed more food.
We drove around Salt Lake City and let’s just say there isn’t much open on Thanksgiving. Which is a GOOD thing for people and their families. Almost everything was closed.
We pulled into a parking lot of a pizza place that was open. We checked the Google because, well, if you had seen it you would as well. We decided that if a restaurant can’t hit 3 stars consistently it’s not for us.
On we drove. For another 20 minutes. It became comical. Eventually we spotted IHOP.
I don’t know about you, but breakfast is always a good decision for us! And it was open. Which was definitely a requirement.
We walked in and were seated by our server Corey. After how long it took to find a restaurant, I was getting the feeling we were in the exact right place for such a time as this.
Corey was a unique character. but aren’t we all? He had single-handedly tried to keep the tattoo industry in business. I have nothing against tattoos. Just painting a picture.
Corey was beat down. You could tell.
So I did what I increasingly love to do. I leaned in for the rest of the story. I asked Corey how he was doing.
Fifteen minutes later, Blake and Jace had to pick their jaws up off the ground as they heard a story of federal prison, drug dealing and trafficking, an estranged family, a guy who isn’t a ton older than them working his tail off at 2 full-time jobs. A man who is trying hard to better his situation.
And did I mention he had stage 4 bladder cancer? While in prison. And he beat it. He moved to Salt Lake City from Florida to be close to his cancer doctor.
Corey is a human. Just like the rest of us. A human who has made mistakes. Just like the rest of us. But he got caught. And in the eyes of the world, his sins were deemed much more significant than the things we do and keep in private. And they were significant. No doubt there.
He did the time. He paid his price. He did his time. And he is trying to make a better life for himself.
Pray for Corey. Pray he stays cancer free. Pray that he can get to a point where he doesn’t have to work so much.
Here’s the moral. We could have seen Corey and judged his appearance. Judged his speech. Judged his language of which there was plenty. We could have just told him to take our order and went on with our day.
We chose differently. Not because we are amazing people ourselves. But because we obeyed a God-prompting to lean into the rest of the story.
Corey’s countenance changed significantly as we listened to his story and asked questions to learn more.
He was noticed. He was seen. He was heard. He was valued.
And isn’t that all that any of us want in this world?
So the best time you get the chance to ask how someone is really doing, get ready! You have just opened the door to really share life.
I know of few better ways to #WINtheNOW.
And a side note- as we were leaving, I asked Corey if we could get a picture with him. Another server took the picture but was dumbfounded. Why do they want a picture with YOU? She asked.
Corey answered, “These are my new friends.”
God bless you Corey. We are rooting for you.