My Thanksgiving Drive for Equinox, 2020 Edition (Pt. 1)

COVID-19 has changed and cancelled so much of my enjoyment this year, that I was worried I would lose the opportunity to drive turkey dinners to various locations as part of the Equinox Thanksgiving Day turkey delivery charity event.

Normally, I drive to a specific location in downtown Albany, I wait until my car is loaded with meals, then I drive as far as I possibly can to deliver these Thanksgiving blessings. But this year, the super-long lines at the Empire State Plaza have been replaced with four days of deliveries and several different pickup destinations. And there’s no guarantee that I will be able to deliver my long haul trips this year.

No matter. So long as I bring turkey dinners to those who need them, I don’t care where I go.

It’s Monday morning. Dracourage has a full tank of gas. The satellite radio is tuned to SiriusXM’s Hallmark Channel, currently the home of classic Christmas music and corny “My memories of Christmas” stories from Lacey Chabert. So let’s go to the pickup location. Downtown Troy.

I arrive early. I’m used to doing that. Also, parking on River Street was at a premium, due to downtown road construction.

I hobnob a while with some of the volunteers. Then, the organizers allow us to choose our delivery cards.

Okay, so I guess I’m picking up in Troy, I’ll deliver to Troy. I’m good with that.

But just for a lark, I asked the organizer, “Where are the cards going to today?”

“We have Troy, we have Averill Park, we have Schodack, and we have Hudson.”

“I’ll take the Hudson meals,” I responded, knowing that Hudson was a good 45-minute drive.

Fifteen meals packed into Dracourage.

Let’s roll.

First delivery looks like it’s to a motel of some sort. I looked at the rest of the cards. Oh, they’re ALL to the motel. Well, now. Quick delivery, walk around the promenade, deliver, deliver, go home. I can deal with that.

I arrive at the motel. There’s a sign that alerts drivers to check in with the front office before visiting the residents. So I do that. I explain that I’m bringing Thanksgiving dinners. I show the front office the cards.

“I know all these residents,” the manager says.

“Would you like to come with me and help me deliver them?” I asked. “They’ll know you, so they’ll understand it’s being delivered in the spirit of the holiday.”

“I’d be glad to,” the manager said, reaching for an overcoat.

And sure enough, we went from apartment to apartment – one dinner here, two dinners there, one dinner over here, a family of five over there.

I thanked the manager for helping me out. The manager later explained to me that I delivered 15 meals to the homeless. The hotel actually operates as a homeless shelter, a sanctuary for those in need. The hotel’s organizers work with the residents, helping them get back on their feet and helping them get through the tough times.

And that is truly admirable. This is an opportunity to help those who need help. We need this. A rising sea lifts all boats, and boats carry life preservers to help those who are trapped in the water.

So there’s my Thanksgiving Day delivery story. Another yeah of successful deliveries.

But I’m not done.

See, they need drivers for Tuesday. So what that means is … your man is loading up the car with more gasoline, and by the time you read this blog, I’ll be back on the road, delivering turkey dinners to who knows where.

Who knows where? I don’t care.

All I care … is that the deliveries go there.