You know the place is special when you find yourself there on holidays. On Saint Patrick’s Day my daughter and I along with my friend and her two sons under the age of three, all celebrated with some of the best Corned Beef and Cabbage we’ve ever tasted. Thanks to the regular Thursday Community Meal volunteer chefs Dottie and Roger Nelson. The whole lot of us got to eat a traditional Irish meal and listen to Roger play Danny Boy on the piano. And my two year old ate cabbage for the first time! This was definitely the most celebratory part of our Saint Patrick’s Day. You should have been there.
I was thinking about how I was also at the Town Hall for a pumpkin carving party and contest in costume for Halloween last October, and again for a Cookies with Santa event the week before Christmas (with about a hundred other community members). And this coming Sunday I’ll be there again for an Easter Egg Hunt. I guess in some ways it feels like home. And not because I work here, but because I play here now.
Some people call this a “third place”, a place that is not home (the first place) and also not work (the second place), but a place feels as much like yours as either of those places and yet doesn’t have the responsibilities of either one. I know this because I work part time in a museum, another kind of “third place” for a lot of people.
For me, in the upper valley this past winter, the Mount Hood Town Hall has been this home away from home away from work, and we needed it. Thank you to the people that inhabit it, that use it, and teach in it, and cook in it, and all of you, like me, that come to it to play. It wakes up when we are there.