Will Shovel Snow for a Home Cooked Meal

Read that title tongue-in-cheek (but not really!)  I’ve shoveled snow 4 or 5 times this weeks and you would think I’d be sick of it, but honestly, I would rather spend an hour or two moving snow than figure out the evening meal and cook it.  If we were a barter society I would totally have arrangements to have other people cook meals for me.  I’d even buy all the food – I just don’t want to think about what to make and then actually spend time doing it.  It’s completely silly and obviously a character flaw that I need to work on.  If I were a fatalistic type, I’d say that God was trying to teach me the importance of nurturing my family through food and since I could avoid the lesson while Tom was around, He pushed the issue.  I don’t actually believe that, just in case you were wondering.  I think Tom died because that’s the way of life.  Our bodies give out, or we have accidents, or we suffer the consequences of someone else’s agency.  It sucks for the people left behind who weren’t ready for those relationships to come to an end but I have to hope that Tom, at least, is feeling the joy of no more diabetes, though he better be missing us too!!  I used to kid Tom that he wouldn’t know what to do if I died because he had little interest in the financial side of running our family.  Well, the laugh is on me, because I have found I don’t know what to do when it comes to feeding my kids.  I can make stuff – it’s not like I can’t cook.  But I never paid much attention to what Tom cooked (other than eating it) and he didn’t write his recipes down.  He’d find something on-line that looked good and then he would tweak them.  Some foods (like his enchiladas) he just made up in his head.  While we are certainly not starving, we are all missing the unique flavors of our favorite dishes.  Boxed pasta and lackluster chicken just doesn’t measure up.  Guess I might have to put some effort into the food thing after all!!

Today is the last day of Christmas break.  Tomorrow we’re back to 5:30am alarms and the homework routine and a more regimented work week.  The past two weeks we’ve spent plenty of days in our pajamas doing nothing productive at all.  It’s been lovely, though I’m looking forward to having my house cleaned up – I worked on putting away Christmas decorations yesterday but finally stopped with about half the stuff packed up.  Too much leisure time has made me lazy.  Hopefully I’ll get the rest taken care of today or tomorrow.  Honestly, there was a part of me that was a bit sorrowful as I was putting things away.  There are a lot of memories tied up in those decorations.  We’ve gotten through the holidays without any major down days, but now it’s all past and the distractions of family and events are over.  The reality that it is just me, Andrew, and Haley again brings home the loneliness that threads through my days now.  Not that I’m unique – there are so many around me that have lost loved ones – I just never knew what it felt like until now.  And I feel lucky in some ways, because I don’t have unresolved feelings or issues about my relationship with Tom.  I can only imagine the grief that comes when a loss is complicated.  I’m grateful I’m not incapacitated, that I can still find joy in my daily life, that I have so many good memories, that I have a strong faith in the eternal nature of my relationship with Tom.  But those things don’t make me less lonely.  My best friend is not here anymore and that’s hard to get used to.

Our break was a good one.  Spencer was home from BYU and it was so nice not to be the only adult in the house!!  He helped me shop for stocking stuffers and took the kids shopping for me (I’m feeling pretty lucky about that).  We hosted Christmas Eve dinner at our home and with help from my brothers and their wives, dinner was pretty darn good.  Tom would have been proud.  Andrew and Haley got cell phones (finally! as they would say in their best teenage voices).  They are “dumb” phones because I’m a backwards mom like that.  I don’t think they should have unlimited and unsupervised access to the internet.  Still, they can text their friends now and so far Andrew hasn’t lost his, so I’m counting it a success. Spencer was pretty excited to get a pricey new pair of running shoes in preparation for a marathon he’s planning to run in the spring.  I’m amazed that he has taken to running, but he’s got a persuasive girlfriend (and aunt) who are great cheerleaders.  We continued our tradition of a Christmas day movie by seeing the last Hobbit movie.  I’ve been completely underwhelmed and disappointed by the entire franchise, and that’s all I have to say about that, though Andrew and Haley found it completely entertaining.  We spent the rest of the day at my brother’s home eating yummy food and just “hanging out” playing games and doing a puzzle.  New Year’s Eve we spent at my other brother’s home (though Andrew and Haley opted to attend a church youth dance instead).  The older I get the more I feel like I won the lottery when it comes to family.  They have all rallied around me and supported us and reminded us often of how much we are loved.  It’s pretty awesome.

So here’s to 2015!  I hope it holds some hidden treasures … I’m sort of counting on it. 🙂

04. January 2015 by tjsjohanna
Categories: Blog | Tags: , , | 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. I’m right there with you on shoveling someone else’s snow in trade for a homecooked meal…I enjoy baking a lot more than cooking, that’s why I’ll never be a size 8 again! The problem we have as empty nesters is that it takes forever to use up leftovers and most recipes make at least 6 or 8 servings of something. Cutting recipes down to 2 servings usually messes up the spices and herbs, so I end up experimenting. Sometimes works, and sometimes……….well, let’s just say I end up feeding the garbage disposal more than we eat! I haven’t figured out a solution yet, so will keep on keeping on, and shoveling snow in the meantime!

  2. Loved reading that, Hermana, and especially learning more about you and your life since that awesome month we spent in sunny Spain! Hang in there and know you are loved!

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