My wife says I’m crazy, but I live by an overwhelming philosophy that certain foods fit in certain seasons of the year.
Take a hearty soup – chili or taco or potato. You don’t eat heavy soup when it’s 94 degrees and the air feels like roux. That’s a winter food, and don’t try to disagree.
Fish? Chicken? Those light meats belong in the spring and summer, along with a crisp salad.
Red meat? Sure, pile it on whenever you like, but don’t pretend the best brisket isn’t cooked in fall.
I’ve thought a lot about food lately because, well, you know the answer. Are you and your family playing the Pandemic Pounds Challenge? If this blasted coronavirus doesn’t kill us, diabetes and heart disease must be right around the corner.
As part of the Challenge, I’ve tossed my seasonal sustenance philosophy out with the rubber gloves. My wife cooked a concoction of potato, chicken and rice stew the other day. It was near 90 degrees outside, and I still ate it. What else am I going to do with no sports on TV and no neighborhood children willing to spread germs with my kids?
The problem is my wife, the more I think about it. She’s one of those people whose metabolism is stuck in her teens – curse her!
The other day, she said, “Wow, some fried shrimp would be so good tonight.” I went to the store, bought the batter and peanut oil, and threw in a box of hushpuppies.
The very next day, she said we should support the local pizzeria, because it’s a family-owned business. We ate pizza.
There are two groups of people reading this right now. The first group wants to call an ambulance and send it directly to my house. You’re sickened because I haven’t even mentioned a vegetable (I said salad!), and you’re concerned that I’m perilously close to creating the complete social-distance arch of six feet with my stomach.
The second group just read the previous 300 words and said, “Yep.”
All the news we’re reading today is too glum. We can’t take our eyes off the ticker of infected people, not to mention the count of those who have died from this virus. If you ask my opinion, we’re watching that stuff way too much, and we’re not spending enough time laughing at the real humor of turning our lives upside down.
So why don’t we laugh at ourselves a bit more, and discuss the other two things (beyond heavier grades of ourselves) coming from this pandemic.
Do you have any idea how many incredible artists are going to come out of this global tragedy? It’s happening, and all you parents know exactly why.
Last week, I decided to bring my oldest son, Hank, to work with me. He needed a break from his siblings, but more important, I could devote some of my educational chops to continuing his kindergarten education.
Hank’s school district provided a package of learning materials, and if that packet is any indication of what the next 12 grades will be for the poor lad, he may end up as smart as a box of rocks.
After spending 10 minutes failing to discern what, exactly, my son was to do with this packet, I scrapped the whole thing, jumped on my computer, and searched for “free printable science worksheets for kindergarten.”
Welcome to Pinterest, my friends, where brick-and-mortar schools may become a thing of the past. I printed sheets for an hour, except I didn’t read any of the instructions until showing the pages to Hank.
The instructions, as you might guess, suggested that I (the parent) read a story to Hank and have him try to write down the answers to a series of questions. Wait, I have to help him do this work?
I threw all those sheets away, and instead printed another hour’s worth of worksheets he could figure out on his own. Except he couldn’t, which meant I spent another hour explaining all the exercises.
Eventually, we left the office, ordered some chicken nuggets, and came back with a new plan.
“Here son, color these.” I printed 15 Pinterest sheets of different characters of Mario Brothers, and Hank spent the rest of the day becoming an artist, which I deem to be exceptional parenting. Another few weeks of this type of learning, and we’ll probably open a gallery in our garage.
If we’re getting heavier and more creative, we’re also getting cleaner. Seriously, does anyone need anything power washed around their house, because I’ve got time.
The first weekend, I cranked up that pressure washer and spent two hours blasting piercing water into our back patio. It was as liberating as it was destructive on my lower back.
The next weekend, my wife asked if I would do the same thing to the garage. I got to the end of the garage and accidentally cleaned off one strip of concrete in the driveway. And you know what that means for a manic like me?
That’s right, it meant I had to do that entire section of the driveway, to make it all the same shade of engine oil.
I’m not a handyman by nature, but by gosh I’ve got time on my hands and nothing to watch on Saturday or Sunday afternoons. Next week, I’m going to power wash all the trees in our yard. Right after I print Hank a coloring book and eat a bowl of stew.
Stay safe, my friends. Just don’t forget to laugh.