A moment of lucidity.
I’ve been battling sleep and being sleepy all afternoon. One moment I’m watching a movie on television and the next I’m watching as the credits scroll up the screen. Currently The Wizard of Oz is finishing up and I’m somewhat awake and lucid. So I’m working on this during this moment of clarity.
Last night was one of those nights when I didn’t sleep all that well. Waking repeatedly during the night to dose back into sleep only to awaken again. Finally just before seven in the morning, I decided to go ahead and get up and get busy. Every big cooking holiday I miss my old range that had two ovens, but age finally ended its usefulness. When burners begin exploding, and they can’t be swapped out easily, its time to replace.
I preheated the oven and went to put the ham in, only to find that the rack was too high. Removing the one rack I got the ham in and the timer set. Item by item I made my way through what I was taking to the meal. And actually cleaning up as I went. My original list was three things, ham, potato salad, dressing. I ended up with those three, along with, stewed potatoes, gravy, green beans, and okra. Next year, Lord willing will be even more.
While I cooked, my nephew and his son got the building ready. Years ago dad had this big storage building constructed and its perfect for gathering meaning mom doesn’t have to overly worry about her house.
We had a wonderful time gathering down at dad’s building. We talked, we laughed, we watched the kids play. I don’t know if anyone bothered to take any photos which I wish I had, but I was enjoying talking with my family. As everyone began to make ready to leave, it was a joint clean up effort. I loaded my leftovers into the back of my car, carried part of mom’s stuff back to her house with the help of my sister-in-law and nephew. Our mess cleaned up and things put away, I drove my car back up to my house and began unloading everything. Once it was all inside I then walked back down to my folks to talk with my nephew who was still there. I want to share part of the firewood I have with mom and dad and he said he’d help move it down there tomorrow. He’s going hunting in the morning, I hope if its not too terribly cold to get out there and get the lights up on the house. We’ll see.
When I got back home, I put the leftovers I brought home away and cleaned up what few dishes were left to be washed and put away. Then, I made the mistake of coming in here and sitting down. That’s when the game of are we awake or asleep began.
Consider this though..holiday meals and life comparisons.
We begin, awakening to what we are facing. Whether it is cooking a big meal, preparing the area, or preparing for relocating to another place, a career move, a lifestyle move. Plans must be put into place and executed. Just as recipes have that list of ingredients, how they are blended and then cooked, life plans should be followed in similar fashion.
As we go about life, taking care of our plans, if we make sure we leave nothing undone behind us it makes what is ahead of us easier. We don’t have to look back and make sure we don’t need to step back and take care of something. Just as I worked to clean up the dishes as I went, I try to take care of the small things along the way for any events I create or take part in.
Being able to gather with family and friends is a wonderful moment. You get to take part in conversations, the give and take of ideas and plans. Though the things going on at the time make gathering more difficult, it isn’t impossible.
Then, there is the all important time of rest. We push and push working toward our goals. Whether it is a big meal, or a big move. To be able to sit down and allow your body to recuperate just feels good. Right now, I am sitting here in my warm home, a cup of hot tea at hand while both dogs are asleep nearby. I have no idea where the indoor cat may be lurking. It has been a day that has gone wide open from the moment after opening my eyes until I sat down after getting back home.
I’m thinking though, when I was cooking today, as I went to make the gravy, the first batch was horrible. It was this seriously, lumpy mess that I refused to even pour into a bowl. I carried the pan outside, dumped the mess and then went back inside to try again. I washed the pan out, dried it and then poured the broth into the pan. I slowly added the flour, salt and pepper and began stirring. This batch turned out much better. Just like with this gravy, sometimes, when we start something in life, our first attempt may not work, so don’t give up. Clean up the mess and try again. A masterpiece may be waiting.