You know how I love artichokes, preferably eating them with my husband at the table by candlelight. (It’s what we do…14 years and counting). Unfortunately, Larry had to work last evening while the most lovely artichoke sat in our refrigerator. It called to me every time I opened the door. What to do, what to do? Well…hmmmm…I decided to have a date with myself.
“Bering, table for one…Bering, table for one.”
I set out a placemat and a napkin and lit a candle. I melted a little light butter and poured some balsamic vinegar in a bowl. I put on Sirius Symphony Hall
and, to make up for the lack of conversation, grabbed the latest issue of Arthritis Today. (What were you expecting? Playgirl? LOL) With the dog under the table hoping I’d drop a morsel or three,
I sat down to an awesome artichoke feast.
Especially the heart.
Someone once asked me if I were to describe myself as a vegetable, what would it be? It was 1993. I was sad and jaded and weighed about 150 pounds. I said I was an onion because you could peel away at the layers and not find anything underneath. Ask me that same question today and I’d say I was an artichoke. Peel away at the layers and there really is a heart underneath. A solid, happy, giving heart.
Here’s how I know that. 7 a.m. today, I got a call from my daughter Cassie. She sounded awful. She hadn’t had a lick of sleep. Claire was up all night convinced her stuffy nose would kill her and complaining that her ears were “leaking.”
*dingdingding* “I’ll take Ear Infection for a thousand, Alex.”
I was still waking up and thinking about what I had to do today, then I realized that what I HAD to do today was get down to Pittsburgh and help out my family. I threw together a salad for lunch, and packed breakfast for the road: a yogurt/plum/blackberries/Grape-Nuts concoction that’s easy to eat in the car, along with a brewed Big Green Hojicha. I brushed my teeth, threw on some makeup and was on the road by 9.
Cassie and the kids were still on their way home from the doctor’s office when I arrived, so I picked up toys and cleaned the kitchen, fed the dog and watered the plants. When they got home, Claire was all about being held, Luca needed a nap, and so did Cassie. When Luca woke up from his nap, Cassie was still sleeping, Claire and I were watching “Maggie and the Ferocious Beast,” and I was eating my salad and sharing all my tomatoes with Claire – something we’ve done since she could chew. Claire loves tomatoes no matter how she gets them, but they’re the most fun to eat when picked out of my salad. Luca wandered over to my salad bowl and I gave him a few black beans. Mmmmm…he liked those a lot. So I gave him a few more. Then Claire wanted more tomatoes. Then Luca wanted more black beans. Woohoo! It was a feeding frenzy at Grammy’s salad trough!
We hung out a little longer before Cassie woke up. Then I put Claire down for a nap and played a “gah gah gah” finger game with Luca (hard to describe, but there’s much silly giggling involved). By the time I hit the road, I was so full of joy I could hardly contain it.
This week was a little tough as I tried to get all my physical “dis”ability ducks in a row. Today, though, made me feel relevant again. While I’m certainly not happy my granddaughter is sick, knowing I’m still capable of coming through with love and comfort was exactly what I needed. We all need to be reminded that we matter no matter what.
And, like Justin Hayward sings in the Moody Blues song “New Horizons,” I’ll find my own peace of mind some day.