Table For One, Salad For Three

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.

Artichokes rule.

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.

12 thoughts on “Table For One, Salad For Three

  1. What I love best about this post is that you are so sure that you have a good heart. I love that confidence. You have a wonderful heart. I couldn't have survived today without you. And coming home to a clean house…getting to sleep uninterrupted…I mean, SPOILED! Thanks again, Mom. You are the best 🙂

  2. Cassie is lucky to have you, as are Claire and Luca…your kindness and generosity are proof of how big your heart is, Lynn. Also I love that you took yourself out on a date, even if it was in your own house!

  3. A grandma can make such a difference in the lives of adult children and grandchildren. It's amazing what joy can come to us when we help others. What a great example of family nurturing to pass on to subsequent generations!

    I also thought to myself that in spite of the need to get on the road, you took the time to make sure your food for the day was taken care of and prepared in advance. What a good example of self-care, which is so important for those of us dealing with weight loss and weight maintenance. You did good!!

  4. Jeez Lynn – you are so relevant! Don't ever think otherwise.

    I love the comparison of yourself to an artichoke. You are a wonderful mom and grandmom.

  5. You rock! As a mom of young (but no longer quite that young) kids, what you did for your daughter and grandkids is absolutely priceless! (My daughter likes picking things out of my salad, too…although it's everything BUT the tomatoes.)

    Artichokes rock, too! When I read how much you love artichokes, I had to dig up the recipe printed in our AAA magazine, with the recipe from our local restaurant Duarte's Tavern for their cream of artichoke soup. I think I made it with veggie stock and it turned out great.

  6. Aw, Lynn, we were taking care of our families at both ends of the spectrum! You did better at the food packing though!

    And of course, I love the idea of a date night for one. I will have to treat myself a little better at dinner time tomorrow!

  7. Way to go on going and helping out the family. I'm sure they just loved having you and giving always gets so much back to us in return. I always love hearing about your time with your grandkids. Always makes me wish hubby's mom lived closer. Yes, you surely do have a kind heart too *smile*. Thanks for your comments lately.

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