I was doing what had become my regular routine of kids, their activities, my activities, my activities that prepared for their activities, etc., but all of those activities were turned upside down on an October afternoon when I got a four word text message from my husband of over twenty years. He had been fired from his job of fourteen years. It was raining outside and they had not even allowed him to take his umbrella on the way out. After fourteen years. Who does that? Too many people, I have since discovered. I knew I would have to cut any expense from our budget that was not absolutely necessary. I called my parents to ask them to pray for us in general and for me because I would be fasting and praying until God showed me my next move.
Thursday was the last day I remember the sky and the air having any sense of normalcy. It was a beautiful day with blue skies and sun. There was a warning about the smoke being exacerbated by the marine layer, but everyone was hoping that the reports had been exaggerated. If anything, they were understated and now we anxiously await the upgrading of the situation to unhealthy. I live near one of the largest urban forrests in the nation and the world and we are waiting for the air to not be hazardous, which is extremely sad and ridiculous at the same time. Added to the fact that we are in the midst of a pandemic, it is a bit much to deal with while navigating what feels like every aspect of life online. A bit ironic that I’m talking about this on a blog, no?
Around my house we’re getting used to the onset of the new school year. For as long as I have remembered, it has meant coordinating school supply, clothing and activity purchases and making sure everyone had what they needed. This week it means keeping everyone calm, exercising, eating as healthy as we can, and integrating the work we have been doing all Summer into the work that is beginning now. This is not what I would wish for us, but I am completely aware that it could be much, much worse.
I grew up in Louisiana. Gumbo, Okra and Tomatoes, Jambalaya, Etoufée, Fried Turkey, Couvillon, Bouillabaisse, Crawfish, Shrimp, Snapper, Catfish, Pistolettes, PoBoys, Muffalettas, Crêpes, Sun Tea and more were just a regular part of life. One of the first things I remember doing as a kid was serving as my mother’s sous chef, along with my sisters. I also took home economics in junior high and high school so I picked up a lot of information that I still use, now to teach my children to make healthy choices for themselves now that they are almost grown. One of the first cookbooks I remember reading in my mother’s collection was the Betty Crocker Cookbook. Recently I found a copy at a used bookstore. I expected to have to tweak most of the recipes, but a lot of them are still useful and nutritional the way they are. Thanks Mom.