On Sunday, we took a day long vacation.
This is a learned skill for Honcoops. They tend to think that working without suffering physical or mental distress is a vacation. Who needs a day off to do unproductive stuff? Besides, you’re not really working unless you are suffering some kind of physical or mental distress.
I guess it lets them know they are alive.
That kind of stuff has the opposite effect on me. It makes me think I’m dying.
Anyway, it doesn’t come naturally for Honcoops to take a day off, just to relax and do fun stuff. I’m really quite proud of The Farmer for learning to do this, and not under duress.
Our first stop was IHOP because we’ve seen just a few too many ads on TV about their pancakes, waffles, and omelets.
But when I saw those two magic words on the menu – Eggs Benedict – I forgot about pancakes. The Farmer stuck with pancakes and ordered his favorite – Double Blueberry…along with his eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns…and so on!
We tucked into our delicious breakfasts, and after I had finished, I began to wonder how many years of my life I have spent watching The Farmer eat…watching, and waiting for him to finish. Thirty-four years together…potentially 37,230 meals have been consumed in that time...If you assign each meal an hour of time that would be over 4 years of my life. Let’s be more reasonable and cut that in half.
That’s still 2 years, folks. TWO YEARS of trying not to pick at the food left on the table, unsuccessfully, I might add…TWO YEARS of waiting to clear the table. I should at least have been reading a book.
Of course, The Farmer and I are as different in our approaches to eating, as we are with working. I’ve been trying to improve on this, especially since my polite and proper daughter-in-law joined our family, because I became aware that I pretty much look like a country bumpkin at the table. Emily Post, I am not. I eat too quickly, and voluminously. I just love to crunch and munch…It’s not so much about fueling up. It’s about the experience, and I like to experience a lot -- quickly. I’m trying to learn to savor more slowly, and be graceful as I empty my plate…but it’s a work in progress.
True to form, The Farmer has a plan for consuming his needed calories for fuel, and is irritatingly meticulous in his preparation of the items on his plate. The rest of us are finishing up by the time he has everything properly salted, buttered and situated on his plate. Then he still has to consume his food, which is also done with concentrated attention to the proper proportion of, say, gravy to mashed potatoes in each bite.
I distinctly remember sitting across from him in a restaurant after one of the boys’ far away football games. I was exhausted, and wanted to get to our hotel to get warmed up in a cozy bed. I had not ordered a dessert because I was trying to be “good” with my calorie consumption. He decided that he HAD to have a piece of blackberry pie, WITH ice cream. For 30 minutes, I watched him peel off a tiny sliver of pie, and then repeatedly stroke the ice cream until he had the perfect proportion on his miniature bite of pie before finally putting it in his mouth.
I think it was the closest I ever came to popping him one.
And last Sunday, there I was again…watching the blueberry pancakes being carved into small pieces that were carefully coated in blueberry sauce, then syrup and whip cream…and I began to ponder the years I have spent in this activity…years of my life watching him eat.
Thank God, for a carafe of coffee.
It made it tolerable, and that was especially helpful as the cook forgot to put blueberries in his pancakes the first time. They had to be redone, and didn’t arrive until I was finished with my plate.
Eventually, my impatience began to show. The Farmer looked across the table at me and said, “Relax! We’re on vacation!”
Oh, the irony…on so many levels…
So – I heeded his admonition, and we had a wonderful day, exploring, driving Chuckanut, and visiting Dillon and Tiffany and her parents at their campsite.
We had dinner out before heading home…and I remembered that I have a smartphone which can keep me occupied while I wait.
I think I learned a new skill too.