Saturday, March 28, 2015

Grilling Out For Two

I'm still in the wrapping-my-mind-around-it phase of re-learning life for two as opposed to three or four and any number of add-ons which accompanied the third and fourth members of our family established in 1986.  I'm getting on my own nerves with this topic as it's been nearly two years since our last nestling flew well and west.  Writing it out seems to help, though.

When the grill-meister, Mr. A, mentioned grilling out, I wasn't particularly enthused, but it was hard to resist his.  The next thing I know I'm kneading some Tastefully Simple seasoned salt and a little water into some ground beef and Mr. A is firing up the grill.  (I'm not a Tastefully Simple representative, so no self-interest in plugging their products.)  After making huge circles of raw beef, trying to accommodate for shrinkage, a generous amount of coarse ground pepper  and fire on both sides, voila!  We had tasty, homemade burgers for lunch.  

Mr. A salted tomato slices and ate them with relish, no, not literal relish, but like he was Georgia born and bred.  He has lived here 45 of his 61 years, so the culture really has rubbed off on him.  I'm not sure of the origin of the stinker in him, whether it was his birthplace of Ohio or his childhood home of Florida, but he doesn't mind wasting a pickle thrown in the dog's direction for the sheer entertainment of watching her immediately spit it back out.  She's not fond of tomatoes either, for the record.  

We rejoiced in the sunshine and we spoke frankly about where we are in life. We've signed all the pull-the-plug papers giving each other the legal right and blessing to do so.  I said to him I never want to be simply a body he has to bathe.  He said he didn't either, but life is a test and it isn't always fair.   

He then said he hoped we wouldn't have to take care of anyone else anytime soon.  That was after I mentioned many people my age, breathing on 52, are in the beginning stage of looking after their elderly parents.  My last parent was buried 12 years ago, so we were bonafide members of the sandwich generation.  Mr. A said we did that well.  Enough of that.    

He earns his relaxation daily by working hard and it's mighty gracious of him to say I earned my relaxation by what I did in the past, caring for children, an aging parent, and in time a brother.  I don't feel like I'm earning mine daily, I said to him, but I did mop the floors yesterday.

"That's important, too," he said in all seriousness following my less-than-serious remark.  It's a beautiful thing he appreciates the upkeep of our home.  I'm the first one to stand up for homemakers and what we do as a vocation, but I also have to admit it seemed to have more value when more people benefited from the labors.

It's a beautiful day to get over myself and any maudlin thoughts trying to creep in.  Lots of sunshine today and lots more tomorrow to stock up on before April comes in next week with afternoon thunderstorms.  Lunch dishes have been dealt with, Mr. A is mowing the lush, spring green grass and the afternoon is mine to do with as I choose.  My mission, this second half of life, is to choose well.  The afternoon's "activities" will consist of a book or two or three, some blessed sunshine and the time for some healthy self-talk, "It's OK.  Relax and enjoy.  You really did earn it."