Thursday, July 13, 2006

Weather report

Vacations are an interesting barometer. I'm doing all the things I never do, never get to do, never even think of doing...

The first night was all-you-can-eat crab legs. I haven't had all-you-can-eat anything in so long I can't remember. Why would I? All I need to eat is plenty. It was decadent (and delicious) and as I watched my son and daughter-in-law and grandson, I felt a bittersweet composite of connection and separation. I'm certainly no Mother Theresa, but my enjoyment of a food I definitely love and rarely eat now, was spoiled by a nagging thought of how many people would this much food feed?

The meal also brought back memories of dinners with my ex-husband. Red Lobster would have these specials from time to time. We would skip the salad and baked potato and tuck into the crab, laying up leg after leg as trophies on the plate. Who could eat the most? I almost never could, pitted against a six foot man with a hollow leg, but I often came a close second. To what end? To hasten my cholesterol problems? Is the all-you-can-eat special an American tradition? Did we invent this self-inflicted punishment on our bodies? I wonder what unspoken need underlies our delight in such things.

Day two brought a gift from my daughter-in-law... a trip to the spa for a pedicure. I used to treat myself when I worked full-time. Now I must rely on the sweet intuition of the daughters I never had. Both of them are savvy, and this is the second pedicure I've been gifted with in my three years in community. The first one shocked my sisters when I arrived home with what I thought were sedately painted toes... but sedate is in the eye of the beholder. I quickly put my socks back on at their disapproval. This one I'll enjoy all week before I must consider how inappropriate it must look to be a nun with painted toes.

Day three was a shopping trip to an oulet mall (I got a new watch for $7) and lunch at Wild Buffalo Wings. Asian zingy spice and medium hot wings... sauce smeared on fingers and lips as we laughed and ate and laughed some more. There's a trivia game that anyone can play. The questions pop up on moniters scattered around the restaurant and each contestant selects his answer on his own little computer pad. We played this same game years ago when I visited, and I laughed at the fierce competion between my son and his wife. Some things don't change. But maybe for me they have. I seem to have lost my edge for competition, as well as my ability to eat it all.

It's the early morning of day four. I wonder what the barometer will show me today.


Lor said...

really appreciate your thoughts in this post..I struggle with the same tension in my life as I travel between the US and Honduras. It is good to hear someone else with the same struggle on the journey. It is impossible to live as if the poor do not exsist and our role in their plight...thanks for sharing!

kpjara said...

Keep your toes covered upon return! I think the wrath of a NUN must rival that of any ancient warrior!

I'm glad your having a wonderful visit and your getting spoiled! Enjoy it all!

Natty said...

OMGosh! On the topic of nuns/toenail polish: I can't believe I never blogged about this! I got "my nuns" to have a little toenail painting party in the fall of 2004 when I was a new Volunteer! They noticed that (at the time) I almost always had painted toenails, and I brought along my basket full of wacky polish colors. One night, we cracked out the basket and everyone chose a color. Granted, it took a bit of persuasion to get one of the older Sisters to play along (she finally chose white!), everyone ended up with painted toes that night. Sr. C. even chose USC colors: alternating toes of Red and Gold! She then wore sandals as often as possible over the next week! I am emailing you a fun flier we made and submitted in jest to the Sister in charge of Development as what we thought should be our newest "marketing" campaign! (Curiously, said Sister never made mention of our anonymous submission...) The foot with pink toenails belongs to a former
Volunteer who has since entered a Dominican cloister.

So the next time your Sisters "tsk" at your painted toes, feel free to whip out this flier and recount the tale of all the fun that was had with my basket of many colors right there in the convent! Call it a community activity! Afterall, it's about Joy, right? :)

Addie said...

what lovely memories you are making....