I had about a million things to get done this weekend, and almost none of them did. How unusual.
I did manage, however, to get to the supermarket this afternoon. I spent most of my time there shaking my fist at the $9 gallon jugs of orange juice and crying heavenward “IT IS NOT ALLOWED TO SNOW IN CALIFORNIA EVER AGAIN.” I love orange juice as much as the next person (though perhaps not as much as Otto, because his relationship to orange juice frankly concerns me a little), but I can buy wine for that kind of money. And then I don’t have to share it with the kids.
The groceries are now half put away (the other half sitting around the kitchen floor, spilling out of bags) and I swear I will get to the rest of them after dinner tomorrow.
The reason I had to get to the store (other than the usual reasons: out of milk, out of bread, hey kids—how about a nice hunk of cheese for lunch?) was that I am cooking dinner for some people tomorrow night.
There’s a gigantic pot of (homemade) chicken soup resting out in my garage, now, and tomorrow I’ll finish it off with some noodles and deliver it to a family in our church. I don’t know them—they’re relatively new to the congregation—but they have small children and the wife had some unexpected (and serious) surgery, and the church is trying to help out.
[I love contributing to this sort of thing, mostly because I can’t think of anything I’d like more, myself, in a time of trouble than for people to show up at my house with food. In lieu of a sack full of cash or a magic wand, food is the universal panacea, so far as I’m concerned.]
I had most of the soup fixings at home, already, but I did my normal grocery shopping for the week and added in what I’d need to make it a suitable meal. A bag of salad. A whole-grain baguette. Some pumpkin cake concoction that was on sale at the bakery. Soup and salad and bread; the ultimate winter comfort meal!
While talking to Otto on the phone tonight, I was telling him about making the soup and why.
Me: It’s one of the things I really like about this church, you know? At my old church… well… I delivered two babies while I was there. No one cooked for us.
Me: I’m trying to remember, but I don’t think so. This church is really good about this stuff, though.
Otto: That’s good.
Me: Yeah, it really is. This is a great church. And now I’m going to leave it, and have to find another church.
Otto: *laughs* Well, I think you should base it on which church will provide the best food if you have a medical emergency.
Me: Good idea. “Hi, I’m looking for a new church home. Let’s say I have to have brain surgery… what sort of casserole will you bring to my house?”
Me: I think we’re on to something.
Otto: Of course, you understand that down here you’re not going to be getting chicken soup and multigrain baguettes and salad.
Otto: Nah, down here if someone cooks for you it’s gonna be a slab of ribs, and hush puppies, and green beans cooked in bacon.
Me: Dude. I am SO IN.
Otto: *silently fleeing back to the relative sanity of his orange juice*
(The rest of the conversation is kind of a blur after that. I never really got past “bacon.”)
So, he’s telling me that even though I have to give up my beloved congregation up here, I’m moving to a place where people bring you barbecue and pork fat in times of crisis.
And all this time, Otto has been telling me that he lives in Georgia. I see now that he truly lives in Utopia.