Cheap Pizza and Non-cheap Ginger Ale…

Another round of gardening done.  I spent a lump of money and my guilt is….oh…non-existent.  Because I look at it this way….the garden is feeding the family and will continue to feed my family if I can just keep on top of it.

Of course, that is a huge IF.

However, at this point, the if is negligible and the world is beautiful.  My husband brought home, upon request, cheapo pizza that tastes delicious when paired with an alcoholic ginger beer that has orange in it.  Now, you are welcome to start gasping that I actually had an alcoholic beverage.  However, I am 43, twice the legal drinking age plus one year to spare.  So, if you don’t like me writing this….well…bite me.

Especially go for the thigh region.  I could stand to lose more weight there.

Anyhow, while stopping the sarcasm and going back into the post…I love food.  I really do.  I love eating and food and everything related to eating and food.  I love going from that sense of gnawing hunger to a full belly that might slightly protrude because I have eaten to much.  I love the social function of eating.  I love the taste, the texture, and consistency of food.  I love the comforting feature of food.

I do not love the calories and fat grams that like to find my hips, butt, and thighs and stay for an extended vacation with hundreds of their friends.  But I don’t feel like blogging about that because….it’s pointless.

Today, I had a friend visit who, due to a horrible medical condition, has caused her to narrow her diet to 15 foods total.  And that includes flavoring/spices.  This lovely friend used to love eating.  Now, eating is nothing more than an act of survival because she has to eat in order to survive and she is refusing to cave into the depressing features of her illness.

This woman is incredible.  She is strong, resilient, and courageous.  And I wish that no matter how many times I said this to her, she would finally believe it.  Maybe she’ll read this blog and realize that there is so much more to her than her warped self-impressions.  I told her today to find a different mirror, one that is less cracked and one that stops shouting horrible things at her.  I don’t want her to find the “mirror mirror on the wall” either.  She doesn’t need false reassurances.  But one that says, “You are amazing because of your giving, generous, compassionate nature.”  Yup, that would do.

I take food for granted.  I am so first-world that the idea of not having the choice to eat doesn’t enter my mind.  For me, I get to choose what I want to eat.  Because I have been on a strong diet, I have chosen not to eat as much chocolate, candy, cookies, cake, or other unhealthy foods like I used to.  Of course, I say this after having eaten cheapo pizza.  But, in the end, I eat eggplant as opposed to meat.  I eat fruit and vegetables as opposed candy.  My form of a treat is a Cliff Bar.

But I can choose to eat this.  Just like I can choose to change my diet again and go for all the non-healthy options that exist.  I remember Lauren once telling me about children who “huffed” every night.  These kids would inhale glue fumes because the high would make the children stop feeling hunger pangs which would enable these children to go to sleep.

I am writing this as a Danimals yogurt commercial is playing on the television.

I also think about the photograph of the starving Somali/Ethiopian girl who looks to be the size of a large coconut.  She is hunched over, being without strength to drag her body the last few yards to the Red Cross center that would give her food.  Behind her, wings slightly unfurled, is a vulture, waiting for the moment when this little girl will die and become its meal.  I don’t know what happened to the girl.  I hope that the photographer shooed away the bird, picked up the girl, and carried her the last few steps to the Red Cross center.  I will never know.  The photographer committed suicide about a year later and I can’t help but wonder if this photograph played a role in this.

Why take a picture when the girl might die?

At the same time, in taking that picture, it has generated huge amounts of discussion in my class which means that my students have thought about something other than themselves and their first-world problems.

I say this and remember that I have students who are the primary wage earners for their families.  These are students who know hunger.

In my back yard, I have roughly sixteen tomato plants, about a dozen squash plants of various types.  I have green bean plants and cucumber plants.  I have three blueberry bushes.  In the front, I have an herb garden, four pepper plants, and another tomato plant.

I have food everywhere and yet, consistently, my family says that we have nothing to eat.

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