By: Sue Anganes
June flew by. My dad got bitten by a tick and spent seventeen days in the hospital. My mom had been sick and needed some help getting back and forth to the hospital to visit my dad, and also to her own medical appointments. My second son got married, and with that came all the details and scrambling before the wedding day.
Sunday after church, I put on my raggedy clothes and started painting a second coat of paint on my family room ceiling. The house was already torn apart with my newly married son’s boxed up belongings in queue, ready to head out the door and on to a new life. My husband was replacing bathroom light fixtures, and there were boxes of half used paper goods from Friday night’s baby shower for a friend clogging my kitchen table. My grandkids were expected to come over for me to babysit while their mom had something she needed to do sans kids, and a neighbor arrived with a new tool that he and my husband had a long (interesting to them) conversation over.
Facebook messages pinged me. My oldest son and his wife wanted to come over to visit and say goodbye before he left the following week to hike in Siberia. Yes, Siberia. (The mom in me is hoping he comes back in one piece, but that’s a subject for a future blog post).
“Sure, come on over. Nothing’s going on,” I said.
I finished my painting, and my husband finished his bathroom projects. I consolidated the piles of “stuff’ and did a quick vacuum of the past (month’s?) dust. Looking into the fridge, I realized that I could not offer anyone anything to eat except a half eaten carton of plain yogurt and a half jar of mild salsa. This called for my super powers of making a meal out of nothing. All moms do this at least a few times a year. I always find that I need to do this at least once a week.
Searching the back of my freezer, I retrieved a small package of hamburger. This would be key to my meal’s success. I browned that with an onion and a couple cloves of garlic. I added two cans of diced tomatoes. I also scrounged up a bag of frozen tortellini. I added a couple more cans of water and a half can of leftover tomato paste that was hiding in my fridge. I threw in six small, somewhat shriveled summer squash, and voila! Soup for the masses! I cut up a couple of deli rolls and dinner was served.
The most hilarious part about all this is that everyone raved about the soup. To me it looked watery and bland, but it was enjoyed by nine people! Maybe the joy around our table did not come from the soup, as much as it came from the time we had to spend together as a family. It’s always nice to have things back to normal.