There were very strict rules in our house about the important things: Respect for our parents and for our surroundings, completing our delegated chores and manners. We were by no means rich, however as one of my longtime girlfriends exclaimed "we loved coming to your house....it was always so clean" I think my Mom would love that comment. She worked hard at keeping it clean with all us kids around. We all knew how to work hard...Laziness was not an option in the Hendrick household.
Mom also worked hard at keeping this brood fed....well fed. I remember going grocery shopping with her. She had a budget and sometimes she would let me click the buttons on her counter to help her from purchasing beyond her budget. Of course then we would load the groceries into the back of the convertible, lift the hood, pull the screw driver out of mom's purse .... and hit the "solonoid " spark it.....start it......this was mid winter....the worst winter....this is yet another story :)))
Mom would cook huge meals for us. I mean huge!!! Let me describe my daily food intake, then multiply it for I ate probably the least...except for Krisi.....but then she drank a lot of wine....mostly stole my glass of wine at the dinner table. This again....is another story.....but seriously my little baby sister could kick my butt.....so I was okay with her stealing my wine....most sundays....
So, on a given day:
I would wake up to a large bowl of oatmeal and four slices of buttered toast.
Before school I would toast up 2 more slices and apply the peanut butter.
For lunch I would make 2 peanut butter and jam sandwiches.
On the way out the door to school I would check to see if any of the older kids had forgotten their lunch....as usual....and I would scoop their double decker sandwiches as well.
After school, was the double toasted peanut butter snack
We are pretty Irish....it was a meat and potatoes dinner most nights!
Then there was the after dinner and after dishes 2 slices of toast with peanut butter.
During homework time, Dad would yell for me to make him a couple slices of toast with peanut butter.
So of course.....I needed a couple more slices before bed as well......
It is no wonder most nights mom was having me drink baking soda and water for an upset stomache.
At this time I was approximately 14 years old, grade ten, 5 ft 8 and 100 lbs. I played in the woods, cross country skiied, dirt biked, built forts, walked my wolfhound constantly (because all the cool boys would drive by ignoring me walking down the road) and was the Queen of the crab apple wars!
I earned this food intake. Actually, I needed this nutritious food intake.
I sound like an old remember when "whiner" however.....that said.....I come home to an abundance of food, every night thrown into the compost container. When I question it, the children tell me it isn't fit for the dog....no matter how much she drools over it.
I don't have full cupboards. In fact, on my meager salary,....we are pretty inventive with our food and our cooking. Most days if I have not created something for my monsters, then peanut butter and toast is their mainstay. No matter how much I instruct, demand or complain.....if it wasn't easy,....they didn't make it. Potatoes, Rice, Beef are foreign words....not to be involved in the cooking experience.
Noodles, cans of tuna, and toast...thank God, they LOVE tuna.....!
There is no playing in the forest after school....and I have two forests!!! There is no flying kites in the field, no running with the puppy, no tobogganing down our hill. There is nintendo, play station one, two or three, x box, wii.....thank god for the Resident Evil zombie killing in wii or they would never rise off the couch. However with me working till 10- 11 - or 12 at night...this is the Pippy Longstocking type life they exist within. I only wish they had her energy and imagination.
Ever wonder why I crave the weekends???? I am Pippy Longstockings! I ride elephants in my basement and I strap scrub brushes to my feet to clean the floors. My most imaginative friend is my monkey, my pirate ship is parked in the back yard and.... if the adventure of life becomes boring....YOU know I will create a better adventure here and now for me and my monsters.
A can of tuna....is really the whale that swallowed Jonah, so we MUST catch the "tuna whale" in our nets to converse with the infamous Jonah,
A loaf of bread.....is a pound of gold found only within the frozen netherlands of the freezer in the garage mountain, strap on your snowshoes, we are headed into this frozen wasteland of golden bread delights,
The noodles were cut from the clingy trees of Equadorial Rain forests in the Pigmy's efforts to protect their young from becoming entangled in sticky forest noodles. Didn't you know, this is where the bungie cord adventures originated??
Hop aboard my pirate ship.....should you not strap these sea sponges to your feet and swab the deck....you will walk the plank and clean the barnacles from the underside of the ship.
Here, food is not wasted. It is divided among those who would work hard for it. Those with the imagination to reel it in. The energy to wrestle it. Capture it. The willingness to share it with EVERYONE!!
Here, imagination is our food. Share it....where in your world will you discover such treasure maps of golden imagination! Don't throw out your talent for fun with your children. Be their "Pippy".....such treasure chest rewards of which are only founded by feeding the imaginations of our children. Do not compost their imaginations....feed them and watch the happily grow....... V