It’s almost our fifteenth wedding anniversary and we’re almost out of groceries.
All these years together and three academic degrees between us –you’d think scrounging for a meal wouldn’t be on the agenda. You’d think we’d be living the easy life with dinners out and full cupboards.
Before you get stressed out over our plight, let me say: we’ve been down this road before.
Wait. That probably doesn’t help.
This time, it’s different.
This time, there’s money in the bank. There’s some food in the freezer –it just may or may not be the ingredients to make a great meal. Salmon and popcorn, anyone?
Another difference? There isn’t a brood of children tagging behind us at the grocery store, confused and worried when the younger-than-us cashier tells us our debit card doesn’t have the funds sufficient to pay the bill.
Yes. We were that family.
No. Our children weren’t removed from our care due to reports of starvation or neglect. They’ve simply grown up.
This time when we’re about out of groceries, we’re smiling and not fretting. We’re eating whatever is available. Yesterday’s lunch of re-heated mixed veggies with a side of peanut butter crackers was actually quite filling. And late last week when dinner was going to be a third appearance of a meal made earlier in the week, we went out to dinner instead.
Because this time, we’re not almost out of groceries due to a shortage of funds. We’re almost out of groceries because when we placed our bush order, the store was overwhelmed with orders and it’s our turn to wait in line.
This morning’s breakfast consisted of an English muffin and our daughter’s mini boxes of cereal rejects. Frosted Mini Wheats for me and Corn Flakes for him. The cereal, along with two other boxes are remnants of our daughter’s camp out sleepover from the night before.
There’s an egg in the fridge. It’s nestled between the half full container of mustard and a single serving of salsa. The latter is completely devoid of even a hint of spicy flare. It’ll languish there until I unearth the ingredients for a catch-all stew in need of diced tomatoes. It’ll be a while –diced tomatoes are something we have an unhealthy abundance of.
But the egg? It’s not going anywhere.
At least not until our bush order gets here and other eggs take up residence alongside it. Or we find the necessary components to pair with it to make a half a cake or a dozen cookies. Or our daughter decides to cook for the giant puppy we brought home in June.
Neither hubby or I will eat that egg for breakfast. I know that to be a fact. I’d offered it to him yesterday in the wee hours of morning before we’d had coffee.
He declined. We both ate a piece of sausage and a piece of toast.
That egg –that’s the real difference between being almost out of groceries after nearly fifteen years of marriage and being almost out of groceries back in the honeymoon stage of our relationship.
That one lonely egg represents so many things:
· A litter of children grown into young adulthood
· A cross country move to remote Alaska
· A change in lifestyle –gone are the three cars in the drive. Now there are two bicycles in their place.
· A lasting love that has made it through parenting, financial struggles, and countless moves
· The constant love of God through all of that and then some
So this morning, I’m smiling and bordering on deliriously happy. I’m also quietly contemplating putting that single egg in a shadow box on the wall as we get close to that fifteen year celebratory date on the calendar. I’d put the shadow box in its rightful spot –next to our framed wedding photo.
This last decade and a half haven’t always been easy. There are equal amounts of never posted, sad, and scary moments that counter those happy, joyful Facebook posts.
Yet there isn’t another man on this planet that I’d have wanted to be with through all of it.
He is my knight in shining armor. He is the provider for our family. He’s the man of my dreams. And the guy who has my heart.