The pandemic has changed many things in our daily lives, and one – which seemed minor at first – has taken on more importance, of late. I’m talking here about dinner.
It used to be that my sweetie pie cooked lovely evening meals on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, while I watched admiringly, sipping beer from a champagne flute. (One of my very few quirks.) We don’t live in the same home, though we’re only separated by eight houses. So, pre-pandemic we didn’t see each other often during the workweek, which is perhaps how we’ve managed to stay together for the last 28 years.
Ryan has the soul of a chef and delighted in planning, shopping, and producing our meals. He always made extra, so I could spend the rest of the week eating luscious leftovers. In case you’re wondering, yes, I’m quite capable of cooking. I just don’t love the process quite as much as he does, though if there’s chocolate and sugar involved I’m queen of the kitchen. But Ry is a man who binge watches Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and who would happily tattoo Guy Fieri’s face on his bicep.
Now, in the seventh month of our confinement, something has changed.
“What do you want for diner?” Ry asked with little enthusiasm.
“What’s the matter?” I squinted from my La-Z-Boy, then smiled sweetly. “I’ll be happy with whatever the cook wants to make.” When I got no response, I was instantly concerned.
Then, he shrugged. “I’m not used to cooking. . . everyday.”
I flashed on my mother, who would come home from work and stand frozen before the refrigerator, while three bratty kids whined for dinner. When my dad got home, we’d all sit down – for those youngsters among you, we actually gathered at the table every night for dinner – and more times than not we’d complain that we didn’t like her cooking. And that would push her over the edge into scary-mom land.
I now realize what a pain in the butt it must have been for her to work all day – she was the only mom in the neighborhood who held a job – and then have to figure out what meal might make us all happy, a feat almost impossible to perform.
“You don’t have to cook everyday, Ry. The kids and I can forage.”
But he looked sad, as if somehow, now that he’s retired, it’s his job to feed us, and that if he doesn’t work his culinary magic, we’ll all be disappointed.
A short time later, he snapped his tablet shut and rose with a smile on his face. At dinnertime, when he produced a huge, baking dish bubbling with lobster mac and cheese, there wasn’t an unhappy mouth in the house.
“Nice, honey! You outdid yourself,” I said, scraping the last bit of gooey goodness from my plate.
The thing about dinner though is there’s no finish line. Tomorrow he’ll have to rally his culinary skills again.
Good luck, sweetie pie. We’re all counting on you.
A WOMAN FLEES AN ABUSIVE HUSBAND
AND FINDS HOPE IN THE WILDS OF THE ARIZONA DESERT.
Published by Liaison – A Next Chapter Imprint
Rebecca Quinn escapes her controlling husband and, with nowhere else to go, hops the red-eye to Arizona. There, Gaby Strand – her aunt’s college roommate – gives her shelter at the Salt River Inn, a 1930’s guesthouse located in the wildly beautiful Tonto National Forest.
Becca struggles with post-traumatic stress, but is enthralled by the splendor and fragility of the Sonoran Desert. The once aspiring artist meets Noah Tanner, a cattle rancher and beekeeper, Oscar Billingsley, a retired psychiatrist and avid birder, and a blacksmith named Walt. Thanks to her new friends and a small band of wild horses, Becca adjusts to life in the desert and rekindles her love of art.
Then, Becca’s husband tracks her down, forcing her to summon all her strength. But can she finally stop running away?
Order your copy here: http://mybook.to/wildhorsespb