Less is More

Five a.m. daily alarm.  Note pad by the bed with a never-ending To-Do List.  Bumper-to-bumper morning commute.  Emails to answer.  Phone calls to make.  Problems to solve.  Meetings to attend.  Appointments to make – and keep.  Follow-up to do.  Bills to pay.  House to upkeep.  Birthdays to remember.  Cards to send.  And on and on and on.

Life.  It’s busy.  Busier than ever.  One would think that in the current techy world we live in, with cell phones and iPads and instant messaging and an abundance of devices intended to make our lives easier, that we would get more done quicker and therefore have more time to slow down.  More time to just be.  More time to do less.  Problem is, we do more.  More. More. More.

I am the poster-child of More.  You know, the Type A, “get-it-done-so-I-can-do-more” kind.  I make a To-Do list every single day.  Even on the weekends. This morning is no different.  I woke up at 5:00 and by 6:00 I had unpacked the suitcase from my recent work trip, made today’s To-Do List and started a load of laundry. Somewhere in the back of my mind I thought, “At some point today I will go sit down and enjoy that new screened-in porch.”

As I scurried around the house thinking of the day’s events and checking off every task in my mind, I glanced out to the porch. The porch that I say I love. The porch that I wanted so I can take time to relax – and do less.  So I stopped.  I put down the list. I made another cup of coffee.  And I sprawled out on the hanging bed.  And two hours later I am still here.  Listening to the birds sing.  Watching the squirrel walk across the top of the fence.  Smiling at the rabbit as it hops across the yard.  Noticing the leftover rain as it flows from the rooftop through the gutters to the ground.  And I like it.

I need to do more of this.  More listening.  More relaxing.  More that becomes less.  How about you?


Crinkle Cut Fries

On this past Thursday afternoon I began to think about dinner options and texted TBGITW (the best guy in the world) and my sweet girl to ask them what they would like to eat.  After various suggestions and one strong, “NO MOM” on the spaghetti idea, I made my way to K-Roger.  I will never understand why Hannah does not like my spaghetti (even though she claims to LOVE my cooking overall), but she will eat it at her friends’ houses. At least my son liked it – at least during his toddler years he did.  I can still see him perched in the high chair, attempting to use a fork to shovel in the red, meaty sauce and slurping spaghetti noodles through his tiny lips.  Good ole soap and water took care of the mess left on him but how in the world did I ever get that high chair clean over twenty years ago without Clorox Wipes?  Ha!

So there I was in the K-Roger meat department looking for cubed steak, or minute steak as I grew up calling it.  Minute steak with rice and gravy, lima beans and crescent rolls.  One of Hannah’s favorite meals and one I was happy to prepare on a Thursday night.  Of the gazillions of times I’ve shopped at K-Roger, I’ve never known them to not have minute steak. They are known for their meat department. They don’t run out of meat, except maybe on the morning of Memorial Day or July 4 when the last minute bar-be-quers (is that a word?) show up.   First time for everything I guess. I had already placed a big package of ground chuck in the buggy when the meat guy (who looked waaay to young to be called a butcher) confirmed that they were indeed out of Hannah’s favorite comfort meat.

I immediately thought, “Burgers it is!”  As I trekked from the meat department over to the bread section and grabbed two bags of slider buns, I suddenly recalled eating homemade crinkle-cut fries when I was a child.  I remember my mother using a really cool gadget to cut and shape the potatoes into the zig-zag pattern.  And those were the yummiest, tastiest, homemade French fries!  Three, large russet potatoes later and I was ready to check out.

The crinkle-cuts were a huge hit with TBGITW and my sweet girl.  They both oohed and ahhed and got second helpings and made sure to ask for the delectable starch again sometime.  And I smiled.  And thanked God.  For my mother who worked hard and always did what she could to “bring us up right.”  For memories – even the bad ones – because they help me to remember where I came from but more importantly, Who has brought me to where I am now and Who promises me a bright, eternal future.

And I hope.  Hope that David and Hannah will have fond memories of favorite meals shared as a family.  Pray that I’ve raised them up right.  And especially that they have their own crinkle cut fries moments to pass on to their own children one day.