Monday, March 10, 2014

Lentils and Lean Years: Trials and Trimphs of Widowhood

Dear John,
Just like Mrs. Duck in the children's book, we had a lovely day here. (If you don't know the book, ask Mama. It's a great story.)
It got up to 50 degrees, so Jethro and I went for a walk and met a new neighbor. When we got home, I did what I've been looking forward to most of all. I opened the windows and aired out the house. The cats climbed into the windowsills, the dog had his nose out the window, and we all enjoyed it. I had them open for about three hours. The house smells so good tonight.
I had a small widowhood triumph this afternoon. I found the data port under the dashboard of the car, and installed the monitoring device that is saving me 30% on my car insurance. It will probably die of boredom on the county roads. The discount really matters, since it costs more to insure a widow with one car than a married couple with two cars. I try to not be angry about that - I have not been successful thus far. Anything that lowers my premium is good.
Remember this? It's where we first
met lentils.
Money is really tight this month - you know that. For the last six weeks I've only worked half the hours I usually work. I'm living on potatoes and whatever is in the pantry. Today I hit the stored legumes and made lentil and cheese casserole, and remembered how much you liked that. We had our times of eating lean in our early years, didn't we? During the recession in the 80s, we went through that stretch that we had $10 left each week to cover food, gas, clothes, and any other general expenses. I fed us on about $5 a week for almost a year. I couldn't have done it if you hadn't worked for a restaurant that let you eat for free when you were on the clock, and being part of a food co-op helped. Our friends were having the same struggle, and we all lived out of the More-with-Less Cookbook. That's where we met lentils. I got the book out today and found the bookmark still at this recipe. I know how to do this, and I won't starve. But it was more fun when we struggled together.
Everything was more fun together. I know that you're happy now, and I'm getting by. I even watched another movie tonight - A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy - and enjoyed summer done in beautiful cinematography. I really am ready for spring, but it's not here yet. We're under a Winter Storm Watch again, and forecasts are calling for 4-8 inches of snow tomorrow night with winds up to 40 mph. There is more shoveling in my future. The bits of grass that are showing in the yard will disappear again. It's good that I got the windows open today - it will be a while before I can do that again.
Please pray for our sanity as winter keeps on going. Pray for the multiplication of lentils, the car insurance discount, and anything else you can think of. Mostly, pray for your little family as we have to go on without you.
Adore you,


  1. The source for this photo is here
    It's nice to ask before you use other people's photos.

  2. I apologize, and I'm glad to know the source. I found it on Pinterest and had no idea where it came from.