Stu News and Photos

My name is Stu and I am here to share what I can.

It's Wednesday, early morning, and I am thinking, of life and what's been lived. I'm thinking of simple things and easy things and things that made me smile.

I went shopping with my daughter, just she and I, to the local grocer, to pick out her favorite foods and drinks and snacks and such. Since she was extending herself by willingly doing a Ralph's run (ugh), I dressed up. That means I changed from my sweatpants into my good black jeans and out of my Crocs and into my dressy black Sketchers. It made her smile, and that's a sight that rivals sun-showers.

As we rolled on through the isles, I marveled at how far science has come, as measured by the ever-increasing quality of microwave meals. As I hit full-stride as a bachelor, a quarter of my meals were based around microwave foods and food products (what's a food product? Think "Kraft American Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product"). Most of those heat-n-eat items were fair, certainly edible, but very few actually tasted good enough to provide joy. This was middle-class survival eating. But today? We have some really toothsome opportunities in the freezer. For example, Stouffer's makes a Philly cheesesteak that's pretty darned good, certainly good enough to doctor up into a lunchtime smile. It takes maybe two minutes to heat, comes out brown and toasty, and I can add mozzarella and freshly-ground black pepper and ketchup and it's better than delivery. I dig that. Good for America, I says.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Lone Ranger considered what had befallen his... Oh, wait, this is a post about... What was I saying?

Smiling, that's right. Joy. Simple pleasures. Tiny moments of divinity and delight. For the moment, this is my life, day to day. There are larger issues, hills yet to climb, but as that is, so is this: I can smile while I climb, and they don't charge extra for it neither. I can smile as I study economic news, I can mutter witty remarks as I troll for coupons, I can play with the cat while I'm pulling clothes out of the hamper.

And I can turn any food moment into a cooking moment. Whether I'm heating a frozen meal in a skillet or reheating pasta in the oven, out come the spices and open goes the fridge door and I'm spinning straw into gold. That is bliss, turning leftovers into something more. Or cooking for someone else, or for the whole family, that is bliss as well. It's like painting. It's messy, it involves tools. It enables my inner craftsman. That is joy.

I wish for you a similar joy. I wish for you a simple smile.


Ericka said...

now i'm hungry. i wonder what's in the freezer...

happy thanksgiving!

Lori said...

your piece really moves me. there is a real strength that shines through. so wish i could lower the mountain, but instead i am climbing with you and feeling motivation from your smile. love you so much!! and ps thanks for putting on the jeans and sketchers for noe! ;-)

David said...

A lovely piece, Stu. Reminds me of what an incredible writer you are!

Enjoy the day, we'll be drinking a toast to you and yours...

Anonymous said...

I hope that you and yours all found your smiles on Thanksgiving day. :)

(((hugs))) Thim

Suldog said...

Thanks, Stu.

My Thanksgiving was, as always, wonderful. Glad to hear you're seeing some of the bright side. You're a nice guy and you deserve the good outlook.