Day Six in the Guided Journal can be seen here. And yes, I know I skipped 5; it was a stupid question and one that had I answered would have been too long.
The weather forecast calls for a chance of rain and snow beginning tomorrow night and through the weekend. Snow. It was only 40 degrees when I got to work this morning, my breath visible in the clear morning light. It looks like we need to cover the tomatoes tonight, as well as get the air conditioner out of the front window. We needed it last weekend, but the nights have been getting progressively cooler and it now takes the better part of the day to warm back up again. I have a very strict rule that we can’t turn on the heat until the middle of October-so there is a week yet before I will cave.
I love this time of year, when it starts getting dark early and the nights are cold. There is something very comforting about pulling in to the house after work to see the windows lit up, and walking in to the smell of something I have been cooking in the crockpot all day long. Soon we will go get pumpkins to carve for Halloween, and I will also get some to can. We used the last of our jars over the weekend to make pumpkin bread, and it is time to fill more. Apples, too, and there is something so reassuring about looking into the cupboard and seeing the fresh, clean jars of applesauce and pie filling and the beautiful orange pumpkin. I look at them and think, “I have done that. I have physically provided sustenance for my family.” Maybe I don’t think it as clearly as that, but that is the feeling that comes from row upon row of those beautiful jars.
I have food issues, which any fairly regular reader knows. I am not going to go into the gritty details, other than to say that it was literally feast or famine growing up. As the result of this-never really knowing for sure whether there was going to be food to eat-I have the tendency to stockpile when I can, and like now, when it is time to start canning things, I will literally fill the cupboards with the things we eat a lot of-like pumpkin and applesauce. I think last year I ended up with about 45 quarts of applesauce. Overkill? Yeah, probably. But there is this underlying fear that we0more the kids than myself-are going to go hungry. I obsess about it; I look in the fridge and when I see the shelves looking empty, I panic a little. Most people? “Yeah, looks like I need to go to the store after work.” Even when I HAVE the money to buy groceries, I see we are out of bread and milk and whatever, and I panic. And then I go overboard and buy like three 18 packs of eggs at a time, and four gallons of milk…
I don’t know why I am suddenly thinking of all of this, or why it even matters. It should be enough that I am at least aware that I have these issues, and can identify where they are coming from. I don’t think that the kids have ever thought much about it one way or another unless we really HAVE been totally out of groceries AND money-which I am embarrassed to say HAS happened before, but not regularly. Even then, we ALWAYS have Ramen, we ALWAYS have stuff to make pancakes or scrambled eggs, so it isn’t as if they are ever hungry. I try to keep my irrationality when it comes to food under wraps, because I don’t want the kids to grow up with the same kinds of food issues that I continue to struggle with. They all have a pretty good body image (although Sam overheard me talking to someone about his doc starting to get concerned about his lack of weight gain and is obsessing a little about that; I just told him that it isn’t about weight so much as it is about feeling better, and if he eats more, and more regularly, he will FEEL a lot better)(yeah-he has an extremely high energy level, so he burns off food almost as fast as he eats it-and he DOESN’T eat enough), all of them eat good things (I am totally not exxaggerating when I say they love oatmeal and Malt-o-Meal and scrambled eggs for breakfast; how lucky am I?), we don’t as a rule have a lot of candy or junk in the house…I just want to try to KEEP it that way. And I don’t want to let them know how panicky I feel sometimes, because I know it isn’t normal or healthy.
I don’t know if this feeling is instinct or simply a by-product of having gone without so much. Maybe it DOES have something about the cold weather coming in, I guess, triggering my billions of years old hunting/gathering/stockpiling instincts. I am like the cave woman who looks in the cache and the baskets in the corners and thinks, “Guh. Not enough.” Anyone else have this instinct this time of year? Or am I simply a basket case?