Published in The Lebanon Democrat Tuesday, April 14, 2015.
SAN DIEGO – I found out this weekend having my wife absent can be difficult for me.
But it was “okay” difficult for me. For her, it was a bit more unpleasant, at least initially.
Maureen and two friends left Thursday to visit another Mount Miguel High School classmate now living in Cleveland, Ohio. The travelers had a plane change scheduled at Midway, the other Chicago airport. Their flight arrived at the landing pattern about ten minutes too late. The storm front creating last week’s tornadoes in the Midwest halted takeoff and landings at that time.
Their plane flew circles waiting for the weather to clear. It didn’t. So they went to the Springfield, Ohio airport to refuel. The storm passed during the refueling, and they finally landed at Midway, missing their connecting flight. Of course, there were a whole bunch of other folks who missed connections, and the later outgoing flights were filled. The next available flight to Cleveland was about 6:00 pm, Friday, meaning they would arrive in Cleveland about thirty hours later than planned.
The three travelers got a room, rented a car, and the next morning drove to Cleveland. As I write this, all has been wonderful after the tortuous outgoing travel.
Meanwhile back in the Southwest corner, I was relearning how dependent I have become on one Ms Maureen Renee Boggs Jewell.
It wasn’t always that way.
In fact in those wonderful years of the late 1970s and early 1980s, I was independent to the point I decided to remain single for the rest of my life. Marriage had not worked out too well, and being a single Navy lieutenant commander and commander at Texas A&M, on Western Pacific deployments, and in San Diego, was a pretty good life style.
I became self-sufficient. I had a nice apartment on Coronado, a Mazda RX7, proved to be a decent cook, and had enough money to do pretty much what I wanted to do. I figured I would remain single, retire from the Navy, and end up with two homes, one in Coronado, and one in Lebanon.
Of course, it did not turn out that way. I met Maureen and those plans were pretty well blown to smithereens. We got married.
With both of us working, I continued to cook, and when I retired from active duty (the day our daughter Sarah was born), I became Mister Mom and cooked more frequently. Then Maureen retired. The kitchen has become a forbidden place. Occasionally, I am asked to cook my mother’s meatloaf and biscuits. Sometimes I’m asked to prepare the chili my friend, JD Waits and I created back when we shared a condo on Coronado. I also infrequently am asked to cook turnip greens and cornbread and my own concoction of okra, tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions.
But that’s it.
I no longer know where things are located. I set the table and wash dishes, but Maureen puts them up. When she left, I went to the refrigerator to find green and brown juices, fruits, healthy green things she turns into marvelous gourmet meals, mascarpone and almonds, and all sorts of other things I couldn’t figure out. The can goods and spice cabinets had a lot of things I couldn’t pronounce.
There was, in the meat crisper, one thing I could cook. I recently discovered the Navy commissary had not quit carrying Tennessee Pride Country Sausage. So I had snuck some into the garage refrigerator. There were also eggs. The cheese larder contained only Asiago and some other European stuff. There was no cheddar or American cheese slices. When I found the peanut butter I knew I would be all right. I ate out a lot.
I devoted Friday to two rounds of golf. Our Friday morning group teed off early. Afterwards, I joined Pacific Tugboat’s foursome for a tournament sponsored by San Diego’s Propeller Club.
The Master’s was on television, and the Padres played the Giants for four games. Even Vanderbilt’s Saturday game was on TV in the Southwest corner. Our friends, the Toennies invited me to Saturday dinner. Sunday, I had a marvelous time with my cousin’s granddaughter and great granddaughter, Renee Hoskins and her daughter Kinsley at the Scripps Institute’s Birch Aquarium.
So I have survived my long weekend. When you read this, barring another storm in the Midwest, Maureen will be safely home, and I will be banned from the kitchen again.
That is not all bad.