Pepsi, Twizzlers and Muscle Relaxers

 Today is a day for celebration. Corey finished his STCW class, which apparently is a big deal when you are a merchant marine. At least, I know that it’s a big deal when you are trying to get your Mate of Towing license for bigger boats, and now he’s completed another hurdle on his way to allow him to drive bigger tugboats. The fact that he’s done all of this training on his own I find phenomenal. A lot of the people who do this training are sent by their companies. Corey and I have paid for all of these courses on our own (with some help from some family along the way), but it’s been his personal goals and drive that have gotten him to this point, and I am incredibly proud of him.

These last few months, though, have been tough and easy. Tough financially, but easy in the sense that Corey has been my bulwark. He has taken care of me in every way, right down to the cooking and laundry. Once he gets back on a boat, that means that I have to find my way back to the kitchen, and that, my friends, is going to be tough. You see, I have developed some strange ideas as to what a balanced diet consists of, and I know that it is not what a growing teenage boy should subsist on. For me, I could be perfectly content living on a diet of pepsi, twizzlers, and cereal, as long as I have my muscle relaxers to ease the back spasms. Throw in some ice cream occasionally, and I’m a happy camper. Now, none of the above requires cooking, or even use of the microwave.

Please don’t misunderstand. I have a gorgeous double oven, stainless steel gas stove, Calphalon pots, Henkel knives and various and sundry other wonderful kitchen staples. And, I am well-acquainted with how to use them. I used to cook all of the time, and quite well, I might add. In fact, I cooked all of the food for Corey’s sister’s wedding as my wedding present to her. I doubt that I could replicate such a feat again! I rarely used cook books as I am a pinch chef, i.e., a pinch of this seasoning until the aroma suggests that the flavor is just right. I make wonderful marinades for beef and chicken. I can stir fry with the best of them. I have been perfecting a spaghetti sauce recipe since I was 14, my cousins the unfortunate test subjects of my first batches.

The truth, however, is that I just don’t like to cook any more. I grew tired of it, and Corey began to love the kitchen, so I gladly gave it over to him. Now, though, I know that he, too, has grown weary of cooking. So once he goes back to his boat, I will have to find my way around the knives and pans again. I don’t mind it so much, but it does tend to hurt my back after just a half an hour or so. And if we ever do get around to putting in the tile floor that we want in the kitchen, I’m not sure how well I’ll hold up. So for now, I’ll have to limit myself to dishes that require minimal prep time, and maybe I’ll be able to find my groove again. After all, I can’t make my sons eat microwave pizzas every night of the week.

The Boys
The Boys

Oh well. We must move forward. Corey gets his certification. I give up Twizzlers for dinner and become reacquainted with my kitchen. Maybe I can teach each of my sons to cook a dish (besides macaroni and cheese and tuna). And maybe porcine, four-legged animals will sprout wings and lift off from my roof . . . . . . . . . .

Yep. I’ll hold my breath on that one.


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