Blowing Up Eggs All Over the Place

Egg and cheese on a bagel.

from districtgourmet.com

from districtgourmet.com

This has been one of my comfort foods since I learned how to make one at my first job, schlepping bagels at a local shop. Ironically, I didn’t particularly like the job (people get really cranky if you mess up their cup of joe or bagel proclivities), yet this sandwich remains unscathed by any negative associations. Its positive connotations could come from the fact that it gave me a niche in my kitchen at home. No one could slice, butter, peel back melted cheese from the two waiting bagel halves to insert the egg like I could. Or it could just be the crunchy shell encasing the squishy gluten sandwiching the ooey gooey cheese melded with the fluffy egg.

The only drawback to this soul-satisfying ritual is exploding the egg in the microwave.

We used to have the perfectly shaped Tupperware container, molding the egg into a precise bagel-sized perimeter. If the lid was fitted on slightly askew, the steam would escape, the egg would cook, and you’d be good to go. However, close the gap too much, the steam could not escape; too little, egg splatters would escape. Such a quandry. Sometimes even with that perfect Tupperware and certainly with the smaller glass dish I’ve replaced it with, the steam blasts the lid clear off and sprays egg schrapnel all over the inside of the microwave.

Such was the case this morning.

As my crisp toast gently warmed my swiss cheese by osmosis, I cleaned the inside of the microwave. I gathered the flaccid little bits of egg that hung forlornly in my fingertips – because have you ever tried to wipe a bit of egg? – all while wishing I was already sinking my teeth into its tender gooiness.

And I thought, as my microwave approached its cleanest state in months, I’ve been blowing up eggs all over the place lately. In every sense of the word. See, the only reason I’ve reinitiated this comfort food ritual as a second breakfast in true hobbit fashion as of late is because of the fertilized egg growing inside me. I’ve returned to the prenatal craving of carbs and all things yellow/beige. I get two-thirds of the way through this delicious carb/protein fest and lament that it cannot last forever. I truly think I’d make another sandwich right away if I didn’t mean cleaning the microwave again.

The build up of steam and fire power inside that little Tupperware and the resultant shock of the pop as the lid flies loose is not unlike the advent of this pregnancy. It makes our life a little bit messier than it was already with three children. But I have the feeling it’ll be clean and smooth when all is said and done. There will be ooey gooey comfort and warm feelings way down inside. It will be as satisfying as finally sinking my teeth into that crispy yet soft soul food sandwich.

An explosion can change all matter involved. It can forever alter the blast site. It can also clear the way for new and wonderful things.

An Unexpected Beaver

A dancing dragon and a firefly met on a moonlit night.  They began to talk and play when suddenly out popped a beaver.  They jumped, then laughed and laughed.  Their unexpected visitor added fun and excitement to their meeting.images

 

The above scene transpired in the puppet theatre at the library yesterday.  My three year-old, in the guise of the beaver, taught me an important lesson about humor in story.

While the dancing dragon and firefly were compelling enough in their budding friendship and moonlight dance, the beaver’s unexpected entrance added another layer of depth that hadn’t been there.

Even the dragon and firefly, as played by her sisters, laughed – not just me in the audience.

It is the unexpected or turning of conventions on their heads that makes the best humor.  It also makes for fresh, unpredictable plots.

Novel, indeed.

Give a Kid a Bucket

Give a kid a bucket,

there’s no telling what he’ll do.

Bucket head, valiant helmet, Frankenstein’s twin.

Collector of pine cones, fancy purse.

Keeper of dreams and special things,

mudpie mixer, sandcastle constructor.

 

Fill it, empty it, and fill it again.

Knock it over and shrill with glee.

Bend the handle to breaking,

come back from the brink.

 

Much more alluring when empty,

Filled to capacity with nothing at all

and everything all at once.

Happy Mother’s Day?

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I’m trying really hard to make today’s post about mental health; something full of knowledge, experience, resources. But I also feel that, in chronicling my journey toward mental health – that is, out of depression – many of my posts have been depressing themselves. On this banner day of Mother’s Day, I feel like I should be all full of flowers and fairy dust.

I’m laying in bed, exhausted, freezing from the night sweat my hormones gifted me, snorking from an allergy attack that will most likely turn into a sinus infection, listening to the rain steadily thrum the window above my head.

And yet, I returned from the bathroom earlier to find two of my daughters lined up, positively vibrating with the creative joy they couldn’t wait to unleash in the form of scrolls and paintings and cards. The best gift, though, was my five year-old shaking and giggling, burying her head in my lap when I told her how much I liked her portrait of me. Her pride, her modesty, her shyness, her beatitude. My eyes welled up – and I realized Mother’s Day could end right there and I’d be whole.

It is the unexpected joy that is the best – especially in the midst of struggle. It is most certainly unexpected then, and therefore, even sweeter. As acute as the suffering is, the joy is crystalline clear.

I realize that life continues on a parallel, sometimes intersecting, track with depression. It cannot be separated out. But it also cannot crowd out all positive experience. Life happens despite it. Even happiness and poignant moments can happen in spite of it.

So Happy Mother’s Day. May you have a bright spot in the midst of your trials.

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