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I get high on my own air supply...

I get high on my own air supply

The other day I decided to venture out, some distance from our home to shop alone for fresh produce. Hoping to be able to buy some more eggs. Eggs to me are very precious. In the past as a child.  If, you had eggs in the house you were rich. You got to eat them, scrambled, fried, boiled, poached, sunny-side up, etc.. You were king.

There was much I didn’t know about eggs till I was about age ten. The nutritional part, was then somehow shown to me. I cannot for the life of me remember why.  But by age ten, I saw one egg stretched out with milk on my plate per week. The question came to me, 'what do you do when you run out of milk?'

For Christmas one year around age eleven I believe, I received a little thin cookbook on making omelets. And by the time I became a teenager, every Saturday or Sunday I had enough eggs in the house to make myself a one or two egg omelet. Soon, we had the ‘Great Cholesterol’ Scare. If you’re old enough, you’ll remember that. It was supposed to be that eggs were not good for you. Yep. Imagine that. I can say, I did not believe that.  Science had it wrong, and I knew it.

Yeah, a kid like me, knew science was wrong. How? Intuition, I guess. So, this brings me to the other day. Because of who I am. As well, what I am currently dealing with, and have dealt with. I thus knew to limit going into any stores. Especially, to get food. I would pinch pennies as well.  I would go without food, to save it for my husband and our children. And to a degree, our pets. I had practice going without before. Which to me was just fine. It was acceptable. And there have been times, I wanted to feel the emptiness. So, I could relate to those who had ‘nothing’ on their plates. I knew I could last three days without food before age eighteen. I knew this about myself, because I ‘Scienced’ it on my own before age eighteen. I never told my mother.  I told a priest though.

As an adult I have had illness that prevented me from eating for twenty-four hours at a clip, quite regularly for about thirty-nine years. Years ago due to an illness, I went over three days without food. Don’t get me wrong, I love food. However, I’ve had conditions preventing me from actually ingesting it, so many times, I just accept that it is not the end of the world if I don’t eat for a while. Neither, if I don’t have my favorite food. That's okay too.

Food to me is about warmth. It’s a blessing to have something on your plate. It truly is.  I truly do understand nutrition. I will serve my family the best most nutritiously dense food, hoping they like it. Yet I understand humans need to develop a palate early in life. That, I believe is something missing in our day to day lives due to ‘Easy’, ‘Eating out too often’, ‘Over-processed items’, ‘Microwaveable’ items and the like. That palate extends to what we need and what we want. Our palate can always be readjusted. We just have to make the choice to go intuitively with it. Like throwing the fork away and going for that walk around the block. That’s really what many of us need in a country quite abundant in food, and food sources, even apparently now with shortages. In my neck of the woods, I do not witness going without, often. The majority of the people I’ve met, remind me of a song by Janis Joplin, “Mercedes Benz”. I won’t sing it for you though.

So, I digress, back into my intuitive state and the other day. After driving, missing the road that this little farm was on. I backtracked. I drove down a dirt road for about 300 meters or so. I followed some handmade signs and pulled up in front of the nursery grounds and the wood sign written on saying, “Farm Market”. It had been raining, I turned off the headlights of my car. Turned off the car, donned my mask, re-sanitized my hands, took out two new gloves with a wipe inside one (That is for paying and wiping off keypad, if I’m paying with credit card.). Leaving my phone in my car, so that wouldn’t become unsanitary. I then made certain I had my car keys in a special pocket. What I call, ‘my polluted pocket’ of my sweatshirt. Got to the back of the car, retrieved my pocketbook, and ventured to the front door.

I stood at the front door reading the signs, “Masked and gloved customers only. Three customers at a time please.” I then poked my head in, looked at the one cashier among all the fresh produce and asked if I could come in.  She apparently smiled, for I saw it in her eyes from her cheekbones rising and she said “Yes”. So, I entered. And it was heaven.

I kept thinking, 'Who do I get someone? No one has asked me. I told four or so people I was doing this. They haven’t asked me. Someone must need something.' The colors of all the produce were so grand. It was as if I were high after a thirty or sixty mile run.  I get like that. I get high on my own air supply. I miss it. It’s been months of that type of high. My body has been ill. I’ve been taking care of the ill/the pained for now decades. Then it hit home harder, months ago.  

I get affected spiritually when people are physically ill. When I was a child, I witnessed much physical and mental illness, much was ignored.  Yet, even though I was child. I could not ignore it. Because it was in the house I grew up in. I had to fix it, or roll with it.  So, most times I accepted it and rolled with it.  I knew I was too small to fix it. If grown-ups were running the other way, then I had to leave it in my Maker’s hands most of the time.  So, I knew I could at least comfort. And you know, when we want comfort many times we turn to food in this country.  That is wrong quite often. And it can be deadly. As intelligent as we may seem. Using food to comfort can become disastrous. While everyone’s attention is on this virus, I’ve been taking notes. Graphing the most deadliest, yet controllable diseases most of us tolerate with pills. It’s a wonderment to me.

Back on that rainy day at the farm market, I walked gently. Almost tiptoeing as to not be in anyone’s closeness.  I heard a older woman call out from three from the door to her husband about getting eggs. I realized he was too close to me, so I moved. I waited as you would for a car, before crossing a road.  An ‘Old-tradition’, no one really talks about anymore. Nor do they practice, their headphones are too important.  They’re too important for their own health. However, as long as man and woman have been alive, that is nothing new.

Finally, by the time I got to the leafy greens section, I saw fresh Broccoli Rabe, Swiss Chard and what I call ‘Dinosaur Kale’.  That kale reminds me of prehistoric times, for some reason. I just don’t know why.  Yet, I know I walk the same earth so many millennium later.  As I stood by the broccoli rabe, something inside said, ‘Buy Two Bunches’. I picked one up and then another. I shook my head as to why I was picking up two instead of one.  I had no clue.  Something told, ‘just pick it up’.  So, I did. I bought an extra broccoli rabe. After checking out and getting to my car, then loading the goods in the back with my now unsanitary pocketbook. Re-sanitizing my hands, rolling up my sleeves. Ungloving, wiping everything again. Cleaning my hands again, I pulled off the mask, put into a small plastic trash bag with the gloves. Then re-sanitize my hands and anything else once more. Then checked my phone. Nope. No messages. I thought, ‘I guess this is what God intended for me this morning.’

I drove home in silence in the rain. I arrived home and went through the garage with the items, pocketbook. Cleaned and locked up the car. Cleaned the knobs on the garage door. Stripped my shoes and outer layers, throwing my outer gear into the washing machine and sanitizing my shoes, belt, keys, pocketbook, phone casing, the bags I brought in. Announced, “Do not come into the garage. I’m sanitizing.” I sanitized one piece at a time.  Using clean bags to re-secure the now sanitized fruits and vegetables and the impossible egg carton.  Tossing out all bags from the store, with wipes and such. Scrubbing away.

My husband then announces through the door, “Michelle gave us something.” I was stunned. I needed more than a dozen eggs that I’d just bought. But there was a limit to two per customer, so I bought one, figuring someone else needed the second one, more than I.  As he said this, my hand was on the second broccoli rabe. I called back, “Okay. Drop off here and wash your hands.” He came through handed me the bag and went to wash his hands. In the bag were tissues and a half dozen eggs. “Whoa Mama!” I expressed alone in our garage. Now I knew why I had the extra broccoli rabe. She would never ask. So, I sanitized and repackaged with her name on it. And later when she was home, I dropped it off. I got high on my own air supply. I felt a feeling of fullness, even throughout my exercising alone, as usual. I felt so full. I forgot to eat, as I baked and prepared foods a good portion of the day. I was so high, I was full. I was fulfilled without food for near twenty-four hours, and this time it wasn’t because I was in pain or ill. Or because I didn’t have. It was because I got high on the goodness Life supplies in this and other times of my existence.---Jody-Lynn Reicher


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