Simple Joys

The morning’s routine began early, a bit before five o’clock. An attempt to go back to sleep after a 4:30 pee break was unsuccessful so I slid out of bed, pulled on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and ventured out into the world beyond the bedroom door. Just as I expected, the kitchen was still there, waiting for me. When I entered the kitchen to make my first cup of Kuerig-style coffee (San Francisco Bay French Roast), I remembered my wife’s request that I make a small batch of congee with pork for breakfast. So, after making my first cup of coffee, I went in search of chicken stock. Normally, we keep a box or two of chicken stock in the cupboard, but I discovered I must have used the last of it. No worries, we keep chicken bouillon cubes for just such emergencies.

Until this morning, I had never taken note of the difference in appearance, and aroma, of real chicken stock and the reconstituted version derived from bouillon cubes and water. The latter is much darker than the real thing and has something of a chemical odor. Time will tell whether today’s batch of congee is acceptable. Regardless of the visual and olfactory surprises, I moved ahead as planned by bringing three cups of water, one-half cup of rice, and a two-inch knob of peeled fresh ginger (cut into smaller bits) to a boil. I continued by browning a quarter of a pound of ground pork, slicing and cooking a shallot in oil until it was completely browned, and slicing a few green onions. The shallot and onion will be garnish, as will white pepper and, for my dish, soy sauce and sambal oeleek.

Now that the congee is finished and ready to be served, I can hardly wait until my wife arises from her slumbers. After breakfast, I will pick up the paper for some vacationing neighbors and will then join some friends at a nearby coffee shop for catch-up and conversation. Following that interlude, I’ll pick up a few odds and ends at a grocery store, pick up the mail at the post office, and stop in to the Suddenlink office to inquire about switching our television service from DirecTV to Suddenlink; provided they agree to move the incoming service from one end of the house to a place more central (you see, wifi at the end of the house opposite the modem and router is too often iffy).

Later today, a couple of friends from Dallas will arrive and we will sit and chat with them, perhaps take them to lunch, and otherwise do a bit of catch-up.

For some reason that I do not understand, today’s litany of the mundane in my life gives me great pleasure. I understand and appreciate that I am indeed fortunate to have such a day before me. So very many people around the world and throughout the United States do not have the simple luxuries that I too often take for granted. So many people lack the sense of safety and security I find normal.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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One Response to Simple Joys

  1. valerielcsw says:

    Good point. I’ve been noticing this in my life too. One day I was thinking life was really too mundane- and the next day I realized what luxury I have in my life to have choices in how to fill my time. What a shift in thinking and that change of thought changed everything. Mood, direction, and feelings of joy rushed in when I simply realized I’m the director of my life and there were many days in my past I longed for this choice that I do have today.
    There can be nothing but appreciation for this.

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