Leftovers by Ginger Keller Gannaway
A few days ago my middle son gave me a late Christmas gift: a coupon for 2 free dinners at the restaurant where he works. “Cool! Thanks,” I told him with a hug. Closer reading of the coupon revealed my son’s name & “Merry Christmas” written on it. A re-gift, but still a free meal.
That same evening my youngest son stopped by to give us a gallon zip-lock bag full of hush puppies from the assisted living place where he works. Then he also handed me a to-go container with seafood sweet & sour soup from a nearby restaurant. I said, “I bet your dad will like this.” “It’s good and spicy,” he told me and then added, “but I did pick out all of the seafood in it.”
Stale hush puppies and seafood-less soup. Thanks??
How do I feel about these leftover offerings from my sons? Have Gary and I simply taught them to be generous and frugal? I know neither of us looks like we miss any meals, and we are not ready for what my dad calls, “Wheels on Meals” yet. Should we feel offended?
Back when our boys were little, friends gave us their unwanted used furniture: a book shelf here, a side table there. Once a house cleaner brought us a framed picture to brighten up our bedroom. WTF!? Was our home such a decor disaster that virtual strangers saw the need to spruce up the place?
We did put everything given to us to good use (except for the picture which we gave to Goodwill after we fired the house cleaner when he helped himself to a bottle of white wine out of fridge one day).
Do we look like folks who need others’ leftovers? Should we take offense?
I have bought desks, a dresser, a bed frame, small tables, book shelves, and clothes from thrift stores. Even our dining room table first belonged to a teacher friend’s family. And my wooden pie safe that first belonged to Momma’s grandmother is something I treasure. I truly appreciate old, used things.
But old, used food?? Of course, we often enjoy leftovers. Dishes like spaghetti, chili, and gumbo taste better as leftovers; the flavors become richer.
The word “leftovers” may sound tired and sad, yet leftovers can be delicious and comforting. We just need to make sure the casserole or dessert shoved to the back of the fridge passes the sniff test before microwaving it for Papa.
No shame in leftover food, furniture, or clothes. So I hugged my two sons and I will look forward to the free dinners as Gary adds brown rice to rich seafood broth for his supper. Merci beaucoup, ya’ll.