Wednesday, July 29, 2009

An Easy Way to Bring a Smile

I have a dear friend who is a widow. She has no children at home. And I got to wondering the other day what she eats for meals. So while at her house, I made a visit to her refrigerator. Do you know what I found? Bottled water!!! And I think there may have been a full squeeze-bottle of mustard and maybe a half-empty container of salad dressing. Gasp!

This is not for lack of time. This is not for lack of money. No, this is for lack of desire. Because sometimes it just doesn't seem worth it to cook "just for me." And because the act of cooking a meal and eating it all by yourself can make your loneliness increase three-fold.

Yes, she is eating, but they're usually meals eaten out, where at least there are people around.

I thought of the large meals cranked out in my kitchen on a daily basis and wondered why I hadn't thought before of sharing some of this home-cooked goodness.

Yes, we've had her over for meals, but I'm not sure our rabble-scrabble dinner table is just the thing for her nerves. She's refined. I don't know that I could use that word to describe our dinner table . . . or the seven people around it. :: sigh:: At our table you are likely to find a child carving a great gouge out of the top of the butter stick, instead of making a neat slice from the front. Or you might see a hand, an arm, and half a body stretch clear across the table to get the last of the watermelon, instead of asking for it politely. And I know I've seen a chocolate chip waffle be tossed across the table when someone asked for the plate to be passed. There's lots of noise and chatter and somewhere along the line something will be spilled or food covertly slipped to one of the dogs. No, my refined widow friend can take our meals only in occasional doses.

But this night I was making Black Bean Soup . . . spicy, fragrant, nourishing. I made a little extra and put it into 3 empty (and clean!) salsa jars. I added a nice, thick slice of watermelon, my very favorite multigrain sourdough bread from Publix, and a small container of sour cream (because this soup is even better with some of this creamy goodness!).

It was so easy and inexpensive . . . goodness, it was what I was already serving!! And I think I got more joy than she when I saw her delighted face and knew that she would enjoy 3 home-cooked meals with a little family love stirred in for good measure.

It's an easy way to pass on comfort and bring a smile to someone who could use it. I must remember to do this more often!


  1. Wow you are so right--it is really just a matter of making a little more food once in a while for someone that you love or who is important to you. I am going to do this for a friend with a newborn. Thanks for the idea.

  2. Shelley you are are so sweet and sensitive to others. Such a great role model for your children to see you caring for elderly people and others who are lonely.
    I know she appreciated this wonderful meal from you.
    I'm sure she felt special.
    We really don't have to look hard to find someone who just needs a little something to make their day.


  3. oh Shelly
    you are such a lovely sweet person, its so nice to know there are people like you out there! your friend is very lucky to have you!!
    fliss xx

  4. What a sweet thing to do! And such a great idea!

  5. What a lovely thoughtful and generous thing to do though I can completely empathise with your dinner time routine.

    Nina x