No free lunch for a veteran

Hi, all, it’s Sher here. No books today, just a short true story.

I forgot to schedule a post for Veterans Day even though I am one. The day was crazy busy. First I went grocery shopping at Big Lots because of an extra discount for veterans. Why grocery shop at all when Applebee’s offers free lunch? Because hubby doesn’t like waiting in line, so there’s no free lunch for me either unless I want to eat alone. I don’t. So the only way I would get to eat good food without paying a lot was if I bought the ingredients cheap and cooked them myself.

Before I could cook, of course I had to put groceries away. Too bad our pantry looked like a war zone because of the 6 months I spent sick this year. Project time. I learned to rotate stock before I ever worked in base supply, and I still use whatever needs to be used first. So I climbed my stepstool and shifted things around to put the new food in back. Then I set aside the stale food for the chickens and laid out the oldest good food, an odd assortment.

What to make? I’ve come a long way since basic training when it comes to cooking. Rather than measuring ingredients of written recipes as if I’m making a bomb, now I experiment. The lemon cookies that nobody ate went in the food processor to make crumbs for a trifle. Three kinds of pudding, some strawberry pie filling, strawberry jam, strawberry lemonade marshmallows, and coconut milk went into the trifle – along with some cool whip and cream cheese.

After cooking all afternoon, I served dinner to missionaries from church. They eat a lot, so I made big batches of everything. An hour and a half later, I realized I was about to fall over. Hubby was still talking, so I quietly went to lie down. Everything hurt, especially my back and feet.

When I was on active duty, I had to march and do a lot of strenuous activities over the years. Maybe those contributed to my pain that night. Well, so what? And so what if I don’t have the stamina I once did? I’m grateful to be alive – unlike many veterans. And unlike far too many wounded warriors, I’m healthy enough to work most of the day. Best of all, after six months of throwing up, I’m healthy enough to eat and enjoy food again. Never mind the pain later, that trifle was worth it.

Good health, however, is nothing to trifle with. It’s something many veterans don’t have, and that reminds me to be thankful for mine. I’m also grateful to those who served and still serve. Veterans Day is the least our government could do to show their gratitude. If it seems wrong to forget the holiday’s apostrophe, who much worse would it be to forget the people who sacrified their lives or health to keep us free? Bottom line, when it comes to remembering and being thankful to those who risk their lives to protect our freedom, every day should be Veterans Day.

Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.

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