Good Gravy, it’s HOT here today!
It’s a funny thing about coffee. We love hot coffee, we love iced coffee. Let coffee get room temperature, and it’s the most disgusting thing we’ve ever had the misfortune to drink!
It’s 11 a.m., it’s already 87 degrees out in Massachusetts, and I have already done as much outside work as I am comfortable doing today. It wasn’t much, just take out the kitchen trash and remove all the cabinet pulls from the RV to paint them a lovely rose gold color instead of that chewed up and pitted bright gold they had been. I’ll have to give them a lacquer coat before I re-install them, or they will suffer loss of paint.
Half the year has gone by, and that means it’s time for me to refocus on why I’m writing this blog in the first place. It’s about food, and hunger, and life.
School has ended for pretty much all public school children here in America. Many kids look forward to Summer vacation (as do their teachers) as a break from the tedious work of learning and from having to sit still and be quiet and attentive (all at the same time!) for hours at a time. Some kids will go off to summer camp, either day camp or sleep away camp, where they will participate in sports and arts and crafts, and build memories and friendships.
Some kids will spend their days wondering if they will eat today. Some kids will be wandering the streets, looking for a water park or some shade where they can stay for a while and not get moved along. Some kids will go hide in the libraries in their towns, where there is air conditioning. Ok, probably not today as it’s Sunday, but during the week that’s a good plan. Some may go to the malls, but they will not be allowed there without an adult (most malls in my area now have rules against kids hanging out without grownups accompanying them) again because there is AC, and maybe someone at the Froyo place or the pretzel place is handing out free samples. Some families will be lining up the schedule of which soup kitchens are still open during the summer, which food pantries are still operating, and where they can get something to stretch their thin budgets.
That is the reason I write. Yes, I am aware of how privileged I am. Even at the hardest points of my life, I never really worried about where my next meal was coming from, or if there was going to BE a next meal that day, or even IF I was going to eat that day. I write to bring one more voice to the chorus of people trying to explain that Hunger in America is REAL and it’s not the fault of the folks who are experiencing it.
If you think you’ve ever been hungry, try fasting for a procedure. Water only, no broth, no electrolyte drinks. Do it for 24 hours. Unless you have a medical condition that this would worsen, it’s probably not going to kill you. Chances are you are going to be whiny and cranky as hell (I was) and you will probably do things to your water to make it palatable, such as using colorless water enhancers (don’t do that, it’s cheating!).
Did you do that? Nothing, just water? OK, let’s add this – you live in Flint, MI. You can’t buy bottled water – so you have to drink the tap water, and you don’t have a fancy posh filter pitcher to use.
Are you getting the picture yet?
Think about the grossest, most awful meal you’ve ever had – not one that made you physically sick, but one that just didn’t taste right to you, as nutritious and well prepared as it was. Really dwell on that one. Taste it in your mind until your mouth can feel it.
If you are truly, truly hungry, that meal would be a delight. You would NOT CARE about it’s appearance, or flavor, or texture, or whatever it was that turned you off that food forever. You would be grateful for the appearance of that meal.
THIS is what hunger looks like. This is what too many people in America are facing every day. Too many children are facing this every day.
And I’m complaining about the heat while drinking an iced coffee.