After a delightful Christmas season of being able to eat and drink whatever we wanted, including the mountains of homemade goodies stacked on the tall kitchen counter, “we” decided that “we” were all going to eat better, and get more exercise, now that the bleak, dark, cloudy and dim January has set in. We made – and pretty well kept – a menu of at least evening meals, so that we wouldn’t be tempted to order in the fatty and salty suppers that it seems every restaurant cooks lately. That alone has created a significant change in the amount of weight is walking on the floor of our home every day. I think everyone in the house had dropped more than 12 pounds, which is great by any standards.
One of the things that happens when “everybody” is going to eat better is that the grocery list for the week’s eats changes and modifies. Yes, not buying candy or various other fatty and delicious things does make a difference, but it also is an indisputable fact that if you are going to eat healthier, you are going to spend a LOT more money on foods in the house! “We” decided to fill the fridge with tasty and healthy vegetables and fruits. That’s fine, but when blueberries are $6/pound because they are out of season, and blackberries and watermelon and all the others which are supposedly great for smoothies have a sign that, instead of saying how much they cost, they simply say “inquire within,” then you know you are in trouble. Add to that the “sports drinks,” and the infused water, and if you are paying for it, you begin to long for the $5 special at Burger King.
It’s also truly amazing at how picky “we” can get over the new foods purchased. The best example are the oranges Cheri found two weeks ago. Called “Cara Cara” oranges, they really are good – very sweet, easy to peel, and almost remind you of the oranges you used to eat when you were a kid. The six oranges lasted about four days. At the grocery store last week, then, we decided to buy some more oranges. We picked up two bags – 8 oranges – and finished our shopping.
When we got home, and unloaded the supplies, “someone” looked at the oranges, all orange in color, and navel oranges, and seedless, and said, “These aren’t the right ones.” I guess in our efforts to buy out the fruit market, we inadvertently purchased “just oranges.” Now, between you and me, I had one of the “new” oranges, and it was bad… really. The skin was a bit thick, and it left that whitish, yellowish fiber stuff around the orange fruit, and when the slices were peeled off, they were – ok. Kind of sweet, but nothing you would dream about in your “I love oranges” dream. Plus, they were – heaven forbid – light orange in color in the fruit itself, whereas, the “Cara Cara” were more reddish orange, and truly delightful to eat.
Our mistake remained for the rest of the week. The oranges were eaten, but mostly by me. It’s kind of like when someone turns down the beef stroganoff because it’s made with sirloin and not filet mignon pieces…
So, I went once again to the grocery store yesterday, and located the Cara Caras, slightly down the aisle from the plebian oranges. I bought 8 more, hoping that it wasn’t a fluke, and that the new ones would repeat the wonderful taste experience of their former brothers and sisters.
I was not disappointed! They are great, and I’m typing this with freshly washed hands to remove the sticky juice from my fingers. I hate to say it, but they are indeed the “better” oranges, and I hope we can continue to find them, since the life expectancy of an orange tree planted up here in the Dakotas is a matter of hours…
Everyone is particular about something, I would expect. Often there are plenty of items over which we have no opinion, but sometimes, with the right food, or the right ink pen or the right whatever, we find ourselves only satisfied with “that thing.” Now, unless it is ridiculously picky, or so specific and rare that it becomes akin to hunting a unicorn, I don’t think there is anything wrong is preferring one thing over another. It’s the best part of discrimination, to discern better from only good, or only so-so. Now, I have heard some folks talk about the danger of “having a champagne taste on a beer budget,” but I’m saying, within reason, being aware of your preferences is ok, again, so long as it doesn’t become pathological, and you will only tolerate bread that comes from artisanal, organic, mottled rye and Jamaican wheat seeds, hand ground on a prehistoric basalt slab by Alaskan hunters. Preferring one orange over another isn’t really that bad. It’s a sign of an intentional life, so long as your preference doesn’t end up with you throwing a tantrum because this one time you “have” to eat regular oranges. Keep it to yourself, if that’s the case, but enjoy the delights of life – there is enough other stuff happening these days that attempt to diminish its abundance and joy. We can do things differently, if we intend to.
Word of the day: hubris. Pronounced HYOO-briss. We hear this word often, usually used to describe the behavior of someone the person doesn’t like, so it’s a pretty negative term. It’s from the Greek, as it looks, hybris, which originally meant the “wanton violence or outrage” against something. More to the point, it describes someone with excessive pride, or extreme or foolish self-estimation. Someone with hubris holds an excessive presumption of their place in the world. They really tend to lose touch with reasonable reality, and expect and then demand that they be treated in an exalted manner, and if that’s not done, then there is the possibility of verbal or even physical violence by the one holding the “hubris.” The opposite of hubris is of course “humility,” which also comes from the Greek originally, and means “from the ground,” so that the humble person does the opposite of someone with hubris. By the way, just to throw in another one, to “humiliate” someone is to “bring them to the ground” where they came from.
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.