Monday, July 07, 2008

an easy contentedness

As I sit here in my dining room tonight, I am content.  My housemates and I have just returned from a grocery shopping excursion.  We are never reminded that we are fairly poor people more acutely than when we are attempting to have enough money to buy decent groceries.  We all feel the need to put healthy food into our bodies, but it is expensive!  We try to save money in other ways so that we can afford fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats, and whole wheat cereals, pastas, and breads.  These sorts of things taste better and fill us up faster, even if they do hit the wallet a little hard in the check-out line.  So it’s a sacrifice we make.  We don’t want to fall into the very tempting trap of buying simply the cheapest things at the risk of compromising our health.  Hopefully later this summer our garden will begin to supplement our vegetable requirements, but the garden isn’t flourishing quite as well as we had originally hoped. 

We’ll still get a good bit of lettuce, some tomatoes and peppers, and probably a good crop of fall squash.  The peas and carrots also look decent and the corn plants - not quite knee-high this past weekend as we celebrated the 4th of July - will produce a few ears.  I don’t think it will be the bumper crop we had hoped for, but it will be all the more delicious for the work we’ve been putting into it.

The summer is, thus far, a very satisfactory one.  I can hardly believe it is already into July; the time has been flying.  I love my work…it feels like I spend 8 hours with friends every day.  Ok, that sounds pretty hokey and cliche.  I don’t mean it to, though.  I honestly enjoy my coworkers and they make the days go fast.  Every evening is enjoyable too.  I have four fun housemates for the summer, and while they do cause me to consistently go to bed later than I intend, I wouldn’t trade our late night chats for anything.  Besides, since my coworkers are so fun, it doesn’t even matter if I’m a little bit tired when I arrive at work in the morning…it never lasts long. 
It’s very nice to finally be on the same continent as my boyfriend, too.  Two weeks after we started dating he went to New Zealand for a semester.  Four months later, when he returned, we saw each other for two days and then I went to the UK for three and a half weeks.  I returned, we spent about 15 hours in the same city, and then he went to Maine for a 10-day family vacation.  Since he returned we’ve seen each other almost every day for the past two weeks, and things are still going well.  We spent the past weekend in Cedar Rapids, IA visiting my family for the holiday.  With the 4th of July conveniently falling on a Friday, we were able to take one day off work and have almost four days in Iowa, sandwiched by seven-hour car rides each way.  The weekend was very relaxing.  No alarm clocks in the mornings, very few obligations during the day, no need to go to bed and give up on watching fireflies in the evening.  We rode bikes, ate expensive fruits that we don’t buy for ourselves, laid in the hammock a lot, and read “Prince Caspian” so that we could be informed before seeing the movie at the cheap second-run theater on Saturday. 

I also enjoyed seeing my younger sister.  She’s coming to Calvin this fall, and is so excited.  It reminds me of how excited I was three years ago.  THREE YEARS AGO!  I cannot believe it’s been so long.  It was nice to feel needed as the adviser on what amenities are necessary for a successful dorm room.  She picked up a flier at Target that listed all the “necessary items,” half of which would have been a waste of money.  She’ll do well at Calvin, and I can’t wait for her to be up here with me.  Soon she’ll also be a poor college student, having to choose between having whole grain bread and a gallon of milk.  I’ll be here to tell her to get both and to just ride her bike everywhere instead of driving and to forgo air conditioning.

Posted by Emily MacLeod on 07/07 at 09:11 PM

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