Eating London

I’m sitting on my balcony right now watching the landscaping crew put mulch down. It’s a beautiful day out, actually a little cold, but I am typically out here on this balcony with the camera and a pad and pen or in this case today, the laptop.

Going through some recent photos of a trip to the UK with my daughter, I came upon this picture of a food truck along the Thames.

I remember being there and thinking ‘I want one of everything they sell here.’

I was starving, and couldn’t figure out if it was going to be the hotdog deal, or the hot waffles, or a donut or five, and some ice cream.

As I was trying to decide I heard my daughter call me, she was at a food cart behind me ordering food, she ordered for me, fish and chips. I laughed and walked towards her.

London was like that for me. All types of food that I’d like to try, some I did and wished I hadn’t and other meals, they were very similar to anything I could get back home.

Take for instance Chicken Tikka Masala…In three weeks time I’ll be you we had that more than half the time. I don’t know why. It was good, quick, filling, it just worked. My daughter isn’t a foodie. I’m not certain if I am. She’s more of a ‘food is for sustenance’ person and not a social eater. Me, food is always a party.

I turned around and snapped this photo before I walked away. I figured I could always return here whenever I want with the pic.

Fish and Chips and Chicken Tikka Masala…I’m pretty certain that covered it for me in the UK, and of course tea and biscuits or some sort. We had tea everyday, which was pretty cool to take time out and relax, and drink tea.

We were drinking the tea one day and suddenly a fist fight broke out in front of the store. Yeah, two well dressed men starting throwing hands at each other.

“You think it was the tea?” I asked my daughter.

“I think it’s possibly what they may have put in the tea, Dad,” she said.

Down on the ground they went.

“That big guy is slow with the fists,” I said.

“He’s leaving his left open, oh, there is was, that had to hurt,” I continued.

“You wanna play you’re gonna pay,” I said ‘Look at that tear on his knee. Ouch,’ I grinned. ‘Do we have to pay extra for this?’ I said. My daughter shaking her head at me.

In no time they were on their feet, hugging each other, sloppy drunk I guessed, they’d pay for it the next morning with the pains they’d both feel, I was certain.

The mulching is finished. Ten guys tossing mulch and that will happen quickly. You can smell it all the way up here on the seventh floor. The trees are beginning to bud. They say this is the year of the cicada’s hatching after seventeen years?

I could swear they said this a few years ago. Maybe they hatch in waves, or divisions, like the NFC and the AFC, and they alternate years or something, needless to say, I personally can’t wait for them to hatch. I really enjoy the noise they make, like flying miniature rattlesnakes, they are, except for the poison bite or any bite for that matter, just the rattling noise.

Can you imagine that, if rattle snakes flew? That would not be a good thing. Yes, just rambling on today. The rest of the household recieved the Covid vaccine yesterday and they aren’t feeling well today, so I’m out here, just thinking, and suddenly two more trucks show up with even more mulchers.

They have their own mulching army right now, it’s impressive. I’m thinking our mulching army could beat up the mulchers I passed down the street earlier in the day. I wonder if they play each other in football or soccer? Landscaping wars, kind of. They should if they don’t now.

Wait a minute…they are all sitting down…this is an organized sit down…oh…wait a minute…they are now eating. It’s their lunch time, they are just lunching.

Hang on a minute. The Citizen App is texting me. It’s the final day for walk-up vaccines in Philly. It goes by zip code, you live in a certain zip code you can go, but it still goes by phases, so just because you live in that code you still need the phase or you aren’t getting the shot, you get that? Code, then phase, condition, then shot, no cheating.

Ever miss someone? I’m missing someone right now. Haven’t seen them in a very long time. Life just happens like that sometimes. We go off certain ways. One minute we are hanging out, then suddenly it’s decades later and you’re sitting on your balcony wondering what the hell happened?

Things change. People change. Sometimes we make decisions and those choices cause change. Basically everything in life changes, nothing stays the same.

I’ve been missing a few people lately, my parents, a few friends that have passed away, and I’m thinking how crazy this ride has been, life, thirty-four years old and diagnosed with the heart problem, basically becoming so absorbed with that in my life, worrying about my wife and children, would I be here for them in the future, how would they get to college, how would we afford it, how will I keep my home, what would we do…

I remember so many sleepless nights laying in bed staring at the ceiling through the darkness, as the rest of the world slept as I wondered how things happen, and why, praying for time, just more time…and nothing more…

Years passed and suddenly I was forty, and honestly, I don’t remember much about years thirty-four to forty, it’s like I was somewhere else and I felt so cheated and hoped I hadn’t cheated the others in my life I care about by being that constant reminder that things aren’t going well for us.

We think that way sometimes, like we are burdens…

And in all that worry, all of those years…my oldest graduated college three years ago and my youngest daughter graduates college in a few months.

People say to me ‘You did and excellent job in raising your girls.’

I reply…I didn’t do anything but support them in anything they wanted to do.

Somehow in all of that adversity, things just worked themselves out…or…that was the plan all along, I just didn’t know anything about it? The one thing I did do was trusted the process, you know, the one where you have faith in your higher power that things will work out for the best? That one?

Sometimes we have to sacrifice who we are, for what we are called to be. That’s the way I look at it. I know I am being vague here, but honestly, that’s the best way to describe it for me. I prayed about things. I mean, I prayed my ass off…for my kids to be healthy and not have what I have, for them to not be affected by the adjustments we had to make in our lives, for them to be strong independent women not afraid to go forward in life and go after what they want…

You know, that ice cream in that food truck looked really good the more I think about it. I’d have ordered a vanilla and chocolate twirl on a cone. I can never make up my mind when it comes to desserts, yeah, vanilla and chocolate would have been the call.

Hey, where the heck did the mulchers go? Their trucks are all still here…I guess they are over in the visitors parking lot. They really do a great job here.

I’m kind of glad I don’t have to do that any longer, and the lawn, and the leaves, all of it. Age in place, that’s why I am here, in a condo, eighty feet in the sky above the tree tops overlooking the Delaware Valley in Pennsylvania in my little piece of heaven…the creek, sun is glistening off of the surface as it ripples over the rocks…

Yup…if you’d of asked me when I was thirty-four where I’d be in my late fifties, I am afraid I would have said St. Peter and Paul Cemetery with the rest of my family.

Then again, I never thought I’d get to London, or any of the places I’ve been to.

I’m thinking when God has a plan for us, there isn’t anything or anyone that can stop it’s progress, and when we are uncertain about our direction, maybe we just pray about it?

A chocolate and vanilla twist and a donut. That’s my final order, that’s what I’d of gotten for sure…

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