HELP, I NEED TO GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN!

Note: This is a recollection that comes to mind on cold, cloudy January days. I’ll be devoting a number of columns to this journey which was new territory for me. Please join me on this journey.

If they’d had Hamburger Helper back then, maybe all this wouldn’t have happened.

But that was a long time ago…

That afternoon I had just an hour before I picked up our school aged daughters from school.

Earlier that day, I tried making stuffed cabbage leaves.

Remnants of tomatoes, onion, hamburger and cabbage splattered the kitchen counter.

Since texting was not an option in 1969, I called a girlfriend.

“Shirley,” I moaned. “I give up.”

“Give up what?”

“Cabbage leaves. I can’t spend the rest of my life stuffing cabbage leaves.”

“Who said you have to do that for the rest of your life? Shirley asked softly, sensing the tension in my voice.

“No one,” I said tearfully. “But since I’m home all day, I feel like I should put a good meal on the table.”

“What would you rather be doing?” Shirley asked

“Well, I’ve been toying with the idea of going to grad school.”

“What’s holding you back?”

“I’m not sure…lots of things…the whole thing seems sort of scary.”

“Well, look. I need update my teaching credential. Let’s go part time and take classes together. “

With ten children between us—Shirley had six and I had four—we were rarities on campus in l969.

“We’re the oldest students on campus,” Shirley noted after the first day.

I nodded in agreement.

We preceded TV’s Laverne and Shirley. And Geena Davis of Thelma and Louise was in grade school when Shirley and I began our ventures on campus.

These first steps on campus were challenging. Along the way I stumbled over self-doubt, panic attacks and insomnia.

These many years later, I found myself in the kitchen trying to figure out what to do with a head of cabbage and a pound of hamburger.

Now I see the cabbage through different eyes.

Please join me as I reflect on my journey. Please tell me what journeys you have taken. What did you learn? How did it change you?

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