Amie and I have just eased away from Paris’ “Gare de Lyon” train station as we are destined this evening to Nice, France along the renown French Riviera. We are sitting on the upper deck of a high-speed TGV or “Train de Grand Vitesse”. I gaze upon France’s pastoral, rolling countryside gathering in the blooming flowers, lazily grazing cows, and rustic farmhouses. I have to only look up from my laptop to realize that we have been on the road for 10 days already.
Amie is the natural choice to manage our blog. As any of you have met us, it is pretty obvious that she is the more charming and outgoing half. She very much cares that your birthday is not forgotten, thank you cards are sent, and that you are never are too distant from our thoughts. She has a Facebook account; I still persevere to resist. After our wedding, Amie spent 2 restless nights because we had yet to resolve each present with the guest. She was horrified to think that each person would not receive a custom thank-you note! Not such an encouraging development for our honeymoon, but I quickly deduced who sent us that last present. So not surprisinly, Amie is the Editor-In-Chief of RumblingStumbling.com. She has recently, cautiously requested my viewpoints, so I agreed to be a contributing columnist.
My adventure began before we even left for London. I wanted to be in the right frame of mind as we started our around-the-world journey, and knowing that we were to be on the road for 10 straight weeks eating different foods at odd times, I had decided to go on a modest 4-day spiritual fast. I planned to meditate on the blessings of this trip, and I would restrict my diet to all natural fruit juices such as Odwalla, V-8, etc. Most doctors and nutritionists state that the average person can go 4 to 6 weeks without food. However, a person can only last up to 3 days without water so I felt fairly confident at the outset that I could survive 4 days without food if I could maintain ample hydration. Though I was telling myself that I was getting more than sufficient nourishment from the fruit juices, my thoughts kept turning to incessant images of salty, sweet, and fatty hamburger, pizza, and ice cream commercials on television. As the end of the fast approached on Wednesday evening, admittedly I was getting a bit delirious in my food-deprived condition. I began to rummage and take stock of our kitchen pantry. I wasn’t going to tarnish my fast by eating something as bad as potato chips, chocolate chip cookies, or donuts; but rather I spied before me a box of moist, sweet, and delicious granola bars.
One of Amie’s sidelights is to send off for free samples in the mail. She likes to try new things so its natural that we’ll try a product that we might buy in the future. However, I am perplexed by some of the things that she requests. We have received samples of diapers (we don’t have a baby), lawncare products (we do not have a lawn), and just a whole host of knick-knacks. Amie will argue that she is getting the sample for a friend or family member. I often wonder what our mailman thinks when he makes his deliveries. For the most part, I am supportive as this endeavor is seemingly harmless and does not cost anything. However, my principal issue from all these samples is that they lack a coherent and natural structure within our home. We all accumulate stuff, and even at the moment that we acquired said product, we're thinking and knowing exactly where we are going to store it away waiting for just the right moment when we are really going to need it. I don't like nor drink Jack Daniels, but I do particularly like the design and aesthetics of those little mini bottles that you would get on an airline flight or hotel room. I now have a meaningful array of these bottles and have even designated a special shelf for them in my home office just waiting for that houseguest who would particularly enjoy a coca-cola with a splash of Jack Daniels. We have natural nooks and crannies where we put our personal collections -- books, cds, movies, pans, grains, foodstuffs – items we think we might use. But where do you put a supply of items that you ABSOLUTELY do not have any use?
So at the end of my fast, near delirium, I smile serenely acknowledging the good monk that I have been. As I open my mouth to munch on my long-anticipated granola bar, Amie marches into the kitchen and gasps, “What are you doing? That is a Dog Treat Bone!”
What in the world is a “Greenie” doing in the box of granola bars?
I got it as a sample a few months ago, and didn’t know where to put it!
We don’t even have a dog!
Some of our friends have dogs!
You put it in the box of granola bars?
They have a similar shape. Where are you going?
My gosh…this fast is over…if I can make my way down to McDonald’s, I’m getting myself a bacon cheeseburger.
It’s time to fly.
Happy mother’s day to Loi Bui and Lucie Mallett, And all the moms out there.
P.S. For a free sample of a "Greenie", go to www.greenies.com