I am not good at too many things, but then again, I am good at things others are not.  And, I’m really terrible at things others seem to do effortlessly.

For example, I often hear my friends talk about their meal plans.  What?!  Am I supposed to plan meals?  I am doing well if I get a meal on the table.  Not because I’m so busy, but because I can’t seem to figure out how to plan meals.  The concept seems simple enough.  I write down things we like to eat on the meal calendar.  I make a grocery list and grab a few coupons and feeling proud of myself, head to the store.  That’s where it starts to fall apart.

In the beginning it goes well.  I grab a few items on my list and confidently check them off.  Then I hit a snag and the store either will not have what I am looking for or I just can’t find it.  Standing near the cookie isle, fretting over how to change my plan, I notice that Oreo’s are on sale.  Well, I should add a dessert to the menu plan and after all, they are on sale.  So hurrying to get out of that tempting row, I see that Cheez-Its are on sale, too. We’re out of those.  Gotta grab a few. The guilt is getting stronger.  I only have a few things I need for my plan.  I’ve got just as many things in my buggy that are not in my plan.  Now I just want out of here.  I rationalize that I can grab a pizza and make sandwiches another two nights.  We can do a Yo-Yo night (Your On Your Own) and then I’ll just make another grocery trip later in the week.  Whew!  Now for checkout. Of course we need a price check and my coupons are expired.  I’ve spent more than I wanted even with sale items.  I’m weak. Unorganized. Devoid of will power.  I tuck my tail and head home.

Almost home I get the dreaded call.  Hubby is on his way with a work/client buddy and needs me to throw something together for supper an hour early.  YIKES!  This is when my super powers kick in.  With only moments before they arrive, I screech in the driveway, throw the pseudo-groceries in the fridge and start making the hamburger patties for “Spontaneous Man” to grill.  I start passing around jobs.  Kid1, “Straighten the pillows in the den and stack those newspapers and magazines.”  Kid2, “Grab some Windex and a toilet brush and take care of the guest bathroom.”  Kid3, “Set the table and start handing me things from the pantry.”  Just as the last pillow is plumped and the last paper towel hits the trash, the door opens.  “Hi honey, we’re home!”

potterCatching my breath from my earlier failure and chaotic rush, I try to see what this stranger “sees” while in my home.  It’s not so bad.  Maybe even interesting.  We are serving food from our garden on platters I made in my pottery class.  In sight of our meal is a large scale painting I worked on a few times we had a family painting night.  Draped over the chair is a shawl I knitted. He takes interest in our pallet projects and our homemade pickles and jams. After dinner the girls slip from the table without interrupting and clean the kitchen.  A parenting dream.  We enjoyed learning about our guest’s life and adventures and hopefully made him feel welcome and comfortable. Jelly in hand on his way out the door, he said he felt “right at home” and I wondered what he would have thought if he had arrived earlier.

As I work on editing a video and putting together a brochure before bed, I think that maybe I can give the meal planning another try.  Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself.  I was certainly a total failure at the meal planning, but I pulled a meal together in a pinch and everyone enjoyed themselves.  Eating this Oreo before climbing in the bed, I realize I need to work on that will power thing, too.