Lunch with Liz, et al.


“…the people who give you their food, give you their heart.”

César Chávez
Jalapeño Jack cheese served with HEB In House Roasted Turkey

I looked at my sad little lunch today. I’m grateful to have something to eat, but it’s the time of the week where the fridge has been emptied of unsafe to eat leftovers. That, and I didn’t feel like eating chicken. Plus I was running late (again) this morning so it was one of those open the lunch bag in front of the fridge and sweep in whatever fits. I wound up with a single serve square of jalapeño jack cheese, a new package of roasted turkey breast that thankfully didn’t smell funny, a coleslaw mix with dressing, a tub of almond butter, and an apple that’s been in there for a week.

I miss lunches that aren’t spent solo in my office with a webinar running on my computer and I especially miss the lunches with my colleagues at my former campus. That’s where we collaborated, vent our frustrations, laughed until we needed antacid, burned popcorn, and pretty much had a buffet every day.

Some of us, moms with young children, wound up with a snack pack of Goldfish crackers, applesauce, a juice box, and a half empty pack of fruit snacks from a diaper bag or from underneath the seat of the car. Exhausted teacher moms, we often ran out of time to pack something decent for ourselves. Our lunch time became sacred because the teacher moms with older kids brought leftovers. Some were empty nesters who cooked too much, some had events over the weekend like engagement parties for an adult child or get togethers with their high school kids’ sports teams. It never failed, when we had our baby lunches, someone always came through with plenty of food.

Then there’s Liz, who introduced me to Asian fusion, the best steak, roasted Brussels sprouts, and countless other menu items from restaurants I’d never visit with two kids in tow. Every time I had a sad little lunch, Liz showed up with takeout bags and containers from fancy restaurants. Some days I cried happy tears because I was so hungry (sad little lunches usually accompany non-existent breakfasts) and we cheered as if we’d landed a rover on Mars.

Conversations centered around cupcakes, parenting, play-by-play Game of Thrones commentaries, good music, bad music, discussing an impromptu happy hour, a recap on emails we accidentally or purposely deleted, who was first to finish all of the STAAR training modules, vacation suggestions…

We ate until students started showing up, peeking in to see what they missed. “Is that burned popcorn? I smell burned popcorn! Do you smell burned popcorn?”

“Come on in, kiddo. How was that blue slushie you had with your lunch?”

7 thoughts on “Lunch with Liz, et al.

  1. Aww what a nostalgic post. I absolutely loved the sentence, “Some days I cried happy tears because I was so hungry (sad little lunches usually accompany non-existent breakfasts) and we cheered as if we’d landed a rover on Mars.” because it is so darn accurate!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh those lunches, especially the Asian fusion ones sound so delightful and also the memories of all the great times you spent together with friends. Now I understand why yesterday’s sandwich seemed a bit less than adequate!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can feel the nostalgia in this post!

    BTW: There’s so much I miss about the before time (i.e., pre-pandemic). Hoping to get back to a lot of it by next year. (I think the ship has sailed on 2021 being a year of normalcy. I would love to be proven wrong on that.)

    Liked by 1 person

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