For those who have seen me hobbling around the past few days and wondered "what's up," I've been feeling the constant weather/temperature changes aching deep inside my bones from a hip injury a few years ago. I'm taking pain medication, but anyone who knows me knows how much I loathe taking ANY medication.
I guess I'm part of the "walk it off and be stronger" generation.
However, to function in this world of daily housework, a family life and a busy job as a reporter, the medication is a necessary evil I have to endure.
I can't help but remember my grandmother struggling with Arthritis pain. (Trust me, I'm not comparing my situation to what she, or anyone suffering from Arthritis, experienced.)
Grandma Iva wouldn't be able to stand after sitting for a while. I remember how much it hurt me to watch her refuse any help and then crawl and pull her way up to a standing position, grimacing every inch of the way. Bones creaking as she straightened up, she would smile and say, "It's just a reminder of better days."
Between you and me, I thought she was a little crazy. Who in their right mind would consider so much pain a good thing?
While I know my current pain is nothing compared to what she endured, I think I understand what she meant a little more today, at age 45, then I did when I was a child. Pain is an integral part of life.
Limping along, I can't help but recall various pain-filled milestones of life, including:
* Watching my children take those uneasy first steps. I'm sure the bumps incurred along the way to mobility were worth each tumble as the world opened up to them,
* Bandaging scraped knees from racing fiascos (whether foot or bicycle). Heck, I drove a mini-bike up the wall of our old house when I was 12-years-old. My dad was the first to pick me up, wipe the blood off my knees and help put me back on the bike. I learned to keep trying from that incident,
* Hugging away the pain of being teased by people who are supposed to be your friends. I couldn't help but shed a few tears in remembrance of my own school days when my children needed their first hugs after this experience,
* Seeing my mother put in a healthcare facility as cancer took away our family's ability to take care of her. It hurts to be told "you can't help her anymore," but the people at the facility that took care of her became part of our extended family, and then a few years later
* Watching my stepmother lose her legs because of diabetes, but not her delightful, loving and gentle spirit.
In the face of an inevitable outcome, I watched three of the most important women in my life struggle in pain with peace in their hearts and a collective smile on their faces.
I don't know where this saying comes from, but I believe it's what my Grandma Iva meant: If there is pain, it's because you are alive to experience it. The greatest pain in life is not to die, but to ignore the joy of being alive in good or bad times.
What's this got to do with cooking?
Well, my wonderful husband and loving family have deemed that I can't do anything this weekend.
"You're going to sit down for once and take it easy," hubby informed me Friday of how I was spending my upcoming weekend.
Although we've gotten out today (Saturday) to run some errands and have lunch in Terre Haute, I'm apparently going home to my recliner.
"I'm still full," was my reply to the question regarding dinner. "I guess I want some potato chips and dip."
To make our Potato Chip Dip, you need the following:
1 8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
1 5 oz. jar Kraft Old English cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp. onion or garlic powder
1/4 c. milk (you might not use it all)
Completely mix together in a bowl before refrigerating for at least 30 minutes before serving. Add cayenne pepper or crushed red chili flakes to your taste, if wanted. I like black pepper in mine!
You can make a sweeter version of the dip by replacing two of the ingredients with a 5 oz. jar Kraft Old English pimento cheese and 1/4 tsp. sugar.