Cheesy Soup

Nativity by Brian Kershisnik
(Lucy's favorite piece.)

Lucy has the distinct pleasure
of being the youngest in our family. Eight siblings before her, none after, besides a series of female dogs (like Nan.) She was the last to get married, last to return from a mission, probably the last to have babies. Such is Lucy's life.

Now that I've been a bit sick, Lucy has had to come in and play the caring sister role, just like I did with my older sister Page. I'd fly out to California and spend weeks being a surrogate mother to her other children. I made broccoli and cheese soup, Oreo cookies and folded about twenty million loads of laundry. I also raised Stephanie's oldest child as my own because Claire only had six months of living before her mother was throwing-up in anticipation of her little sister. That is what sisters do, right?

Lucy's magical apples are the first things I eat in the morning, they keep the nausea at bay. When I eat all of the glass bowl worth, she brings me over more fresh off her tree. She calls me periodically through the day just to see if I am sorta alive. Today she stopped by on her beach cruiser and talked to me throughout the afternoon. She wanted to do my dishes, but I have some pride left in me (I don't know why.)

And it's not like we had a pleasant conversation this afternoon. I've honestly never been more terribly grumpy in my life. I've actually surprised myself at the pessimistic level I am operating at here. Whats worse, I am too much like a certain relative of mine who I have given up visiting. Before I know it, I am going to be telling people that they are too fat for love, too ugly for happiness and too poor for a proper shopping spree for rhinestone-covered sweat suits. (Isn't easier to love from afar sometimes?)

Anyway, I was in the middle of a really horrible tirade about whoknowswhat with sympathetic Lucy doing sits-ups in my step-down lounge, when a wave of heaven-sent nausea infiltrated my whole being.

" . . . anyway, can you stand it? I've never heard anything so . . . so . . . stup . . . I am going to vomit!" I yelled to Lucy.

Lucy didn't miss a beat. She jumped up, ran into the kitchen and found the first half-used sleeve of saltine crackers she could find.

"Eat!" She ordered, flinging the bag into my lap.

I stuffed a cracker into my mouth with fear and trembling.

"When was the last time you ate?"

"Noon." I muffled out, spewing saltine bits.

Lucy looked at my over-sized gilded Parisian clock and determined that it had been too long since my last meal.

"Meet me at my house in five minutes." She ordered again as she ran out the door, and mounted up on her cruiser at Zorro speed.

I slowly retreated from the couch and put on a skirt so that I looked somewhat respectable to visit Lucy's farm. Lucky for me, she lives down the street where Provo gets more rural. Like, sheep and llamas.

When I arrived at her house, Lucy was quickly stir-frying red potatoes plucked right from the dirt of Farmer George's garden. In another skillet she had eggs from her chicken's morning deposit scrambling, and a warming tortilla on her griddle. I sat down at her oak table and looked at the photos from their successful fishing trip to Mexico. (How successful? There is are smoked steaks from a two-hundred-pound Marlin in her fridge right now.) When she was done cooking she pulled out a blue ceramic plate and presented me with a certified organic breakfast burrito topped with tomatoes from her garden. Plus, six choices of hot sauce!

When I had inhaled the last of my burrito, Lucy gave me a glass of perfectly chilled distilled water and placed me on her over-stuffed chair in her cozy front room (how many adjectives do I need in that sentence?) I was wrapped up in a soft blue blankey as she coiled up next to the heater vent. We waited for Ric to come home from the jewelry shop and talked some more. Not surprisingly, my tone was a bit more positive. I think I even gave out some compliments here and there. (Don't get used to it.)

Later tonight after Chup finally arrived home to take-over as my primary care-giver, I got to thinking about my baby sister. When it's her turn for the pukey pregnancy she'll have enough good karma in store, that I believe the very angels will come out of the sky and attend to her.

Which I have to say, is so much better than broccoli and cheese soup.

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