Any suggestions for lunch?

 

This morning, as I began moving around the house and plotting the agenda for the day, my thoughts for some reason landed upon lunch.

I was craving hot wieners.

As the problems with that thought slowly managed to become clear, it struck me that I wasnít going to drive more than four hours for lunch. Thatís when an alternative idea came into my mind, which presented similar difficultiesÖ

Chowder and clam cakes.

New thought. Great thought. Same obstacles.

Chinese? WellÖ yeahÖ except that the nearest place with really good Chinese food is more than two hundred miles away. (Not kidding. Whatís nearby is passable in an emergency, butÖ actually, hold onÖ)

During my years in college, I began occasionally drinking coffee. Wasnít much of a coffee drinker when I arrived on campus, and wasnít much of one when I left. But that truly how I was introduced to it on a slightly more often than never basis.

My roommates were behind the introduction, and to this day I contend they tricked me into it. They bought fresh whole coffee beans and ground it seconds before they added the water. That apartment smelled fantastic in the mornings.

Funny thing about grinding your own coffee fresh each morning. You might drink coffee from someplace else. You might even enjoy coffee from someplace else. But if youíre grinding your own, and using quality beans, virtually everything else is going to be far in the distance for you as far as how good a cup youíre getting.

And that coffee story pretty much sums up the Chinese food around us. Itís ok. Itíll do when youíre really looking for it. But on the whole, it tops out at around two stars out of five for the best of meals. Ok, but not good.

Anyway, we were crossing off the possibilitiesÖ hot wienersÖ clam cakesÖ egg rollsÖ lunch.

It got me wondering. When was the last time anything in my current home town excited me?

As soon as the thought took a bit of form, I began to feel bad about it. The people around here are amazing. Fantastic folks that seem to care about their neighbors and communities. Love them. So, thatís wonderful.

Decent assortment of things like grocery stores and quick service restaurants. Thatís nice.

The idea that itís not exciting is a really far too harsh. I like it around here. And it moved me along to thinking that what I was really wondering about was if I was just numb to my surroundings. Numb because itís convenient. Numb because Iím not limited in opportunities to experience it. Numb because Iím cranky and difficult and wonder whatís new and different.

Would I feel differently if I couldnít have this all the time?

Thereís a sandwich shop that I love just over a half-hour drive from my house. Brilliant place, serving some of the best sandwiches Iíve ever had. Legendary. Friends visiting that I bring there have dreams about it, then text me that theyíre planning their next visit because they want to go back. Itís that great. But being more than thirty minutes away, I donít include it in a regular rotation of stops.

For reasons that have come about lately, Iíve been heading to that area two or three times a week for the past two months. Naturally, that means Iíve been stopping in more often. And a few days ago, when deciding whether or not Iíd head over to grab a sandwich during a trip that way, I didnít really want one. Yup, numb. Even the best of the best, numb.

(Heck, there are people that live in New York City that donít look for the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, or the lights along Broadway every day.)

I ended up having a grilled cheese and some soup today for lunch. Decided not to leave the house. Gorgeous day, set up a table outside and had a wonderful time.

There are plenty of unique treasures in my neighborhood. Occasionally I just need to remember how special they are.

 

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com