Monday, June 18, 2018

Going Green on Father's Day

Father's Day 2018. As I reflect back on the day, I cannot help but offer up praise to God for gifting me with so much.

Deb and me October 2003

It's been a rough couple of weeks. I lost a dear friend of 43 years, thanks in part to wrong diagnoses starting in January. Deb and I were best friends in college and later shared an apartment together here in Pittsburgh. She had a vibrant smile that lit up a room whenever she entered it. She was How can she be gone? It's a question that runs through my mind daily.

In addition to that devastating loss, I had my own potential health crisis. A breast cancer scare that had me at the Cancer Institute at Allegheny General Hospital this past Friday. The tests were painful, but the news was good, with the radiologist telling me that he was 90% sure I had nothing to worry about. I'll take it. It was good to focus on other things this weekend.

Which brings us to today. After church, I came home and tended to brunch. I made a French Toast Casserole in the crock pot, which I turned on early this morning. I threw two hash brown casseroles in the oven (one with onions, one without for the grandkids), and I prepared my mixture for a big batch of scrambled eggs. I had prepared almost everything last night, including cutting chives from my garden to sprinkle over the eggs. It was a lot of work, but it was done in love and gratitude.

Father's Day 2018
Watching my husband as he was surrounded by his kids and grandkids for Father's Day was... I don't know how to express it. It was a bit overwhelming in some ways because we almost lost him back in October. Seeing the love poured out toward him is something I don't ever want to take for granted. So many grandparents rarely see their grandchildren, due to distance of location or distance of heart. Broken or strained relationships cause chasms hard to cross. The fact that we get to see our grandchildren for every holiday and often in between means the world to me.

As I was getting ready for church this morning, I thought of our new-ish neighbor across the street who was going to be alone today. Her mother died two weeks ago and I know how hard that is. So I decided to invite her to join us today and she did. That, too, was a blessing.

Now on to the green stuff. We had eight adults and five children here for brunch and did not use any single-use products. Not a one. I've gathered enough metal plates through the years to serve 24, so there is never a need for paper plates for picnics. We have at least 100 cloth napkins, some of which my mom made many years ago. She's the one who taught me that paper napkins were unnecessary. We certainly have enough flatware to skip the plastic, and we have plenty of mugs for coffee, glasses for water and iced tea, and champagne flutes for mimosas (after all, we had a lot to celebrate today).

Clean up was more work without the paper and plastic products that could easily be pitched into the trash and recycling, but I'll sleep well tonight knowing I did not only serve my family well today, but I served the earth well, too. And that, my friends, is what being a green grandma is all about!

I encourage you to find your own ways to cut down on waste.

Keeping it green with a heart full of gratitude,

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