V and I text messaged as the family all arrived at my mom's house and then I called her. I sat out on the front porch talking and chatting just fine... and then my 3 neices, Hannah, Isabel and Tillie ran by laughing and playing and having a great time. Soon my nephew Hunter joined them.
One question I really hated hearing the answer to was if V had found a seder to attend there at Vandenberg. The answer was No. She asked the Chaplain and he knew of none. Ouch.
As V and I talked, Hannah came over and sent a hello to V...
Tillie came over (I get called "Aunie Lela" now), blessed me with some rocks and then a huge smile when I told her I was talking to "her Viva"...
It crept up... and then it GOT me.
I had to finish the conversation (promising to call back) saying I had to go light the holiday candles. HA.
The hole in my heart that V's absence creates started a good cry that began at "Love you" and barely made it through "bye".
I know how much she adores her little cousins (and No, Hunter, you're not little any more, but she adores you too!) and would have loved running around with them. I know how happy she would've been to meet Mike's daughters, Sarah and Cassy (Mike is Karen's bf) who all came from MD to be here. I know how she and her brother gab and snark through the seder with each other. (LOL) I know how much she loves her Grandma and Grandma's cooking! I know how much she loves the songs we all sing together for Passover. I know how much I love her voice.
And I know how much I miss her.
I pulled it together and on with the ritual we went.
I called her again after dinner, taunting her (good naturedly) about the tower of Passover rolls on the table and saving her a mocha bar. She then shared that she really misses "cooked food". Huh?!
Here I thought that "The Breakers" their Dfac (dining facility) had good "cooked" food for them 3x a day. She says it's not that good and it's far away from them. (a 10 min bus ride) So it cuts deeply into the short times they have to eat, especially breakfast and lunch.
She said she misses proteins the most. My little 'meat and potatoes' kid is living on energy drinks (shudder) and Ramen noodles for lunches. Breakfasts are a disaster. Dinners are hit and miss depending on her time and duties.
We talked about a few things that she might be able to make in her dorm room (which she would prefer) but we ran into a few obstacles...
- She has a very tiny fridge (a dorm sized cube)
- No freezer to speak of (a tray of ice cubes + 2" maybe)
- Very limited space to store dry goods
- No sink (except the bathroom)
- A shared microwave - on every other floor
- The Commisary is about a 9 block walk each way
We agreed that I'd once more venture into her bedroom here for her bag of Tupperware (we were both reps, so we believe in the stuff!) and get her soup mugs and a couple other pieces to help them store foods more effectively (and pest free. It is a dorm after all.)
Gods bless Grandma, who jumped at the chance to send food to her granddaughter. There's a box of Matza and three kinds of cookies all ready to go out to V on Monday. I'll add some canned soup and a few other things...
BUT I NEED YOUR HELP!!!
Avivah needs ideas of things she can make, given the above limitations, that are nutritious, quick and easy. If it's "cooked food" then all the better! I'll probably send her a Tupperware microwave steamer to help.
Please comment, e-mail and call me with ideas. I really want to help her if I can.
If you want to send her something yourself just ask me for the address. If it's helpful, you sure have my blessing. If you have a FoodSaver or something like it and can vacuum pack REAL foods safely, PLEASE let me know. I'll send you whatever funds you need to mail V (and Latoya, her roomie) a couple of home-cooked meals.