It was a whirlwind vacation week of road trips, amusement parks, and holiday parties.
And then we woke up all disappointed to the sound of pouring rain putting a stop to things. So we did what any sad and depressed family would do when it rains on their plans. We went to Target and we went shopping. We stocked up and we went home. I was the first to declare a movie-rama. The declaration of movie-rama goes back to when Gloria and I were first dating a long time ago. The movie-rama meant pajamas, TV movies, no phone calls, and no worries. Needless to say, with two young and rambunctious kids, it’s been a long time since we declared movie-rama.
When we got home, Gloria got a large pot cooking on the stove. She started boiling water with a chicken that we had picked up. It was the base for chicken soup, just the thing to eat on a cold and rainy day. The movie-rama began. I made popcorn. I know popcorn. And I didn’t make one of those microwave bags, I made one of those big stove-top buckets of popcorn that you then melt butter in and drizzle on top. We all watched The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and we watched a couple of My Little Pony episodes. The smell from that pot of soup started to fill the house.
Glo cut up carrots and celery. She took out some of the chicken and grilled it on the side. We sampled the chicken. The board games started next. We played a ton of the games the girls got for the holidays, matching games, bingo games, and more. We made S’mores.
We actually made real S’mores. We got marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers and melted them just right. They tasted awesome. We continued playing and yelling “Zingo” whenever one of us won this new board game the girls got. The soup was really smelling great now. Gloria made pasta (alphabet letters) to add to that soup.
When I was a kid, mom’s chicken soup always had this pasta called Orzo. The only time I ever had Orzo was in mom’s chicken soup. I loved that Orzo and these little kid alphabet letters were real similar. I snuck a few spoonfuls from the pot. The kids took a bubble bath before dinner. It was long and leisurely just like you’d expect for little princesses. I walked the dog. I picked up poo. It was still OK. The kids got into their pajamas. We all washed up for dinner. The table was set. Dinner was served. We actually sat at the table as a family digging into our bowls of homemade chicken soup.
After a week of malls, crowds, road trips, and hotel stays, it felt good to just sit down with the family. We went around the table asking each person what their favorite part of the week was. One girl picked the amusement park. The other girl picked Vegas. But they both admitted they enjoyed the one day where we didn’t really go anywhere or do anything special at all. At the end of it all as I sat there thinking about the day, it really was chicken soup for the soul.
And I ate up every drop of it.