Eating dinner off the ground


Family trip to the hot springs | HeartStories dinner off the groundTraveling this my family this week, we visited some natural falls and hot springs.  It reminded me of an experience we had years ago.

When I was about 7 years old, my family shared a big green mobile home with some friends.   We took lots of fun road trips in that big monster.  I remember a fun trip to the Grand Canyon among others.  But there is one memory that stands out the most.

The picnic table tip.

If you’ve ever eaten at a picnic table connected to the benches, that wasn’t secured to the ground, you’re already laughing. If not, let this be your warning.

Make sure your crew sits evenly on both sides.

The story goes that we were at this natural falls campground.  We’d been playing in the water all day and returned to the camper to make hamburgers.  (I say “we”, but now that I’m a mother, I know it was my parents who worked so hard to make that dinner in the summer heat of Oklahoma.)  We set the table with all the fixings and Dad brought the plate of burgers off the grill.  Once everything was finally prepared, three of us took a seat on one side of the bench.

Dinner went flying through the air.

We picked it all up and it was covered with gravel.  But we were out in the middle of nowhere.  There were six hungry mouths to feed.  So we ate it.  Gravel and all.  I honestly still remember chewing that meat with the grit of gravel in my teeth.

It happened again last week.

I was sitting down, tired from a long day and we’d gotten take-out from a nice restaurant.  I ordered a beautiful snapper dinner and my mouth was watering as I made my way to the table with my styrofoam box, in one hand.  When all of a sudden, the box tore in half.  My fish, rice and red sauce goes flying.  It covers two chairs before landing on the tile floor.

What did I do?

I picked it up and ate it, of course.

Because sometimes you just have to roll with it.  Sometimes you’re too tired, or you’ve waited too long, or it was exactly what you really wanted, so you eat it anyway.

You still have it, it’s just that now it’s full of grit.

It’s not what you expected.  Maybe it happened completely out of the blue.  Or maybe it happened over time.

Grit never tastes good. 

You know what I’ve learned?  I’ve lived through it.

No, it wasn’t what I planned.  It wasn’t what I expected.  And quite frankly, I didn’t like it.  It didn’t taste good.

But what’s interesting is, there’s always a choice.

You can sulk and complain.  You can be mad about the grit.  You can spit it out and let it ruin the entire situation.

OR, you can chew it up, swallow it, and move on without letting it ruin your experience.

Whatever the grit is in your life today, you’ll live through it too.  

How it affects you is totally up to you.  You get to choose.

Chew it up and keep moving sister.

You’ve got better things to do.

To more love,


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