Saturday, May 7, 2011

Preparing For Surprises

Today my husband had to work couple of hours and whenever he can, he takes along one of our sons with him.  They love the chance to be "men" together and they get to learn his carpentry trade at the same time. This time it was our younger son's turn. Our older son just finished helping him renovate our old house for three weeks so he stayed home and mowed the front and back lawns.

My husband is a sort of fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants kind of guy and will often wait till the day of to make plans.  It took me a while to get used to this because I prefer to plan ahead.  Occasional spontaneity is easier to handle and fun, but it took some adjusting to learn how to prepare for regular spontaneity. :)

So when my husband called and said he'd like to have a picnic at the State Park (which is only about a 15 minute drive) I was ready.  Five minutes later when we hung up the phone, I already had the picnic menu planned.
If you're married to a man like mine, an important element to being a help meet is to be prepared for surprises. There's a little comic irony in preparing to be surprised, but it makes life that much easier.  And since I'm the helper, it's up to me to adapt.

Life seems to irrevocably revolve around meals and since that is a help meet's territory, it's good to think ahead and be ready for anything -- from impromptu picnics to extra guests at dinner. 

So I'll be preparing picnic food for our family spur-of-the-moment style! :)  My sweetheart could be home in 1-2 hours so I will have to hurry if I want to bake that apple pie I've been wanting to make (already have the all the apples peeled and sliced from a previous recipe).  While the pie bakes I'll peel, dice and boil some potatoes for some homemade potato salad and make some pastrami and provolone sandwiches.  On the way out, we'll stop and pick up some dill pickles and Root Beer. 

Altogether, we'll be bringing:

Packed Picnic Basket
Waterproof picnic blanket
Beach Umbrella
Light jackets for us all in case the wind picks up. 
Straw bag with my travel KJ Bible and a book I'm currently reading. 
Tote bag with a football, basketball and frisbee
First aid kit
Swim towels just in case someone wants to go for a dip in the lake

This might sound like a lot to put together but it's really not much when you are prepared.  For example, we always keep the picnic blanket and first aid kit in the van. Our picnic basket is always stocked and ready. My straw bag is always loaded and easy to grab.  And the swim towels are always on the top shelf of the linen closet and ready to toss in a bag.  When you have a place for everything (yes, every thing) spontaneous husbands can be managed.  :)  And don't forget your helpers - your children!  My son already cleaned out the van and loaded the umbrella and swim towels for me. 

I worked fast in the kitchen and finished making the pie (with homemade pie crust), potato salad and sandwiches and cleaned up the kitchen in an hour. Now I have time to rest my tired little feet and blog for a minute.  Next I'm going to fix my hair and put on a little makeup and perfume and we'll be all ready and waiting when my husband gets home. 

So if surprises throw you, don't get mad, get prepared.  And then roll up your sleeves and get to work.  I focused my thoughts on the fun memories I'm helping to create while I was working up a sweat in the kitchen and racing against the clock.  And keeping a cheerful smile and not looking like a sad-sack will go a long way to keep your spirits lifted and your witness effective.  Because even when we're home, we are still witnessing to our children.  So be a good witness and smile through those surprises!

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