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Cold Mornings and Meager Meals

As I am writing this the weather app says that it is -3F in Houston, Alaska. Based on past experience it is a good 5 to 10 degrees colder where I am, making it between -8 and -13 F where I live. I am curled up on my bed, pillows piled all around me, my winter jacket wrapped around my shoulders to combat the icy draft creeping in behind me, and my electric heater is set about three feet away from me and the air is cold by the time it gets to where I am.

Not exactly the best of mornings, but it is an average one for me.

Something else that has become my normal of late is making due with minimal pantry stores. Last night I dug around the kitchen and came up with rice and a spoon of chili powder to make dinner. I was going to add a can of red beans to it, until I saw the best by date was in 2015. 3 years outdated. I considered that for a long moment before I thought ‘it is best by, not use by…’. Recalling hearing once that canned food can be edible longer than the date says it is good for, I opened the can. The liquid was a bit heavy looking and as I poured it off it turned out to be a bit thick and sludgy. I ditched that can and instead opened up a can of garbanzo beans. So, dinner was rice with a spoon of chili powder and a half a can of garbanzo beans which my brother saved by sending me a can of condensed soup that I poured over that odd mixture.

This is all survivable, but as I sit here on my bed wrapped in sleeping bags and my winter jacket I can not help but wonder what will happen in the days ahead if the power is cut off or I can not find a job. It is feeling like there are very dark days ahead.

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