Bored Again

Still hunkered down, with a daily dose of vitamin D.

Fran LoBiondo
by Fran LoBiondo

At least we’re eating well. We can still go to the grocery store, and if we don’t find it today, there’s always tomorrow. It’s not like we’re doing anything.

The weather is warming up and, according to some doctors, if I don’t get out in the sun, even for a short time, my vitamin D will deplete and I will have even more symptoms to deal with.

Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin. Exposing your naked skin (no sunscreen allowed) to the sun for 10 to 15 minutes allows your body to make its own vitamin D.

But how does a white-skinned melanoma survivor like me just go out sunning when five minutes in the sun will sear me like a tuna steak?

I hate how complicated it is to stay healthy. I can’t seem to keep up.

I do take vitamin D supplements, but apparently they are halfway destroyed by going through the digestive tract. Ten to 15 minutes of sun exposure is the best way to get enough.

According to every vitamin D website, you can get it from foods if you eat the right ones. If you’re interested, you can look it up yourself, because researching the subject online left my head in a spin.

Perhaps I should just calm down and do what makes sense to me.

On to saner topics. The outside world is beginning to open up again after months of shutdowns and self-isolating at home.

The word is this will be a long process, so we should not get too impatient.

I am impatient. I can only hope that one of Greg’s programs will resume, because they may not be considered “essential” to the politicians, but they certainly are to me, and probably most of my fellow parents of children with autism.

Greg has been very good during his unfortunate incarceration. When he gets bored, he helps me in the kitchen. When he gets bored again, he can watch TV, go on YouTube or listen to music. When he’s really, really bored, we can do a puzzle, or color or take him to the dollar store, Target, Walmart or the nearest furniture store. It doesn’t matter much, as long he gets out and walks the aisles, he’s happy.

None of these store visits are expensive. He’s remarkably wantless. We go home with a snack, if that. He likes Monster Mix (raisins, peanuts and chocolate chips), Reese’s peanut butter cups, and cheddar popcorn.

That popcorn cost me my favorite white sweatshirt when I ate a handful in the car and got a big shmear of orange cheeselike stuff on my chest. I have bleached and Shouted and spread Dawn dish soap on it, but I’m pretty sure that sweatshirt is toast.

I’ve worn it for 10 years, so it doesn’t owe me anything. It’s just one of those go-to jackets that matches everything and keeps me warm, and stays white with a little bleach and Mrs. Stewart’s Liquid Bluing Liquid.

Until now. It suddenly seems to grow splotches after five minutes of wear. I even suspect old stains are eerily reappearing. When a piece of clothing becomes that high-maintenance, out it goes.

In addition to keeping our resident children happy, we find ways to stock up on meals so as not to have to cook as often. I make two quiches, spinach and broccoli, and we eat it every morning and night until we get sick of it, or it’s gone. And we buy fresh basil from the store until such time as our own plants mature. I make a big batch of pesto sauce and freeze it in small containers to eat later with tortellini. It’s an easy meal, and everyone in the house likes it, so we don’t have to heat up bean burritos for Greg.

Therese continues her weekly dinners that we also wrap up to eat left over. She always serves roasted meat, potatoes, vegetables and biscuits. Whereas I run to one-dish meals that have protein and veggies combined, and that’s it. After that, I lose focus.

Her focus while cooking three or four dishes at a time is awesome to me, but I’m a bit flaky. I cannot even make garlic bread without charring it and stinking up the house. I guess I learned from my mom: Dinner isn’t ready until the fire alarm rings.

It’s almost June, and I wish for everyone to be able to enjoy the summer outside, walking and eating together, without masks.

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Life Sentences