During this time, simple food provided solace. Mac 'n' cheese and meatloaf; a loving delivery from a good friend. Beer and pizza hit the spot. Gourmet food seemed distasteful, crass; even offensive.
On the second night, after not eating much, a stop on the way home at Al's of Hampden for a slice of chicken ranch bacon pizza and micro brew softened the stress. I sipped a Springhouse "The Astounding She Monster" Mango IPA while sitting near the register and distracted myself by marveling at the variety of customers that poured through.
A serious collector bought a 22 ounce, fifty-dollar bottle of beer; a special edition, to be aged like wine for a year until mellow. One older gentleman's eyes widened as he marveled at the 80-something draft beer selections. The silly picture of Edgar Allen Poe on the six-pack of the graphics of the The Raven Pilsner made me laugh.
It was a week where I didn't cook or shop for groceries. As things slower got back to normal, I frequented many places in Mechanicsburg - the location of my dad's new digs.
One night I ate at Neato Burrito and had Cajun chicken in a chipotle tortilla for dinner, and then had the leftovers again for breakfast.
Another afternoon, I met relatives at Ressler's for a bagel with oh-so-creamy whitefish spread and I discovered their jalapeno cream cheese - - pleasantly chunky and hot with whole pieces of jalapenos embedded within.
Take-out Vegetable pork Dumplings from China Tea House were easily popped into my mouth between yard work and a Sunday afternoon visit. Things are still getting back to normal - but rather than neglecting or feeling guilty about taking some time to feed myself with sustaining food, I am finding it better to avail myself of the nutrition that food brings - physical and otherwise, in a few spare moments. And that truly is solid solace.