Discontinued 7/17/20

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

No more pie. Very sad.

Today I went through a drive through in my newest favorite fast-food burger joint (not my favorite fast food, mind you, just my favorite fast food burger) and ordered an apple pie. They said they were out, which was very disappointing. At the window, they told me that just today they discontinued carrying it.

That broke my heart.

This place’s pie was the closest to an actual slice of pie that I’ve ever seen in a fast food joint. Oh, it was so yummy. Well, not THAT good, but better than most. Then I started thinking about my favorite fast food Mexican joint. They’ve canceled EVERY favorite menu item I’ve ever had, and now they even have to special make a simple beef burrito. Seriously, what the heck?

I’ve had so many things canceled. It’s sad. My mother used to make these incredible chicken and dumplings. It was the meal with no color; chicken in a chicken gravy with white dumplings and mashed potatoes, usually served with milk. Kinda funny, really, and I don’t know how many people would like it. The dumplings had a density that would make lead jealous and sat like bricks in the stomach, but I’ve never had anything like them or since. Mom passed away some years ago, and the realization has set upon me that I’ll never have that bland looking incredible tasting meal again since I don’t have her recipe. So, should I feel bad about it?

It seems to me that I face, really, two choices for feeling bad. I can feel sorry for myself since I’ll never have these things again, or I can feel sorry for those who will never experience them at all. I’m always sorry when good things come to an end, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate having had the experience. When I get to visit with my friend, I always miss her as we are parting ways, but the joy of seeing her, and being with her for whatever time we have together is a memory I will always treasure.

We lose things. It’s the nature of life that things end. Heck, I was married, and it ended. I had a mom, and she ended. I loved the turkey Mornay in Dayton, and the restaurant ended. I loved having Obama in office (sorry, Trump fans), and his term ended. But in all of these things, there were good results, even if they are only fond memories. Unfortunately, some good things, like the Affordable Care Act, can be undone, and some things will never return like the chicken and dumplings, but, well, like the Beatles once said, “in my life, I’ve loved them all!”

The Tao te Ching has volumes to say about this and would go so far as to remind us that not only do good things end, but so do bad. For several months, I was without a vehicle. Unfortunately, in this time, I had to give up opportunities for income, and I felt like I was under constant house arrest. I wrote several blogs about the public transportation system here and came to truly appreciate the bus system and those people who ride it, so even with through this arguably bad time there was still good that came from it. Today, I have a new vehicle. Well, new only in the academic sense; it’s a quarter century old SUV so it doesn’t have a lot of the new vehicle amenities, but she’s reliable and I find that every time I take her somewhere I come to enjoy her more and more. She’s reliable, practical and a fun drive; what more could I ask for?

The bad time of doing without a vehicle ended, and I have had excellent experiences because of this time. And, there is a day that this vehicle will be lost to me as well. I was happy when my time without a vehicle ended, and I’ll be sad when my time with this SUV comes to an end, but it’s inevitable. And in the end, I’ll be better for it. I’ve already learned to appreciate the qualities of vehicles that are practical and older more than I probably would have without mine, and if I happen to get another new one, I’ll appreciate the new amenities even more than without having had this one.

I’m going to mourn the loss of the apple pie and complain far more about it than I should considering that it’s really not all THAT good, but I’ll forget. And I’ll always appreciate having been able to have it. I wonder how many things I will never have the opportunity to try that I would have loved?

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