Saturday, August 7, 2010

If Not Now, When?

A few months ago my housemate noticed that part of our ceiling was cracking in a disturbing way. We notified our landlord who hired a contractor to fix, what turned out to be, a leaky roof. The contractor said he needed to wait until the rain ceased so he could begin the work. The rains ceased on July 5 but it wasn't until yesterday that the contractor came back to look at the house and set up a time to repair the damage. Early next week, he said.

It started raining again today.

I use this story to illustrate a point that can be hammered home in so many ways. Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today. It's a lesson I need to hear more often. A lesson I learn too often. A lesson reinforced today by the rotten fava beans I found in the back of my fridge, the ones I had gotten from my CSA 2 weeks ago, the ones I was sure I would use to make foul. By the potatoes I found shriveled up in the drawer. By the now softened carrots I had once been so excited to dip into freshly made peanut butter.

For me, the past month has been full of conditional statements. "I'll finally have time, once I..." Once I'm in New York. Once I get back from New York. Once I get back from camping. Once I finish unpacking. Once my housemate moves out. Once I find new housemates. The list goes on and on. Life is busy. Once and again, time flies.

But thanks to Congress, one of the unexpected ways I've been able to measure the passage of time this summer has been through the upcoming deadline for the re-authorization of the Child Nutrition Act on September 30th. Incidentally that marks my first week of classes, the first week I will resume formal study of nutrition after a much-needed summer hiatus. Hopefully by then, Congress will have passed a new bill promising more funding to improve programs like the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs through farm-to-school and other programs that will boost the quality of food provided. It will be the first time Congress increases funding for child nutrition since 1973. This past week the Senate took the first step by unanimously passing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act at the urging of some pretty powerful people. Now it's time for the House to finish the job by voting on the Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act. Chances are this won't happen before the summer recess which begins next week. But if we nudge our congressmen enough, they might just be counting down their vacation days as I am.

In the meantime, I am taking advantage of a rainy summer day by cooking and preparing this week's CSA veggies in time to enjoy their fresh, straight-from-the-earth flavors and colors before they are forgotten and pushed to the back of the fridge. I am returning to my blog once again, ignoring the excuses and distractions that keep me saving for later all the points I would like to address today. And I am making a list of all the things I still hope to accomplish this summer so that when I start school the last week in September, it is filled with that sweet feeling of a summer well-lived so that I am ready to tackle the nutritional challenges of the year ahead, with a new Child Nutrition Act signed into law.

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