These days leading up to Christmas find me at home. Off work on leave. I have been busy, though, but different from the usual hustle-and-bustle of work-work-work and community caring activities with my senior pals. I find myself engaged mostly in…

…cooking. My mother-in-law is visiting, and she seems always to be eating or waiting at the table for her next meal. I have never observed an 85-year-old woman eat as much as she does.

Yesterday morning, I prepared an egg-and-cheese casserole. According to the recipe, it was enough for six. Nope… not with my M-I-L. She ate half, just for breakfast! And she ate a waffle, too.

Mid-morning, I baked a cake for her to have for dessert with dinner. I frosted the cake and put it in a cake keeper. I went out in the middle of the day to visit a friend at an up-county fire station to make a plan for a large community event next spring.

Aside — when I returned home, my mother-in-law asked me where I had been, and I told her that I was meeting with a friend. I must have used a female pronoun (my friend is a woman)… then the MIL asked me, “is she married?”

My response was one of incredulity. “Does it matter?” I didn’t answer her question because it really isn’t any of her business. Why does she care if I meet with someone who is married or not? Would she ask me that question if the meeting were with a guy? Sheesh… I just don’t get it.

But back to the home quietude… Later, I prepared dinner — baked rigatoni — and again a meal enough for six was consumed in a double quantity.

Then she asked, “what’s for dessert?” I opened the cake keeper and discovered that half of the cake was gone. “Who ate all this cake? … my spouse said, “Mom ate it for lunch.” Along with a huge ham-and-cheese sub that I made for her to eat while I was out.

While I am not looking forward to it, I’m going to have to make a run to the grocery store today. I have two more guests arriving later — my brother and his wife — and I have to triple the supply of food that we have on hand to ensure that we have enough for everyone at our table.

I have not had time to do anything else during my “Christmas staycation.” I was hoping to get some stuff done for my hobby website and other end-of-year activities. But that is not going to happen while the MIL is here.

Oh well, at least the spouse finds this all amusing and is trying to help care for her while she’s here. I hope at least to have a little time to go with my brother to visit family, instead of always be cooking. Fa cosi sia. Such is life.

Life is short: if eating my cooking makes her happy, and making her happy makes my spouse happy, then happiness reigns.