Coming Up For Air

Today was one of those days, where you laugh and cry at the same time, where your knees buckle and you comport yourself somewhat hysterically.
As you may remember, I applied for US Citizenship in January. Since then, I’ve moved through the process stipulated by law, at a slow, but steady pace. Or so I thought.
Until July 17. The day, the earth stood still. A day, which began ever so rosy. It was the day designated for my citizenship interview in San Antonio. I was well prepared for the civics questions, looking forward to the last of the oh-so-many examines in my life. On my way to San Antonio, I stopped at our mailbox, located near highway 83, about eight miles from our house.
To my consternation, I found a letter from USCIS, the branch of the Department of Homeland Security, which handles immigration. Filled with apprehension I returned to the car, engine running, air conditioning blasting away and opened the letter. As I was reading its content, dread washed over me. USCIS had canceled my interview – no reason or explanation given.
The fifteen days since have been emotional. Rage, anger, frustration, and sadness were a major part of it. The most difficult part was the realization that, no matter how well educated you are, no matter how exemplary your conduct in life has been, you are helpless. The perpetual motion government machine doesn’t give a flying fig. You are a mere splatter of insignificance and your fate matters naught. One day, once my case is resolved one way or another, I shall be more specific.
For now, suffice it to say that I would be a jiggly blob of jello, were it not for the initiative of a woman of highest integrity, a caring human being in San Antonio, who has been my advocate and conduit. She found out today that my case should be back on track soon.
After I talked with her today, I was giddy with gratitude. Even though she doesn’t know me in person, this lady has engaged herself on my behalf, she has become my champion. She is my knight in shining armor!
Another fighter on my side is my husband of thirty-four years, seven months and five days. Even though, all things considered, his rôle in this drama is one of duality – he is, after all, the root cause of me displacement into the greater American diaspora!! Just kiddin’! He has been my rock in our prolonged, forced separation in this comedy of errors. Thank you, Pumpkin ❤
There are also family and friends supporting my struggle in so many different ways. I’d like to blow Y’all a kiss of gratitude for your support. An interim kiss, as the battle is not yet won! Please keep on crossing your lovely fingers on my behalf.
Special thank to you, Mary, sister-in-spirit, Lohasur Devi – Goddess of Fire and altogether Loving Soul. Tonight, I celebrated with your gifts of taste, flavor, and fun.
Not having gone grocery shopping for a while, my fridge looked cavernous tonight. Iceberg lettuce, never a favorite, simply an emergency supply, two small zucchini, an onion, that was it. Not quite. I also had two lonely turkey dogs left. How to create a feast from these resources? It’s easy if you have a friend called Mary, who just sent you a selection of flavored extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars! 
Gently soften the onion in organic Persian Lime EVOO. Add some garlic, grind some black pepper over it, add sea salt. Caramelize with a smidgen of honey and mustard. A generous splash of Mary’s ‘Fiore’ Cranberry Pear White Balsamico loosens all those tasty flavor bits in the pan bottom. Add turkey dog pieces and heat through. Finally, add large chunks of zucchini, a little more pepper, salt and, after a little while, some more vinegar for good measure. Meanwhile, spread iceberg lettuce over a plate, flavor with pepper, oil, balsamico and shredded Parmigiano. Pile the pan concoction over it and enjoy!
Dessert consisted of a toasted half of a sourdough English muffin piled high with leftover onion and pan juices, decorated with a dollop of basil pesto. Utterly delicious and sweet!
I felt obliged to alter the label of the red, with which I enjoyed my celebratory meal – having had dinner all by myself, after all. The original label is just a little bit misleading and I don’t want there to be any misconceptions, eh?

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