The Chili Conclusion

retro-reminder-vintageimage-Graphics-Fairy2Yesterday I had this wicked migraine that turned me into the Mayberry Town Drunk. I spent most of the day in bed, dizzy, nauseated, and miserable. Finally at about 4:15 in the afternoon, I came to. My husband Jay, and daughter Margaret were in the dining room.

“Where’s your brother?” I asked her.

“Oh, he won’t be home until at least 8 tonight.”

“What in the world? Why?”



If this were a TV drama, you’d see a close-up of my face and then a series of images in quick succession: an email from a band parent, my response, another email reminding me, and my calendar with “Make chili for All-County Band” highlighted. I looked at Jay, wide-eyed.

“OHMYGOSH! I agreed to–”

“Aileen! Were you supposed to take something?”

“Make chili for– ”

“How many people?”

“They wanted it there between–”

“Call and tell them it will be late–”

“4:30 and 5!” (It was 4:35. The school is less than five minutes from our house.)

“I’ll go get ground beef–”

“I’ll just make vegetarian.” I pulled chopped veggies from the freezer.

“No one wants vegetarian–”

“I think we have some ground beef.”

“Are you sure?”

“Of course not,” I grabbed cans of tomatoes and black beans from the pantry. “Margaret! Open these cans.”

“We don’t have enough beef; I’m going to Ingles.” (4:40)


By the time he returned 10 minutes later, all the other ingredients were in the pot. We browned the beef, mixed it with the other ingredients, and waited for it to boil. By 5:00 everything was done but the transport.

“Wait, you can’t take this over there like this,” Jay said, taking the bubbling pot off the stove and reaching for the crockpot.

“Good idea. That way–”

“They can plug it in.“ He poured the chili into the crock, put the lid on it, and clamped it in place.

“Yeah that . . . “ I swirled it around to stir it, letting it splash up onto the lid. “AND they’ll think I’ve been cooking it all day . . .”

I grabbed a ladle and dashed over to the school.  Luckily, when I arrived at 5:10 they had not even started serving yet. And (until now) no one was the wiser. 

By Aileen MItchell Lawrimore

Aileen Mitchell Lawrimore is a mother x 3, wife x 35 (years not men), minister, speaker, writer, retreat leader, and lover of beagles and books. She has a lot to say.