Love and a Bag of Broccoli


When COVID-19 first came to America, we all did our part and stayed behind closed doors. The hardest part of those days was not seeing my youngest grandchildren. The two girls couldn’t figure out why they had to see us through a closed door. We have relaxed those restrictions in recent days. I refuse to live in fear. I will open my door to my grandchildren when they come to visit. Thus, the Love and a Bag of Broccoli adventure began when we let the kids come inside.

Rooster and I sat down at the table to eat dinner when a knock sounded at our door. My daughter and her children recently moved into the apartment next to us. They stopped in for a quick visit and to say hello. One of the girls looked at my plate and said, “Grandma, do you have some broccoli?”

How Love and a Bag of Broccoli got started

Rooster and I have a stash of fruit we keep on hand for their visits. We started this habit when they were young. They get the choice between an apple, banana, or orange. The kids always ask for fruit, but this is the first time they requested a vegetable.

I have a stash of frozen vegetables in my freezer. When I suspected I was about to be furloughed again,  I went to the store and bought enough food to get us over the rough patch. My paycheck wouldn’t be coming in, and unemployment is so undependable. So far, we haven’t missed a meal. Frozen bags of vegetables also make a great icepack for a sore knee. Peas are the best, but broccoli will do in a pinch.

The request for love and a bag of broccoli

“I don’t have any raw broccoli. All I have are frozen bags right now,” I told my granddaughter.

“I’ll take one of those,” she said.

“Are you sure? It’ll be cold.”

“That’s okay. I like it that way.”

I opened the freezer and handed the child a frozen bag of broccoli. “Have your mother put it in the microwave and heat it for you,” I said.

“No, I like it just like this.” She walked through my front door with a smile on her face.

Reflection on Love and a Bag of Broccoli\

After they left, I wondered if I was a bad grandma. I’ve made those children talk to me through a closed front door during the early days of COVID. I’d just handed the kid a frozen bag of broccoli. The grandma stereotype played havic in my head. Shouldn’t I be baking cookies or keep a dish of candy out for when they stop by. The more I thought about it, the better I felt. If rooster and I can contribute healthy eating habits to the next generation, I believe we are great grandparents. Those kids don’t need for us to give them junk to eat when they can have an apple, a orange, a banana, or love and a frozen bag of broccoli.

Who is Molly Shea?

Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh.  To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.

Be sure to follow Molly on Twitter!

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Published by henhouselady

I am the author of Saving the Hen House. I didn't know when I started it would turn into a series. I love to ride motorcycles, the blues, my family, and going on adventures. This old hen rocks.

3 thoughts on “Love and a Bag of Broccoli

  1. Broccoli and spinach are the two vegetables that almost everyone hates as a kid, probably because parents and schools know they’re healthy, cheap and easy to cook. and so they become the nasty thing at the side of the plate that gets eaten last in order to be allowed dessert! I was such an awkward kid my parents wouldn’t even risk it and so I never even saw them until I came to cook for myself . I love broccoli, and frozen is so more convenient! I steam it with garlic and grate parmesan cheese on top. I’m also furloughed, but I as my partner works for the local hospital I do most of the cooking and shopping. If she don’t eat it, she don’t get dessert!

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