Millie's Meal

Millie accounted for every penny. Food and ingredients were stretched to take advantage of everything. She once remarked, “I thought of pizza sauce on cardboard so the cardboard wouldn’t be wasted.”
Chuck, her husband was shiftless although a talented man. He could build a house from top to bottom. The problem was when he got a job something happened on the way to the work site; the call of the wild, the smell of the hunt, the freedom of the open country - call it what you like, but often Chuck would take off and go hunting or fishing. And not necessarily those things; anything that brought him pleasure and entertainment.
The family lived near poverty and he seemed to care little as long as he had ammunition for his vast collection of rifles.
It was a Friday when he left the house early. He planned to spend an hour in the dessert shooting jackrabbits before heading to a job site. But wouldn’t you know, he was having so much fun he lost track of time and before he knew it, it was near noon and he was hungry.
At a little past noon he pulled into the driveway and climbed down from his four-wheel drive truck.
He burst through the door like a hungry farm hand.
“Ya got somethin’ for me to eat?” Chuck said.
Millie was in the kitchen and mouthed his first words; “Ya got somethin’ for me to eat?” Because she knew them so well.
“I’m hungry,” Chuck added crudely. “I spent the morning shooting jackrabbits. It helps the ranchers.”
“I think we could used the help around here,” Millie said. “And what about the job?”
“Too late to start today,” Chuck said. “I started something out on the range. I’m going to finish it up. What did you fix me?”
“A ham sandwich and potato soup,” Millie said.
Chuck grabbed the paper and quickly looked through it. “You missed some coupons. I told you we got to tighten our belts around here. You better go through the paper again.”
Chuck sat at the kitchen table. “Where’s your sandwich?”
“There wasn’t enough for two,” Mille said.
Chuck lifted the bread. “Where’s the meat? There’s hardly any meat. Ya gotta have more meat than that. A man’s gotta have meat.”
She pressed her lips. “Start bringing home some money and maybe you can afford more meat,” Millie said.
She waited a long time to say that.

Chuck chomped into his sandwich. Millie sipped her soup. That was her most satisfying meal ever.