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  • Writer's pictureBeltsville News

Jason's Jive April 2021 By Jason Inanga

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

So, Texas is officially opened up! We never really shut down as through the pandemic, a lot of people were still up and about. Through my full-time job at FedEx Express, I was able to see a different side of what the pandemic had done. Many business places on my work route, eventually moved from having skeletal staff, to work-from-home, and in some cases, some went out of business. Very sad.

Many of my friends in Maryland have reached out to me, asking if I am okay…others want to know how Texas is adapting to this. Okay my dear reader, it has been a week now, since March 11 and very many people are still wearing their masks, sanitizing hands, maintaining safe distances. I do not know if this is the new way of life going forward, but most have been impacted by Covid and do not appear to want to take chances. Time and data will surely indicate to us the merits or demerits of the decision.

Today, I sadly have had to come to terms with accepting defeat from Mother Nature. I had fought to keep a lime tree alive since last year through the erratic weather we had. My lemon tree shed its leaves and I thought that was the one that I had lost. Wrong! The lemon tree is sprouting new shoots. Sadly, the lime tree that bore leaves up to a few weeks ago, has dried up. The pineapple I tried to grow has also dried up. So, this planting season, I am just going to focus on putting flowers in the garden. I saw some lovely tulips at Home Depot and hope I can still find them in two weeks when I am ready to plant. Are you going to garden this year? What are you going to plant? If you never gardened before, at least take up the challenge and try with a simple plant – herbs or vegetables.

Apples don’t fall far from the tree. My 17-year-old son cooked dinner for us last weekend at home. He did a very good job – making everything from scratch. He made roti (kind of similar to naan bread made in India), he did curried chicken and potatoes, coleslaw, and chickpeas. Desert was toasted almonds and walnuts covered in some kind of brown sugar syrup. The hard part of allowing a teenager to cook dinner was the wait. Took him almost five hours. His siblings and I got restless at some point because we were hungry, and he appeared to be in no rush. I was proud to see him in the kitchen. It reminded me of when I was younger. My mother had put me in the kitchen at an early age – helping her to bake, to churn ice cream the old-fashioned way, to wash dishes, sweep and mop the floor. I was able to bake my first cake at age 10, unsupervised. I did get in trouble for that. We were living in Kingston, Jamaica at the time. My brother, Glen, and I had come home early from school. There was nothing in the house to eat – there were no stores near us on the campus of the University of the West Indies. So, I baked, disobeying my parents orders not to ever use the stove without supervision. The deal I had with Glen, was that we would eat everything and wash up so my parents would have no idea. I baked shortbread cookies and gave him extra, to prevent him from telling my parents. Siblings! I thought I had everything covered. Would you believe that Glen (aged 6 at the time), reneged on our agreement? As soon as Mum came through the door, he excitedly went and told her I baked without her permission. Of course, I got beaten for disobeying…after that I promised Glen that if I ever baked or made lemonade, I would not share with him.

So, seeing my son in the kitchen brought back memories. The meal was good, but as we told him, next time he cannot starve us that long while he cooks. Do you remember the first thing you ever cooked on your own? Please write me at With your permission, I would like to publish your story on my Jive.

I will conclude this Jive by giving a shout out to 14-year-old Hannah Joy Tobias, a student at Beltsville Adventist School, who recently had an article published in Guide Magazine. I will try to get a link to the article and share with you. Have a nice one.

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