Sparky & Reba Eat the World: Origin Story

In July 2003, I found home.

It was such an incredible and strange thing to meet someone for the first time yet know instantly that it was meant to happen just like this.

Unanticipated. Yet completely expected.

Over the last two decades, we have watched our seperate lives fall apart, then we merged and rebuilt them into something magical.

On an ingredient scavenger hunt for our first installment of
Sparky & Reba Eat the World.

There have been an incredible number of struggles, some painfully unfair.

And there have been so many moments of brilliance.

Not everyone’s vision of a shiny diamond, but nothing shines quite so brightly for me as what we have created together.

Clark Griswold

Christmas was never a favourite holiday of mine. Growing up we had nice holidays but they were scattered and hectic split between multiple households.

When I met Sparky, we quickly discussed our difference of opinion on that beloved time of year.

His enthusiasm and excitement hasn’t diminished. In fact, the arrival of our son likely enhanced it for him. I know it did me.

But it is his absolute love of the holiday (and perhaps, some similarities with Clark) that landed Sparky his nickname.

Every year Sparky watches Sparky but we had yet to capture the moment until Christmas 2022.

Patchwork of Life

There are always several ways of looking at things. It’s really an incredible thing: perspective.

Our life has been a hodge-podge from the beginning. And beyond the basic relationship stuff. I mean, between a laundry list of chronic illnesses and a handful of mental illnesses, I brought a lot to the table.

A lot of fucking baggage and hassel more like it.

But Sparky has always taken it all in stride. Even the really rough patches. And the “wish that didn’t happen” patches.

We always joke that he came pre-trained in all things type 1 diabetes after living with his T1D stepfather for years. I recall telling him about my diabetes diagnosis almost immediately and being overwhelmed by his understanding and knowledge.

He has been my biggest cheerleader and supporter of health.

We have mustered, rallied, and restarted more times than I can remember. All while learning our own limitations.

And in acknowledging those, we have been able to craft something truly unique to us.

A Delicious Adventure

We have no money for travel. Like many people.

Our life has been built on a single income with my occasional contract showering in to bolster. But I cost a lot to keep alive and only some of that is covered by insurance and government programs.

I carry a lot of guilt about this and lately this has started to wear on me.

A LOT.

But that’s another blog post entirely.

And as the world becomes increasingly expensive, we searched for a memorable and meaningful way to celebrate our two decades together.

Sparky & Reba Eat the World was born out of our travel dreams and love of food. It promises to be a culinary adventure of epic proportions.

Over the next year we will visit different countries around the globe via well-known national and traditional dishes. A year of dates at home together.

Each month we will research a region or country and curate a menu. Then shop together for ingredients and make a meal.

So instead of a single night out, we will end up spending more time together (isn’t that the real end goal, anyways?) over the course of the month as we plan, hunt for ingredients, and (re)create delicious new-to-us recipes.

And we will share them with you here too!

Stay tuned.

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