“I’m Not Too Fond of Soup”

“I like the stewed tomatoes.  I could eat those every day,” says 85-year-old Patsy Phillips when asked to pick her favorite food from the Meals on Wheels Central Texas kitchen.

Ms. Phillips lives with her son and daughter-in-law in their Leander home and eats dinner with them every night.  But she’s alone during the day and depends on our daily deliveries of a nutritious lunch.  “I take 20-something pills a day.  I have to eat before I take those,” she says of the medication she uses to treat her diabetes and a chronic lung disease.  She’s the first to admit – growing old has not been easy.  “The Golden Years, I haven’t seen anything golden about them yet,” she says.

Born in Amarillo, Texas in 1932, Ms. Phillips was an only child.  Her dad was a machinist with the Fort Worth and Denver Railway, and her mom was a bank teller.  “I got married before I finished high school,” Ms. Phillips recalls.  She was 15-years-old.   Her new husband, Don Phillips, was 18.  They eventually had four children together, and Mr. Phillips worked as a cabinet maker to support his growing family, while Ms. Phillips stayed home to raise their two sons and two daughters.  “They kept me busy at school volunteering for different projects and what not,” she says.  The couple was married for 35 years before Mr. Phillips passed away after a battle with cancer.

When asked how two teenagers defied the odds and forged a relationship that withstood the test of time, Ms. Phillips credits the fact that she and her late husband grew up learning how to fend for themselves.  “He was raised with a lot of responsibilities, and I was raised more or less by myself because my mom and dad both worked,” she says.  That’s how she learned to cook at an early age.  “I liked to bake,” she says of cooking for her husband and children.  “We also had a lot of sirloin steak broiled and fried potatoes.  Not too healthy,” she says with a chuckle.

Her cooking days now behind her, she’s grateful for the nutritious assistance she receives from Meals on Wheels Central Texas.  “If I’m going to eat lunch, it’s either a can of soup or Meals on Wheels.  And I’m not too fond of soup.  I can take it every now and then, but not much,” she says.  Not to worry, Ms. Phillips, we’ve got more stewed tomatoes and other healthy food headed your way!