Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sugar Cookie Smiles

I've loved writing for as long as I can remember.  Ever since I first wrote the words, "Dear Diary" as a child, I've been compelled to put pen to paper and share.  To anyone who knows me well, it is no secret that one of my lifelong goals and dreams is to write a book.  For awhile, I thought it would be children's book and even took some classes working towards that goal.  Now, I feel God pulling me to a different path.  I can already envision the cover of the book my heart needs to write.  It's not a subject I would've wished for myself, but I feel called to write a book on child loss, more importantly, about finding hope through loss and learning to move forward.

Tonight though I'd like to share a short story that's not so heavy.  It's an assignment from one of the writing classes I took.  Perhaps it is a lazy way out from posting a blog tonight but it is a story near to my heart and falls in line with my thankful moment today - the love for writing and appreciating the gift given to me for words to flow so freely.


The walk between my grandmothers’ homes isn’t far, but I always linger along the way. The path offers silence and privacy, nestled far enough away from the houses at each end. There’s a line of oak trees on one side, a haven to cardinals and blue-jays, who sometimes sing to me on my walk.

The hilly path has history and I often wonder what my mom, and even my grandmother, was like at my age. This path, stomped by the feet of my family through the years, is now dusty and worn. Puffs of dirt settle on my shoes and fill the air if I run. The final hill leading to my great-grandmother’s yard is steep. Hidden among it are small stone steps that help you down.

Grandmother’s house is green, a pale, worn green like a faded picture in a coloring book. Two aged, metal poles pull gently at ropes tied between, holding the day’s wash. The clothes, still damp to the touch, smell of freshly fallen rain.

At first descent upon the backyard, you are instantly filled with sugary scents of cinnamon and vanilla. There are always cookies cooling for the next guest, rimmed in sparkling sugar, and topped with raisins in the shape of a smiley face.

The back porch creaks, announcing my arrival. A metal roof hangs above, weather worn and rusted from the years. When it is raining, you have to rush onto the porch or your head will be soaked from the water that collects there. Today though, the sun smiles down on the house and creates patterns of shade upon the yard.

The window is open and I can see Grandma working in the kitchen. She pretends I’m not there, continuing to pull fresh cookies from the oven. Opening the back screen door, she is forced to look up, as it screeches with every inch I pull it. Her face, full of lines and creases, forms into a happy smile. “Hurry child, before all the flies come in with you,” she says sweetly.

I don’t even have to ask, and she begins to pour a fresh, cool glass of milk, as I sit at the counter. The glass forms little droplets of water and I watch them slowly slide down, as my hand goes around it. I’m ready for a drink but not before biting into one of those cookies.

The warm scent of the cookie wafts up, enveloping me in comfort. The raisin smile reminds me of my grandma’s face, wrinkled and sweet. She watches me, as if it is first time I’ve tasted one. I think she gets more enjoyment from baking them for me than I do eating the cookies! The first bite always leaves a sugary trail behind, landing on my shirt and the countertop below.

I savor a few more before heading back. I skip home down the path, wondering how many smiles have been shared by family, while eating Grandma’s sugar cookies over the years.


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