Have Cookies--Will Travel
I don’t recall why I shirked my responsibility to the cookies I’d spent a day baking and another whole day icing and decorating in festive sugars. Maybe I was making sure our daughter was bringing some toys to play with or that she was wearing some form of leg covering for warmth. She went through a phase where she refused to wear socks or tights because the seams bothered her.
As my husband took a right onto the road in our subdivision leading to the entrance, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something red flying close to the car. I commented that I’d never seen a cardinal get that close to a moving vehicle. Before the station wagon made it to the next cross street, a burst of yellow flashed by the window in much the same way the cardinal had only seconds before. I asked my husband what sort of yellow birds nest in Georgia in the winter. The car slowed. Wes’s eyes widened. His lips parted like he was going to answer my question, but no words emerged from his throat.
That’s when a third “bird”—this time a green one moving much more slowly than the previous two—slid past my window. Yes, the birds were in fact my sugar cookies. I voiced what my husband could not-- and perhaps in a more shrill than festive manner—something about whether or not he’d put the cookies on the roof of the car. That’s about the time he slammed on the brakes. A gentle stop might have been a better choice. The platters and what was left of the cookies kept going, proving some law of motion I don’t recall from high school science class.
The glass platter? Shattered into many tiny pieces. My old-fashioned painted tin plate, empty of cookies, rolled down the dip in the road like a penny on its side. The cookies I’d spent so many hours baking and decorating? A few found a soft landing on some neighbor’s brown Bermuda lawn. Most others were in various states of decomposition in a sad little trail that meandered along the asphalt road behind the station wagon.
My daughter sniffled loudly that the only dessert at Aunt Bonnie’s would be cake and pie. Yes, shocking but true, when my daughter was little she didn’t like cake or pie. My husband sent a sheepish expression my way, the one that usually vaporizes my anger. He apologized, too. I said nothing. I got out of the car and walked down the hill, past crumbs of buttery sweetness that the birds would hopefully enjoy and picked up my scratched and dented tin platter from the spot where it stop careening. What little sun was left in the sky dwindled. Neighbors, oblivious to the disaster beyond their doors, turned on their Christmas lights, and I decided I wouldn’t be angry. It was Christmas, a time of joy. I walked back to the station wagon, got in, clicked my seatbelt into position and said something cheesy like “I guess that’s how the cookie crumbles.”
Every Christmas since, Wes, Cynthia and I check to make sure the cookies are in the van rather than on top of it preparing to take a ride to certain crumbdom.
Have any holiday disasters you'd like to share? Oh, and the secret to my wonderful sugar cookies is Pillsbury dough!