Wednesday, November 18, 2009
A Focus on Gratitude Day 2
The first childhood house I remember living in was across the street from two sisters: retired teachers and good cooks who taught my sisters and I how to make egg noodles and angel food cakes, who stood even the littlest among us over their kitchen counter with cookie cutters to shape doughnuts to be fried and dusted with cinnamon and sugar, and who brought out the ice cream scoops for root beer floats in the summer. They nourished my sisters and I, with their time, their attention, and the passing on of their talents.
They became adopted grandmothers of sorts, since real grandparents lived much farther away than across the street. As with real grandmothers, holidays and traditions became something we shared. Each Easter we would cross the street (and later, when we moved, drive down the road) to their house for an egg hunt and Easter baskets. Most years, I would find a jar of Maraschino cherries tucked inside my Easter basket (because, in the true nature of grandmothers, they had studied each of us and catalogued away the things that we loved). I ate the cherries straight from the jar, using one of my parents' long-stemmed teaspoons to fish them out as the jar emptied.
I've related this story to Jason once or twice (I tend to repeat myself on accident) over a shared banana split or milkshake. He is also a fan of the Maraschino, and we often find one of us generously handing over the lone cherry dessert-topper (or, on our smarter days, asking the server for a second). On Monday he called to tell me he was stopping by the store on his way home from work. When he came though the door with his shopping bag, he informed me he had brought me a surprise. He handed me the jar of Maraschino cherries above, saying that he remembered that I used to get them in my Easter basket from the ladies across the street. How blessed I am to have delicious childhood memories. And even more so to have the gift of a thoughtful husband who listens to even the smallest of my stories, stores away the important details, and through a simple gift brings my childhood back to me.