Pages

Sweet Memories

~Photo Credit~
Martha was retired, and her children were grown with lives of their own.  Still, there was nothing that pleased them more than a box of homemade cookies in the mail.  She had just hung up the phone  after talking with her son who had called to thank her for his Christmas cookies; she could tell he was munching on them as they talked. 

Martha smiled, remembering her childhood, wearing one of her mama's pretty aprons, kneeling on a chair at the table to be tall enough to help roll out cookie dough. Christmas cookies were, of course, her favorite, since she got to choose which cutters to use, and was in charge of sprinkling them with colored sugar before the cookies went into the oven to bake.  Her mama had all kinds of tin cookie cutters... stars and moons, bells and trees, hearts and gingerbread men, and even a little cat and dog. 

Christmas as a child meant that the kitchen was always filled with the smells of wonderful things baking in the oven. In her mind she could still see her mother standing there, a mixing bowl in one hand, and her wooden spoon in the other.  That wooden spoon had originally belonged to her mother's mother, and now it hung on a hook in a place of honor in Martha's kitchen.  It was the one item she had carried home with her following her mother's funeral. 
 
As Martha's own children grew up, she had continued the tradition of cookie baking and letting them help her as her own mother had done.  A warm feeling welled up inside her as she remembered their glowing faces and sugary hands as they tried to outdo each other's decorating efforts with cinnamon candies and frosting, and how proud they were when she helped them arrange their cookies in boxes tied up with colored cellophane and ribbon to take to their teachers.
 
Martha's mother had sent her cookie care packages right up to end of her life. A tear trickled down Martha's cheek as she remembered the final box of cookies, complete with the Christmas napkins that her mother always included.  Her mom had died just nine days into the new year, and ever since Christmases didn't seem quite the same without that gift of homemade cookies.
 
Martha's mind floated off in sweet memories of years gone by, and barely heard the soft knocking on her front door.  Peeking out the window she saw the little neighbor girl whose family had just moved in a few months ago.  She opened the door to greet Kristin, who stood carefully  balancing a plate of Christmas cookies in her small hands.  Smiling shyly, she held them out to Martha and said "My mama and I made these for you!" 
 
A smile spread across Martha's face as she reached to take the plate from Kristin.  "Why thank you, they are just beautiful!" she said.  "I think they are the prettiest ones I've ever seen!" Kristin beamed.  "Would you like to come inside and share one with me?  I have hot chocolate that would be so good with them, and we could put some little marshmallows in it if you like." 
 
Kristin ran back across the yard to ask her mother, who had been keeping an eye on the delivery from their front porch. She nodded her head and waved to Martha as Kristin came sailing back to Martha's door and was soon perched on a stool in her kitchen, enjoying what was to be the first of many wonderful visits they would share in the years ahead, more sweet memories in the making.   
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This story was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are whisper or sweet

10 comments:

  1. Nice to have these kind memories. The holidays can be so difficult without someone to share them with. Good story. I hope it reminds people to think of those who may be alone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so too, Annie. Christmas is a lonely time for so many, spreading a bit of Christmas love is what the message of the season is all about. These kinds of efforts are far more important than shopping 'til we drop!

      Delete
  2. Oh this is a sweet story- I wish more people cared about these little acts of kindness!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank You Terri! Christmas is the season of giving! We can make a difference, all we have to do is care, and put forth a little effort. Every family should make it a part of their Christmas to do at least one small thing for someone else, and hopefully more!

      Delete
  3. Those sweet memories of so many Christmases. Especially so were the family get togethers when uncles aunts and grandparents from so far away would gather. both mine and my wife's families were great card players; nothing serious but such a good laugh. Your post took me back to those early years of my marriage when life was heaven.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems like forever ago when life was that simple and sweet, doesn't it Robin? The older we get the more memories we carry with us, both happy and sad. It is hard not to be a bit nostalgic, especially during times like Christmas. I wish that everyone could have some sweet memories from both childhood and their adult life, it gives us something to smile about as we grow old. :-)

      Delete
  4. Even the littlest things make a difference. Cookies can be the beginning of peace on Earth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are absolutely right, Mimi. We don't have to do huge things, make a big fancy show of effort, we just have to give from the heart with love, a plate of cookies, a shoveled sidewalk, a ride to the grocery store... it all makes a difference, so does a smile and a kind word to strangers. It's funny how the most gruff of characters will often smile back when you least expect it!

      Delete
  5. I am terribly behind in commenting these days - so very glad I popped in for a minute to read this story. Sweet memories are such treasures at this time of year. I think it is an important reminder of those who are dealing with tough situations or loss too, at this time of year. What a great thought to be mindful to reach out to others - you just never know how you might brighten a day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm delighted to see you dropping by, Carrie. Yes, Christmas is so very tied up in memories, and it's nice to share some good ones. Because of the clients I work with I am ever mindful of how hard this season can be, and I realize how even one small act of kindness makes such a big difference. Christmas is the season of giving, we need to focus on that rather than the season of shopping!! :-)

      Delete

Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)