October 25, 2009

Grandparents, homemade cookies, & licking cream off milkcaps


     Ahhh…the scents of days past…of grandmothers who actually baked the cookies they served their grandchildren…and grandchildren who licked the cream off the cap of the milk their grandmother poured.
     Times change.
     As a child I licked the cream off the cardboard caps that sealed glass milk bottles while eating the breakfast my grandmother cooked. Today, I take my granddaughter out to breakfast and she licks the last drops of Creamora from a little cup that I take from the bowl of coffee creamers on the table.
     Homemade cookies were once the mark of a grandmother back then. But my granddaughter and I never bake cookies together. My baking days ended when my children grew up and left home. It’s now more expedient to purchase such items from the store shelves now that I have moved into “another life” that includes writing and health problems. When I cook I eat. Part of the fun of making cookies is sampling the raw cookie dough, and all the rich fat in the shortening increases my cholesterol. All the sugar adds calories that increase waistline expansion, requiring extra miles of blood vessels, which take years off one’s life.
     Life evolved in other dimensions too. My granddaughter takes me into the world of the working mother. I was a stay-at-home mom, compromising with the feminists by operating a child care home with some planned programming.    My house looked it—painted papers hung from string lines, toys were scattered all over.
     When my granddaughter was a mere infant I often packed my manuscript, my laptop, my camera and my other office paraphernalia into a briefcase, and filled a diaper bag with formula, diapers and blankets to protect her from dirty newspaper office carpets. I was experiencing the world of the “working mother,” albeit a generation distant.
     Never did I dream I would become the “working grandmother” who didn’t supply my grandchild with homemade cookies but instead fed her crackers while I consulted with the editor of the newspaper where I freelanced.
Will she recall the scent of ink, newspaper and remnant cigar smoke with the familiarity I recall the scent of baked cookies?
     One can only guess how she will be with her own grandchildren. Will she will reverse the trend and return to the days of wonderful kitchen smells, like the ones that greeted grandchildren in the days of yore?   
     Experiences between grandparents and grandchildren are like other trends that march through times and places. The key, however, isn’t the experience but the relationship, which transcends whichever trend is currently popular. My wish is that all grandparents and all grandchildren will look back on whatever their activities together were, and say these activities enriched their relationship. If this happens, then the cross-generational experience will have succeeded.




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True Love

G-20 Poem

AT FORT LIGONIER: Excerpt from book, WARPATH

Grandparents, homemade cookies, & licking cream off milkcaps

Should your cat be kept indoors or outdoors?



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