Simply, A Cookie and Me

From five feet, this miracle happened. I have no explanation other than a Chips Ahoy supernatural phenomenon. After over fifty years of jamming these cookies into my mouth – without dropping a single one on any floor, it finally happened. Outside … over a newly painted brown patio, one slipped through my piano fingers.

… And landed on its side. Straight up, perpendicular to the the floor, six inches from my sandaled feet. I looked down in amazement. One cookie. One mistake in over five decades of chocolate yumminess and I’m rewarded with a miracle. Yes, a mystery that can’t be explained by a previously waiting-for-a-cookie crack in the concrete, or softness of said cookie that’s advertised as crunchy.

Quickly, I summoned my phone, then my appetite. A five second rule be damned. Even in the midst of a once-in-a 2/3 lifetime event, snack time needed to be obeyed after finishing a few chores. Sure, this wasn’t a mega-million dollar lottery ticket or a $3.7 million Honus Wagner T206 baseball card find during a beautiful Saturday mid-afternoon, last day in July. It was, simply, a cookie on its edge.

If I had the time and tried 256,000 times, the cookie wouldn’t have landed that way. This, today, was purely a chance event. Ok, “miracle” may have been uber-dramatic, but maybe there was some kind of supernatural force at play? Perhaps the physics god stepped in to give me some levity today?

Whatever the reason, having a delicious event happen at my feet was satisfying … necessary, and ironic.

I took today off from my business. Strange to do so considering I was scheduled to be at an event. This was only the second time in sixteen years I’ve skipped out on a cart commitment. When staring at that cookie, I was subtly reminded why.

It was on edge – as I have been recently. Thus, the mental health day. A once-in-almost-never occurrence for a cookie … and me. I believe it was a nod from the universe confirming my decision to reign in a current swirling mental state. By saying, “no”, to agitated brain waves in constant future mode, I’m finding today to be an unfamiliar calm.

A day with nothing except breathing and eating is noticeably different. I’m writing under no duress, but comfortably under a nice summer sun while thinking only about the next few words and sentences.

Tomorrow, thankfully, is more of the same. A two-day weekend including … no business. It’s been forever since I’ve had one and don’t anticipate another one for a while. Thank you, July 31st and August 1st.

Please take care of yourself. Don’t let life get so busy you need to see the miracle of a cookie on its side to remind you being on edge isn’t healthy. Finishing a whole package of Chips Ahoy isn’t healthy, either, which is what I’ll probably do by tomorrow evening.

That’s just what I do. If any fall between my fingers tomorrow, guaranteed they’ll land top down, bottom down, or crack into pieces. As long as these marvelous snacks are the ones cracking up and not me, I’ll consider my decision to not be on edge one of the best choices I’ve made in a long time.

…. And a miracle.

B.A.D. in Delectably Virtuous Way

OK. So, we’re stuck here. Here? Yeah. Freakin’ 2020 … behind masks – out of our favorite restaurants and away from loved ones for many blips on digital calendars. That time being about nine months to date since the droplets hit our shores. Wow. What a tidal wave of emotions and opinions those little molecules turned out to be. This month last year, none of us saw the tsunami coming across magnificent oceans. Seemingly, we were immune from these viral outbreaks happening elsewhere.

Not so fast. Near Seattle, Washington state, then eastward bound … ashore it was – as we were unsure of our future. New York, hit hard … state-wide lockdowns, worry, concern for the elderly and immuno-compromised. All of it so new.

Firmly planted now with so much more knowledge and vaccines to help us, we still remember those lost in the mess of mis-understanding. They have no Christmas or holiday to celebrate with us because stubbornness overtook logic and reason, politics became a barrier – not a bridge, and habitual day-to-day living was too difficult a lane for some from which to turn.

This virus is a nasty sort. It takes from and gives very little back. We are in complete control of those facts. I also know you are aware life has a positive side, too. As we end 2020 – a year of absolute, mindbending twists we never knew possible – this seven day stretch between the 25th and 31st is absolutely B.A.D. in a delectably virtuous way. Remindably so every time a plateful of sweetness slides onto your decorated holiday table already stacked with fudge, brownies, cookies, and cakes lovingly baked by neighbors and friends.

It’s a season of giving, not of taking – the outright opposite of the selfish viral objective. It took so much from us; however bleak, our neighbors, friends, and loved ones are taking this week to turn that bad into a new version of BAD. A most excellent version all of us need.

Lovingly Bought. Acquired ingredients with you in mind. Sugar, spice, and everything nice … oh, and chocolate for sure. If not raw materials for scratch work, maybe time invested buying carefully selected candies from your favorite confectionaire? Whatever the outlay of kindness on your behalf, it was for you …

Lovingly Accepted. You can’t help that full feeling in your belly. Not the over-stuffed, jammed turkey graveyard push-away from the table at Thanksgiving full, but the overwhelming joy – smelling the deep, dark chocolate sitting only inches away. That snickerdoodle, powder cookie, peanut-butter icing waft-wonderful scent waving at you is too irresistible for you to not value the time and energy invested. Waving back through the cellophane or tin seems not enough at the moment. A return call or text within a week or so is appropriate, but first you must …

Lovingly, in a kindly gentile way, Devour. Head first, anything chocolate head of the line, no holds barred, all plates emptied by 12:01 a.m. January 1st, 2021. You’ve done your very best playing by the rules since March 15th. All of us have, and will continue to do so on behalf of our neighbors and friends. This week, alone with your family and that table full of sweetly chunkiness, dive in! Let the crumbs and sugar pieces fly. Rumba later.

For now, enjoy what’s in front of you. If that’s two cookies at a time? So be it. Be B.A.D. for once in your lockdown life this week – Oreo’d in between thorough, stiff rules designed, yes, for our collective safety, but really hard to emotionally handle. I get it. I’m right there with you looking at a tin , now happily half-full of chocolate covered popcorn and pretzels graciously sitting on a table only two feet away (within a comfortable three feet range from shoulder to tips of my very sticky fingers) Ugh. Those little sweet treats are so freakin’ delicious! Absolutley NOT going to last until 2021.

Oh, but don’t worry. I have more around, as I’m sure you do. Bags, plates, and pans – because I have to guess concerning your sweet situation. You’re not supposed to be good right now. I expect you to be bad in a delectably virtuous way. Eat all of it. Lick the plates with passion, tap every nugget, and don’t let this week pass without enjoying every single crumb.

Someone out there is mixing up ingredients for you to appreciate the moments. We can’t see what they’re folding for our futures, but we know there must be something special we can count on being magically injected into the dough. Gobble up a lotta love the next time they knock on your door.

I will because I have awesome friends who know my lack of restraint when piles of cookies remain open in my path. Heartfelt heaps that not-so magically disappear between the 25th and 31st of December. A week when all of us probably bought sugar and spice to make treats for those we love and respect as well.

Today is about giving of ourselves to others. Not only today, but also this week … this month … and especially this year. We’ve given our time, effort, resources, and love to those who need it the most. For some, the virus has been extremely cruel … all take and no give. That’s what it does.

We aren’t that. Our ingredients, mixed in, are virtuous, respectable, and shared in such a good way – on a plate for everyone we admire, and even those we may not. To give of ourselves is the highest honor one can grant to another. A goodness not found in one droplet these days, but found in a tsunami of sweetness as every wave of kindness comes ashoredly on our hearts this season – and across our palates in the form of delectable, really BAD treats.

But, oh they’re so good. Chocolate chip cookies with nuts … just in case you’re stopping by.