Sugar Cookie

The perfect balance between soft and firm, slightly crumbly, a little buttery and always sweet.

A singular “love-irritate” relationship

My mother made THE BEST sugar cookies.

Everyone says that, I know. Or that they found the most delicious cookies at such-and-such a cafe in such-and-such a little town, or that so-and-so’s aunt’s are to die for.

I’ll not argue.

Mom’s were the best.

I stand pat.

She made them around Christmas and Easter. She almost always frosted them with a glaze that she colored appropriately for the holiday – green, red and white for Christmas, pink and green pastels for Easter. The perfect balance between soft and firm, slightly crumbly, a little buttery and always sweet. Yummy.

Mom died in 2014

Cancer.

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Those Were the Pre-Coronadays, My Friends

This coronavirus thing sucks. I feel you.

Life Before 25-Step Mail Routines
&  Other Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviors

Today is not a Monday, I’m afraid. Nor is it a Friday. Or even a Sunday.

I’m sorry to be the one to deliver this sad bit of news. It is a heavy burden, but one I shall discharge with dignified stiff upper lip.

In actuality, today is – as yesterday was before it and tomorrow will be after it – Coronaday.

Or perhaps I should say, today is ANOTHER Coronaday.

You know what I’m talking about.

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Jesus Christ and Happy Days in Three Tiny Towns

We all pay for our sins somehow.

We all pay for our sins somehow.

The cousins ran like mad from the way-back yard where I’d found my Easter basket to the group of adults watching in the spring sunshine.

“Wait!” I yelled. “Stop! Oh– Wait!– No!…,” as their backs receded from me, around the corner of the house to the south side of the Jund home in Zeeland, N.D., to all my aunts, uncles, grandparents… everyone.

“Dad! Dad!” shouted a breathless cousin to one of my many uncles waiting there in the yard with their wives. “You’ll never guess what Marty got in his basket!”

The parents were already looking my way, many with smiles on their faces. Several looked at my Grandpa Ben, hiding a grin behind his hand.

Ten years old. My face, red hot. Shame in a can.

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Raisins to the Rescue

Jump. Run. Walk. Ball. Throw. Catch. Milk. Baby… Mother.

Work. Play. And Remembering That Very First Day.

Dick. Jane. Wow.

It’s been a long, long time.

This card and about half a dozen more were hiding at the bottom of a box in our basement for who knows how long. I’m guessing they languished there or in a different one in my mother-in-law’s storage space for years. She taught school for more than 30 years, so that’s probably where they came from.

Images and sensations of the two-room schoolhouse in Medora, N.D., where I completed 1st through 4th grades under the guidance of, first, Mrs. McCusky, then Ms. Anderson, swept through my head when I found the cards. They were the two teachers I had over those four years.

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Three Cities

Madrid, Paris and London in two weeks. Wow. Awesome trip. I tried to look at it a little differently here and there along the way. Here’s some of what I saw –

“Tubers”

Madrid, Paris and London in two weeks.

Wow.

I met my daughter, Saela, in Madrid on June 25, which happened to be the 25th anniversary of my wedding to my lovely bride, Cassi. It was tough to be apart on that day, but the next couple of weeks made up for it.

Saela and I flew to Paris and met Cassi, Martin V and Mira on June 27. We were there for five days, checking out the “usual” awesome stuff, like the Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Cœur and Champs-Élysées, except for one day to and from Valenciennes in northern France for a World Cup football match at the Stade du Hainaut between The Netherlands and Italy. (The Dutch won and went on to meet the USA in the final.)

The EuroStar took us through The Chunnel to London on July 2. In addition to all the “usual” sights, like Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and The Tower of London, we also traveled to Leavesden in Hertfordshire one evening to take in the Warner Bros. Studios Harry Potter Experience. They shot all of the movies there, and the Harry Potter Experience is now a permanent part of the campus.

Awesome trip.

I tried to look at it a little differently here and there along the way. Here’s some of what I saw:

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Sacred Things

She died on Palm Sunday. I think that would have made her happy, as she drew her last breaths, knowing that she was going to die on a significant day on the church calendar. I held her hand all that morning. Now I hold the bean stone.

I’ve been carrying a rock around in my pocket for a couple of months.

The smooth, bean-shaped stone is about an inch and a half long, half an inch wide and five sixteenths of an inch thick. It’s smooth, like a worry stone. Not perfectly smooth, like the kind you’d find in a gift shop. But smooth in a natural way, with some imperfections and slight ridges that make you know it’s real.

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