The Last Oatmeal Cookie and Other Stories

So, winter has been a little on the meek side so far this year leaving me lots of spare time. It IS winter, mind you, with night time temps currently running minus 12° or so and days in the low 20’s under a bright polar blue. About 20” of snow lays about, the meager result of eight or ten errant storms brushing by, artfully dodging at the last moment to the north or south. There is yet another storm in the beleaguered forecasters’ visions. Time to reflect, time to explore a little, time to look back, forward and for each pleasure of the day.

One of the daily, but short-lived, pleasures was the carefully misered batch of oatmeal/raisin/pecan cookies joyously provided by my sister Joyce last summer and hidden in the freezer. Old family recipe. Don’t even think of making them with walnuts or some other heresy. Pecans. Gone too soon.

Another pleasure, of sorts, has been sorting my father’s slides from the 1950’s-1980’s for eventual translation to digital format. Herein lays the hallowed history of a fantastically connected family on hundreds of camping trips and birthdays and towns and homes where our bonds were forged, never to be broken. Warning: Ektachrome fades over time. Get busy! The batch labeled “Colorado – 1957” seems particularly poignant as do the construction photos of Shalom. Were we ever so young? The emotional toll of 5,000 vignettes staggers me. This will take a while.

In between slide sessions – or perhaps because of them- I cook and read and explore a bit. The mining history of the area seems sadly to be crumbling ever so quickly under the weight of a hundred winters. Their memories are buried in the little Tincup Cemetery. The books take me to other times or places or events outside my world. And, did I mention the killer cornbread?

Click on the first photo below for the slideshow.