The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
-By Elaine Slater Reese - Spring Green, Wi.
I would not be exaggerating if I said that if I had a dollar for every sugar cookie my mother made in her lifetime I would be rich. Once in a while she made a few batches of chocolate chip dough but the safe bet was always the cookie jar would be filled with her wonderful sugar cookies. She didn't put lots of icing on them - maybe just a few different colored sprinkles. I always thought using all that real butter was her secret to success.
Because none of her six grandchildren lived in the same state as she did, the son of my folk's doctor choose them for his adoptive grandparents. He always headed straight for the cookie jar in the big old cupboard. All else he needed was just a tall glass of cold milk.
But every time Mom learned that any of our family would be visiting, she headed for the stockpile in the freezer. Time passed. We all could see that it was becoming more and more difficult for her to produce the mounds of cookies she wanted to make for us. But she refused to give up.
Then one night came the phone call we dreaded. There would be no more sugar cookies. There were so many wonderful memories to be thankful for. My sister lived closer than I did so she was the one who packed most of Mom's belongings. We agreed that sometime later we would go through them together. We did and we each choose items that had special meaning for us.
One of the items in one of the boxes was the old white sweater that Mom seemed to always wear. I know she felt warm in it. I gently folded it and put it in the pile I would be taking home.
When I got home I put the box of items I had chosen in the bottom of my closet. Someday: someday I would be ready to open it. The days, weeks, and months passed. It was always so important for Mom to know that her family received gifts from her each Christmas. But that wouldn't happen this year.
I realized how cold I felt. And there in front of me was that box in the closet. I opened the lid and the item on top was that old white sweater that just seemed to be her trademark. I put it on and understood why she could never discard it. It was so soft and so warm. Without even thinking I put my hands in the pockets. No, it couldn't be! It just could not possibly be! I held it in the palm of my hand.
Slowly I Iooked down. THERE WAS ONE OF HER SUGAR COOKIES - IN ABSOLUTELY PERFECT CONDITION in my hand. And for just a moment I thought I saw the angels in Heaven rejoicing as they celebrated the birth of Jesus the Christ Child. And who knows - there's a big chance Mom made sugar cookies for all.
Elaine Reese is a freelance writer, who grew up in Hancock County. She considers that home. She's lived in Wisconsin 20+ years. She says, "The Quill" always keeps her updated.