Friday, December 18, 2020

It's the Little Things

 Today I've been super busy getting ready for Christmas and a beach vacation all at once. There's been so much to do and so little time. 

In order to keep myself on track, I started jotting notes yesterday of all the things I wanted to accomplish today. It seems the older I get the more it helps to unload information by writing it down. 

I was making great headway until a family member wanted to FaceTime. When I stopped to enter the call, I looked at the clock and realized it was almost 3:00 p.m.and I hadn't eaten lunch yet, so the timing of the call was perfect. 

After lunch, I crossed off the tasks I'd completed and looked at the next one on the list- making Sugar Cookie dough. I put it on the list so I'd be ready to cut out cookies with my granddaughter tomorrow. 

I pulled out the ingredients to make the dough, flour, sugar, baking soda, eggs, vanilla, and butter. Gathering my mixing bowls and measuring spoons, I got busy. Mixing the ingredients was cathartic. As I was mixing, I didn't think about anything until time to wrap the dough up to refrigerate. 

Ripping off sheets of wax paper, I divided the dough into two equal portions and wrapped it. As soon as I saw the logs of dough, I was reminded of my younger Girl Scouting days. 

I can still see our group of eager scouts dressed in our green uniforms gathered around the counter in Mrs. Stodghill's kitchen. Mrs. Stodghill was the mother of one of my scouting buddies and she'd volunteered to teach the fine art of baking to our group that day. 

Many of us had never had the opportunity to put together cookie dough. We had no idea the time and preparation it took to make it, all we knew was how good it was to devour raw or cooked. 

Each of the girls in the group was assigned a task. One measured the flour, one the sugar, one the baking soda, and salt. When the dry ingredients were measured carefully into the bowl, another girl had the honor of mixing. Mrs. Stodghill gave clear instructions throughout the process then turned to the other small group of girls and helped us combine the wet ingredients into another bowl. 

If memory serves me correctly, I was the one chosen to crack the egg. I'd never cracked one in my life and was petrified of doing it, but Mrs. Stodghill was so sweet and kind. She stood behind me, her hands on mine and helped me gently tap the egg on the counter then quickly raise and open it over the bowl. Tiny bits of eggshell fell in with the egg. I was so embarrassed. I'd failed the task completely, or so I thought. Mrs. Stodghill laughed and said, "Don't worry! It happens to all of the best cooks. All you need to do is take a spoon and get those little pieces out." I was so thankful she showed me how to remove the eggshells and I was happy she hadn't scolded me. 

When the wet and dry ingredients were mixed together into one large bowl, our adult guide helped us divide the dough and wrap it telling us we'd need to chill the dough before baking. As anxious young girls, I think I remember several whines rising from the group. None of us wanted to wait to make and eat the delicacies. 

Placing my own rolls of dough into the fridge, I had to smile. If my granddaughter had been with me while mixing the dough, I'm sure she would have reacted in much the same way. 

It's funny how I can remember days over 50 years ago but I have a hard time remembering what I did yesterday. 

I'm grateful God gives us the opportunity to pull special memories from our memory bank now and then and I'm thankful for the little things that help jog those memories into the forefront our minds, aren't you? 

I'm sure only a small handful of the girls in my group took time to thank Mrs. Stodghill after our baking lesson was over. I sure hope I was one of them! 

There are many wonderful, gracious ladies like Mrs. Stodghill that helped our Girl Scout troop through the years. They gave of their time and talents because they wanted to see us succeed as young women. It's too bad that kind of caring is rare in the generations growing up today, but there are a few of the priceless gems still out there, ones who were part of our group that day, I'm sure. 

We were raised to have strong morals and values. We were raised to honor and respect our elders. We were taught to be Proverbs 31 women. I'm so glad I grew up that way and I hope, my grandchildren will learn some of those life lessons from me.

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