Snickerdoodles with Grandma
The cinnamon aroma drifts through the house, starting in the kitchen. Grandma places a few of the finished cookies on the cooling rack while she waits for the timer to ding on the rest. Holiday happiness infuses her soul and the smile on her wrinkled face grows as Chelsea rings the bell and steps inside.
"Hey grandma. Are those snickerdoodle cookies baking?"
"They are dearie, but don't go eating all of them. I'm making care packages, you know."
Grandma shuffles over to Chelsea and wraps her in a hug--grandma's head only reaching shoulder high.
"How about I help you with the cookie packages and you tell me what's new?"
The light lemon colored walls of the kitchen invite the women to sit at the small white table and reminisce on Grandma's current life. But first Grandma pulls the cookies from the oven so they don't burn.
"You know, dear, I saw a young lady who looked exactly like you two days ago. Strangest thing. She was at the Piggly Wiggly buying onions."
"So my doppelgänger just bought onions? Well that's odd." Chelsea fills the room with her laugh as Grandma smiles and spatulas the cookies from the oven tray to the cooling rack.
"She may have been buyin' somethin' else too but I didn't notice."
"Uh huh. My evil twin has some weird buying purchases. But then again, so do I sometimes."
"You know who else is bein' all uppity lately? Gertie, that's who."
"But Gertie's so sweet--"
"Now don't go makin' a brouhaha. She's been a flibbertigibbet her whole life. Lately she's just more self-centered."
Grandma grabs a paper towel for each of them and brings over two still hot snickerdoodles for them to enjoy. They both bite into the soft, hot, cinnamon cookies and make an 'mmm' sound at the same time. Chelsea really never did fall far from the tree.
Once they finish their single dessert, Chelsea asks, "What makes her more self-centered now?"
"She and that husband of hers, Roger, are asking everyone to chip in one hundred dollars each so they can indulge in a high-end fireplace. They could just buy a personal heater they way the rest of us do. Self-centered the lot of them."
Instead of continuing down the road of how selfish and awful Gertie's become, Chelsea stands and picks up another cookie. She grabs one for Grandma as well as a glass of water for herself.
"Would you want to watch Home Alone with me, Grandma? Maybe that'll be a good way to get into the holiday spirit."
"Sounds good to me, dearie. If you want to set that up, I'll fill a glass of water for myself, too. Meet you on the couch in a few."
Chelsea munches her second cookie while searching for Home Alone on Netflix. Once she finishes the set up, Grandma trundles into the room and plops down on the couch.
"Of course, dear."
After hearing that, Chelsea hits 'play'.
Neither speaks for the first half hour, engrossed in the movie. Only after that does Chelsea hear Grandma whisper under her breath, "What a whippersnapper."
Chelsea agrees with that sentiment.
By the end of the movie, Grandma guffaws and sighs in happiness. "That little Kevin enjoyed some schadenfreude. Good for him."
Her granddaughter's smile is not for the movie itself, but in response to Grandma's joy. Chelsea loves seeing her grandmother every week. It's what helps her through the other bleak days until she can come by again.
"Thanks for the girls' night, Grandma. I can't wait until next week."
"You say that every Sunday, dear. But I'll be happy to see you again, too."
Grandma stands on the tips of her toes to kiss Chelsea on the cheek before Chelsea wraps back up in her coat and takes a step out towards her car. "Dear, hold on. Let me wrap up a few cookies for you. All the extras are yours."
"Oh you don't have to." But Grandma is already back in the kitchen by the time Chelsea finishes her sentence. Grandma seems to be able to speed walk when the mood suits.
Now, with cookies in hand, Chelsea kisses Grandma on the cheek one last time before bundling farther into her coat and making her way to the car. She waves to Grandma as Grandma waves back before Chelsea drives away.
Grandma walks back inside, sighing now that she's alone again. But then she parcels out the remaining snickerdoodles as she smiles. What a wonderful granddaughter. I can't wait to see her next week. First though, the cookie exchange and then bridge.
*NOTE: This story is partly in collaboration with Timothy Kenny who is found on Twitter at @cerealandrubber. He provided me with the following words to use (doppelgänger, schadenfreude, brouhaha, whippersnapper, flibbertigibbet, and snickerdoodle) and suggested a holiday story. Too bad I couldn't make it a Hallmark story like he suggested as well. :D
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