Cody Turns Three!

Chocolate cake and lights was all I had to go on for Cody’s third birthday party. I knew I had hit the target when he woke up to find lights strung throughout the living and dining room and his eyes followed the colorful strings of lights to a big chocolate cake in the center of the table.


“My friends are coming soon?” he asks.
“Yes, in about two hours. Want to see the cake?”
He nods enthusiastically and climbs into a chair to get a closer look. The cover on the cake removed, Cody smiled broadly, “Miles from Tomorrowland! Chocolate cake! Lights! Can I taste it?” He quickly swiped a finger full of icing and the party began.

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Christmas Poinsettia

I was barely five years old and the brick steps in her garage were high. The railing was of little help to my short arms as I balanced from step to step behind my mother. As soon as we entered the kitchen the warm smell of a boiling chicken in a pot on the stove met my round face. My cheeks flushed pink with the sound of her voice, “Good morning Charity Ann…” I shyly tucked behind my mother’s hip, peeking around to my Nannie, my mother’s mother. She was at her usual spot at the stove stirring and checking. She was midway through her workday at 9am, as she often rose before the sun to read her Bible. A farm girl from Franklin, Virginia, she knew the importance of home cooking and hard work. She was equal magic and intimidation.


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Tracking December

The houses are constructed. The icing glue is set. Cousins are waiting patiently at the dining room table, resisting attempts to get into the building materials: red and black licorice, sour patch kids, jujubes, and snowcaps. Soon the butter knives are in hand and the fun begins! Globs of icing lazily hold a candy here and there. Licorice rope flops as a poor roof line. No matter, the fingers carrying quickly divert to smiling faces and cheeks are filled with more sugary sweets than any mother would like to admit.


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Cookies! and the Famous O’Harry Bar Recipe

Warmed ovens. Chilled dough. Accoutrements galore. Stools pulled to counters. Books stacked in chairs for little buddies to participate fully. Patient, loving, hands guiding smaller ones from step to step; rolling out dough, cutting into fun shapes, decorating little master pieces. It was the traditional cookie day of my childhood. We would go to a family friends’ house, the Moss, to busy ourselves between sugary recipes galore. My mom needed the reinforcements to accomplish such a task and we are forever grateful to Mrs. Moss for allowing us to dirty up her kitchen every Christmas season.


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