When a Moment of Silence is in Order
May 29, 2007
Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It was lovely, a lovely show, and it got me thinking about things, and how Memorial Day has always been a low-key day as I recall. We've never done much on Memorial Day as far as picnics and gatherings go. The kids tend to want to spend the day at home relaxing before the last push until the end of school, and this year Mr. Sundberg was out on the east coast all weekend giving talks to families of soldiers overseas.
He called Monday night and seemed a bit worn out and not much for conversation. "Tell me something," he said, so I told him about the show, and how I made a triple batch of chocolate chip cookies while I listened and ended up frying the motor on the food processor with all the oats I ground up. I told him about how I interrupted a silence thick as stew over at the Thorntons' when I stopped by Sunday to drop off some cookies and see how their pear trees are coming along. The Thorntons are about as different as moonshine and chicken pot pie, and a prime example of the theory that opposites attract. He's all about what's next and getting going and how great the day is, and she's into what's missing and staying put and how great the day could have been. He runs toward, she runs from. He can't find his checkbook; she has a record of every check written since way back when. He plants flowers, she pulls weeds. And whenever I drop by, the only thing I interrupt is quiet, and it seems they like it that way.
And I told Mr. Sundberg about the service over at the cemetery Monday morning, and how the veterans showed up right on time and there was a salute, and "Taps", and a general stillness came over everyone. Children recited poems, old men lay down flowers, the pastor said a prayer, and that was that. Looking around at the crowd, I thought to myself how these are the people a person could rely on in a crisis. They pay good attention, and know when a moment of silence is in order.
You still there? I asked Mr. Sundberg. "I am," he said. We sat there on the phone for a good stretch, neither of us speaking. After a while, he said, "Well, time to hit the hay. I'll be home Tuesday night. Save a cookie for me." Will do, I said. We said "I love you" at the same time, and both chuckled, and he hung up first. I sat there a bit, listening to the beeping of the phone, and thinking what a good man he is and how maybe the Thorntons do belong together. After all, if you can be quiet together, and you're both comfortable and no one's paranoid or feeling awkward, isn't that the frosting on the cake?
Mrs. Sundberg's Good and Good for Ya Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 c butter
1 c white sugar
1 c brown sugar
Cream together above ingredients.
1 t vanilla
Mix some more.
2 c flour
2 1/2 c blended oatmeal
(I use a coffee grinder to pulverize the oatmeal. Adjust coarseness to your liking. Some like it coarse. I prefer it fine.)
1/2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips (2 cups if you're serious about chocolate)
Mix well. Bake for 6-7 minutes at 375.
Makes about 60 cookies.