Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Neighborhood Cookie Exchange

One day, several neighbors got together to share stories and a cup of coffee. The snow from the night before had buried their street in 8 inches of marshmallow-like coating. We are not all the same kind of neighbors on our street. Some homes are upscale, some are modest. We are very different people in these homes; age, religious affiliations, and political ideas should separate us. For some reason, those viewpoints do not.

Each neighbor brought a homemade treat, in bags or on plates, for their friends. I took 9 bags of caramels, I received 9 plates of treats in exchange.

We caught up on children and grandchildren, life and love, deaths and illnesses, and planned a spring garage sale. The woman that had had heart trouble was there. We talked of pacemakers, upcoming graduation parties, and college plans. We talked of weather. When one mentioned that she was snowbound without flour for baking, 2 neighbors offered theirs. Another, a hunter widow, was wondering how to get her driveway cleared. When she pointed out the window at which one was her home, a neighbor man was already out with his snow blower, blazing a trail down her sidewalk. Problems solved over poppyseed quick bread and hot tea. It felt like communion to me.

Three hours flew by and I arrived back home with stories and goodies. I realize not all our neighbors joined us for a morning. I realize not all the neighbors wanted to join us. Not all our neighbors care that I think this neighborhood is pretty terrific. and tasty. But most of all, I realize that what separates us is not as strong as what joins us.

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