How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


#BlogBattle Week 9

Rachael Ritchey is the originator of this challenge

The prompt is …bun…

To join in click:


Sylvie plonked the groceries on the floor. Clunk. She shrugged off her coat in a rush and headed to the kitchen. Halfway, she made an about face, hung her coat in the closet and grabbed her shopping.

Her cell spun on the counter, but she ignored it while it vibrated in circles. Purchases stored, she put on the kettle and dropped into a kitchen chair. The Thompsons and Millers weren’t due until seven, she had time to change her planned dessert. I should bake something special tonight, but what?

The kettle clicked off. She sighed and rose to make tea. The aroma of herbed roast beef filled the kitchen, Mr. Crockpot, her ever faithful helper, hard at work again. She peeked through the glass lid and gave it a loving pat. Okay, five minutes—maybe ten—and I’m off to set the table.


Half an hour later Sylvie laid out fresh clothes and headed to the shower. She frowned into the mirror, turned this way and that, smoothed faint lines around her eyes and caressed her temples, covering hints of gray threaded through mousey brown hair. Time for a color. Forty-one in a month. Imagine… Stop!

As always, the front door clicked open and slammed shut at exactly six o’clock. Sylvie smiled and rushed down the hall to meet her husband inserting an earring on the way. Arms outstretched, she rushed to embrace him.

“George, darling.”

He let out a bark of laughter, eyes aglow with surprise, and caught her in his arms.


At 6:51 p.m., the doorbell chimed. “I’ll bet my favorite shoes that’s my mom and dad. Always first. Always early.” Sylvie arranged pots on the stove in readiness for turning on during cocktails.

“Mom and Dad Thompson. Come in, come in.” George kissed his mother-in-law’s powdered cheek and shook hands with her new husband, who had been blessed with a head of dense cloud-white hair. Before he’d dispensed with their coats, the doorbell announced another arrival. “Mom. Dad. Come in.”

Sylvie tossed her apron on a kitchen chair and joined them, waving them into the Great Room. The still bare fields and garden were spectacular through the entire outside wall of windows.

“How are the twins doing at university?” her mother asked.

“They’ll be finished in less than two months and have to face the real world,” George said, a faraway look in his eyes. “How about drinks?” He rubbed his hands with zest. “Same as usual for everyone?” Nods and echoes of agreement ensued. The grandparents settled into their established seats. The women sank into the sofa facing the garden and the men into Easy Boys across from them, foot rests raised at once.

General greetings exchanged, George delivered drinks on a tray and raised his glass. “A toast to our health at this happy gathering.” Glasses extended, nodding and hear-hears resonated around the room. The seats too far apart, only the grandmothers clinked glasses.

“Excuse me one moment.” George disappeared around the corner. Upon his immediate return, Sylvie sprang from the hard-backed chair of choice and exchanged a glance with her husband. He presented a white plate to the room. “Look what came out of the oven.”

“What’s this about done? Gun? What did he say? Her step-father cupped a hand to his ear and squinted at his wife.

“He said nothing of the sort,” she said, eyes twice their usual size, one hand grazed Mrs. Miller’s lap. They both stared at Sylvie.

“I said, look what I found in the oven.” George grinned from ear to ear tipping the plate several degrees.

His father scratched his chin, wiry salt and pepper eyebrows squished together. He studied the faces around him. “So?”

George set the plate on the coffee table and wrapped an arm around his wife’s waist. They grinned like children with a secret. Sylvie leaned her head back against his shoulder. Both grandmothers gaped at each other, then back at their children while their spouses sat perplexed.

George’s father shifted in his seat. “Will somebody say something? What in heck’s going on?”

“How do you feel about this, Sylvie?” Her mother leaned forward, blinking, voice soft and hesitant.

“Mom, I’m fine—ecstatic. Aren’t we, George?” He nodded and they rocked side to side in unison.

“I need another drink.” His father raised an open palm. “No, I’ll fix it myself. Haven’t a clue what you’re talking about.”

“Dad,” George said, his voice subdued. “We’re having a baby.”

His father’s brows shot heavenward. “Why didn’t you say so in plain English?” Empty glass in hand, he hugged his son and placed a resounding smooch on his daughter-in-law’s forehead. “Do the boys know? Bet they’re excited.”

“You’re the first to know.” George said. “I only found out an hour ago.” He suppressed a smile in his wife’s hair.

Both grandmothers shook their heads and heaved themselves off the sofa to join the hugathon. “So, it’s like starting all over again,” said her mother to Grandma Miller.

George’s deaf step-father scrambled out of the chair and raised his glass. “What are we celebrating?”

“We have a bun in the oven,” his wife shouted in his ear over the melee.

“We do? Take it out before it burns.”

They all roared with laughter. He joined in too though he still appeared confused.


© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.


It Was a Blast in the Past, but. . .

I’ve started reminiscing as another birthday quickly approaches.

During my early twenties, I picked up the bad habit of smoking. By the time I moved an hour away from home, I have six years’ work experience under my belt. I struggled to find a new job in unfamiliar territory and to settle in in a strange city. It was a difficult time sorting good influences from bad and keeping on the straight and narrow.

I met the man I would  later marry and went down to 104 pounds. I bought a house. He moved in with me and I thought I knew what I was doing. I had always fallen for the party boy.

In my thirties life was more eventful. I got married, had a baby, had a hysterectomy and got divorced. Not a great decade but I survived. Did it make me wiser? Probably more careful and more selective. But that’s no guarantee, is it? Time would tell.

Once the forties arrived, I was OK. I worked, slept and looked after my daughter. I met an older man (by 19 years) who was totally taken by little ole me. I made it clear I would never marry again before there was a chance for the subject to come up. I bought another house. I even quit smoking. My boyfriend moved in and my daughter made three. Everything was hunky dory for several years.

By my fifties, I decided life was slipping away far too quickly. The face in the mirror wasn’t quite the same. How many good years did I have left, I wondered? My live-in and I finally split up after almost ten years together. Guess I’m not great couple material or once burned…twice shy.

Then, my daughter wanted her boyfriend to move in with us. I was against it so she moved out and had all the hanky panky I never wanted her to have yet. Had I made a terrible mistake? Life could have been sweeter between us but they did get married a few  years later.

All alone in a big house again, but still in the workforce, I became a homestay host for international students, which kept life very lively and interesting. I also became a grandmother and fell helplessly in love with my new granddaughter.

Hitting the sixties brought the relief of retirement and another gorgeous granddaughter. The homestay hosting was becoming unpredictable and the students less respectful. I decided to throw in the towel after nearly ten years of service. I’m glad of the experience as I travelled the world from my armchair and got to know a lot of really nice and interesting people.

Alone in the big house yet again, carrying high maintenance costs and taxes, I came up with the perfect plan—IF it got accepted. I decided by the time I reached sixty-five, it might be a good idea to sell my house but I couldn’t imagine living in an apartment. I asked my daughter if she and her husband would be interested in buying a house together. I only had the one daughter so nobody’s nose could get out of joint. Her husband was harder to convince but he was soon on board. The perks were too hard to resist, I guess. Instead of waiting, once we ‘girls’ started looking at houses, well, you can imagine. We found a great house within seven months instead of three years down the road and it was time to move.

What would I change in my life if I could? Would I want to go back in time to relive a particular time? To be younger again? No and NO!

I couldn’t face being young again especially in this new age. Once is more than enough for me. I’m not greedy. I’m comfortable with myself and am finally doing the things I’ve been waiting so long to do. Without a doubt, there are things I wish I could have done differently or better, but I’m more than grateful for what I have been able to accomplish. I laugh more and occasionally cry more. Age has made me softer.

It was a blast in the past, but I tend to look forward with anticipation. New adventures and discoveries await—I hope. On second thought, I wouldn’t mind not having to age anymore and just staying the same for say another forty years or so? Now THAT would be SOMEthing to look forward to? Wouldn’t it?