In the middle of afternoons of persimmon cookie making or when we were out of avocados, mom would run to the local grocery store. She would return 20 minutes later with the magical missing ingredients, a local paper and a copper-foil scrap that was once…a Rolo wrapper. Years later she admitted that those moments were her time to inhale a package of Rolos and drive as fast as she wanted and for once, be free of questions about why the sky was blue or fighting from the backseat of the car, or the tossing of sugary treats onto the grocery store conveyor belt before she could order them put back on the shelves.
I don’t have children. I don’t pretend to have children, even though Winston sure acts like a child sometimes. I have no idea what it might be like to have a grown husband-child in addition to two youngsters. But, in my own way I needed a moment. This morning was supposed to be a typical 20-something brunch full of mimosas and chatter about why women are better than men. But instead, I went out for Rolos.
And on my way to find that foil tube of caramel-filled goodness, I sang at the top of my lungs to my favorite artists. And I zipped through the Pacheco Pass, cutting through the fog and shifting between neutral and overdrive. Yielding to 5th-wheels and having insects smatter my windshield, “Say’s You” carried me into a diner in a roadside town where my family was waiting to share a birthday meal.
It was full of love and light. There was a compassion that enveloped me, and a little boy with an infectious chuckle. I am so proud to be part of that group of hardworking, sweet, loving people. I found every reason to delay my return home. Stopping by Casa de Fruita for champagne and a garlic roaster – the perfect combination of sophisticated domestication and the poor priorities and sass one might expect from a 20-something. I took the long way to the outlets. I stopped for groceries on my way back into town.
And then, for the first time in almost two months, I spent the afternoon dancing around my kitchen. Turkey tacos with homemade tortillas, corn salsa, tomato and chili quinoa and jalepeno spiced black beans from scratch. Turkey sliders with sweet potato chips and cinnamon rolls for the office tomorrow. Garbanzo beans are cooking as we speak for those moments that only hummus can answer to.
I’ll never know if my mom felt this way about her trips to the market, but my rolos sure tasted sweet today.