Let me take you back a few years.
My friend, Sandy, could bake up a storm. She could look at a recipe and know immediately that she could make an award winning copy of whatever confection she had just read about. She was young and knew that there was nothing culinary she couldn’t accomplish.
Inevitably, the wives in the office where my husband worked were called on to furnish baked goods for an annual charity bazaar. And, as the list of “needs” was passed, everyone filled in the slot by the baked good they would like to bring. Unfortunately for me, I was at the end of the line and by the time the list got to me the only thing left was lemon meringue pie. Lemon meringue pie for heaven’s sake. The word pie petrified me, but add meringue to the mix and I was out of there. Except I wasn’t, because we all HAD to bring something. And, really, how hard could it be to bake a pie?
The answer was clear after I had thrown away my third effort. It was very hard to bake a pie. But the sixth try wasn’t so bad and I decided to call it a day and bring the results. The meringue had lovely brown peaks and the crust held together rather nicely. Who cared if there were a few black spots in the lemon pudding…scraping the pot had been a mistake but I just didn’t want to start over.
Now we come to Sandy. She baked a cake…and decorated it, of course. It was spectacular. I told her I would drive her cake to the club with my pie to save her a trip. When I stopped by her house to pick up her offering, I almost gasped when she brought the cake to the car and carefully placed it on the front seat. It was truly a thing of beauty…and she was understandably proud of her accomplishment.
I drove 10 miles an hour to get to the club without hurting either the cake on the car seat or the pie I carefully placed on the front seat floor. I prayed that I wouldn’t have to stop short and send that cake flying onto my pie!
Unbelievably, I arrived at the club with both cake and pie intact. I carefully got out of the car and went around to the passenger door to retrieve my baked goods. Very very carefully I leaned into the car to pick up the cake—and my shoulder bag swung forward and lifted most of the meringue off of my beautiful pie.
Stunned, I put the cake down carefully, and painstakingly lifted each piece of meringue off the purse and tried to smoosh it back on the pie. Of course, it looked awful. Carefully made peaks were mashed and yellow filling showed where yellow filling wasn’t supposed to show.
Carefully I carried both offerings into the club and turned them in at the “arrival” table. “Here,” I said, ” is my cake, and here is Sandy’s pie.” The devil made me do it.
I don’t know if anyone bought the pie. I don’t know if anyone bought the cake. I didn’t tell Sandy about the mishap until many years later when I was more secure in our friendship. And, fortunately, we both laughed.
Why, you’re probably wondering does this matter? After suffering from Alzheimer’s for several years, my friend, Sandy, went home to be with God two days ago. I’m sorting through the odds and ends of my memories of her and enjoying remembering the highs and lows. The pie episode rates as a “high”.
Writing is about more than making things up or recording facts for the future. It can also be for remembering. Good or bad, writing puts things into perspective and preserves thoughts and emotions. Writing is exciting and creative, but it is also instructive and soothing. And it helps me to remember good times with a good friend. For that I am grateful.