Memories of the Salerno Cookie

The other day when I was at the grocery store there was  box of cookies starring me in the face. Usually not interested in the store box cookie, this blue box had a magnetic draw to the cart. It was impossible to determine the cause, so it was simply checked out with the rest of the weeks food. The box sat on the top shelf in the pantry for weeks before the box was opened.  It was there everyday the door of the pantry was opened but for a reason unknown it was not opened. If this box was full of double stuffed, it would have been gone in less then 24 hours. This box remained unopened as if it was the secrete treasure chest.

What was the contention with this intergenerational cookie?

Finally the day came when the box was opened.  Out popped the first cookie an bam it organically slipped right onto my index finger. It was a requiem of mind, body and spirit. The rules of the this cookie were very clear. One on each finger ( although much harder to fit on my fat fingers) was an excellent place to store the cookies while you ate them. A glass or carton of milk along side this butter cookie  was essential.  Upon the first bite,  a rush of memories flooded my thoughts.

photo (6)The first day of grade school was fun and stressful all at the wrapped up until snack time. Why you might ask? It is simple next to the cartons of little red and blue milk was boxes of butter cookies. This little butter cookie made all the doubts of new friends and the experiences, immediately comforting.

The anticipation of moving to college was amazing. When the day finally arrived, you started to question, wonder why and get cold feet. All the packing, excitement of meeting your college roommate and figuring out where your lecture halls are located became scary. Orientation was the event to attend to learn how to survive on campus.  In the back of the room on the refreshment table were cans of punch, coffee and a plater of boxed cookies. Butter cookies upfront on the plate, gives you immediate contentment and familiarity that once again, it will all be ok.

You walk up to the church holding hands with your partner for whom you will live out your entire life. The class is rich as you pledge your commitment to this other person. The room is full of others trying to understand each other and make the same commitment. You are awkward, feel embarrassed and wish it was all over. The class that was suppose to prepare for marriage, only creates more and more doubt. As you look to the back of the room, the seniors of the church have prepared a table of drinks, snacks and cookies. In the center of the tray you find boxed cookies perfectly in its gratifying presence, the butter cookie brings you happiness.

As you sit in the family center, worrying whether he will make it through the surgery, you pray the surgeon will bring good news.  After all the puzzles are done, the TV becomes annoying and last years magazines have been read, there is nothing to do but wait. Out of the corner of your eye you see the elderly candy stripper. She was stocking the counter with fresh coffee, water and a platter of boxed cookies. As you walk up to the platter, you are overwhelmed with a sense of peacefulness and hope as you pick up the butter cookie and put one on your index finger and the other on your thumb.

The day was long with lines and lines of people to pay tribute. Being a good steward you greet each individual with a smile, a hug and fake reassurance that you are fine. Inside your tears and pain mount thinking about the loss of this amazing person in your life. You need a break from the line so you head to the private back room set up by the funeral director especially for families to retreat. You reach for a bottle of water and next to the coffee pot is a platter of boxed cookies. In all of its abundance the butter cookies flashes through yours sole and you are immediately relieved and reminded that this will get better in time.

Is there happiness in knowing the circle of  the butter cookie follows the same circle as the circle of life?

Next time you or someone in your life is sad or struggling, wrap up a box of Salerno Butter Cookies and experience what memories they hold for you and the person you are supporting. It is the SSBC or the Salerno Butter Cookie Challenge.

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