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Peppermints and Cupcakes

Picture 2             “Can we play the peppermint game after lunch?”  my Grand, age 6, asks.

“Sure,” I say.  “Do you remember who taught you that game?”

“Aunt Doris,” eight-year-old David, answers quickly.  “Remember the time I found a peppermint under the couch and she didn’t even know it was there?  It was kind of hard, but I ate it anyway.”

“I wanna’ play too,” says Ruth, age.

“Play, too!”  shouts my two-year-old Grand.  It’s Thursday.  The day these four Grands are Husband’s and my lunch guests.

Aunt Doris, the Grands’ great-great aunt, always had York Peppermint Patties to share with children.  But she didn’t just give them to the children – they played Aunt Doris’s game, Hot and Cold.  A game most everyone has played.  The children hid their eyes or went into the kitchen while Aunt Doris hid peppermint candies in her living room.  “Okay, you can start hunting now,” she’d say.  And then one at a time, each child looked for a peppermint while Aunt Doris gave clues as to how close the hunter was to the hidden treat.  Cold – far away from the candy.  Warm – getting closer.  Hot – very close.

I don’t know who had more fun.  Aunt Doris, my Grands, or maybe Uncle Hugh and I as we watched.   “Hide it again,” my older Grands would say, “and this time made it really hard.”  The same candy might be hidden two or three times, and Aunt Doris refused to give any clues except cold, warm, and hot.  A simple game and a simple candy treat, that connected two generations, separated by more than 80 years.  And now I hide the peppermints.

It occurred to me that so much of what grandparents do, we do to make memories and connect our grandchildren with those we love.  One afternoon when our oldest Grand was about four, Husband came home from work with a box of fancy cupcakes.  “Aren’t the kids (meaning our daughter, son-in-law, and two Grands at the time) coming for supper?  I bought dessert.”  I wanted to know what the special occasion was, but I didn’t get an answer.

As the table was being cleared of dirty plates and meat and potatoes, Husband left the kitchen and came back carrying a picture of my dad.  “Today’s a special day.  It’s your great-grandfather’s birthday,” he told our Grands.  “He made this kitchen table.  This one where we just ate supper, and he was your Gran’s daddy.”  And with that, a tradition began.  On the birthdays of my deceased parents and Husband’s father, we eat cupcakes, look at pictures, and talk about Papa, Grannie, and Grandfather.  Our Grands will never know and love these three great-grandparents as they do Grandmother, who visits and brings macaroni and cheese and chocolate pudding, but maybe they’ll remember that Papa was a schoolteacher and a postmaster, and that Grannie sewed beautiful clothes and owned a flower shop, and that Grandfather owned a grocery store.

  It’s all about the memories and connections.  And peppermints and cupcakes.images

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One Response

  1. What wonderful memories

    Like

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