Senior Moments

The pastor at my church had just asked for a show of hands. “How many here today will commit to baking at least 3 dozen cookies for Kairos?” Without hesitation, my hand shot straight up in the air. Here was something I could do. I had baked thousands of cookies in my day. The men from our church who visit the prison bring with them dozens of cookies to be part of the Kairos Prison Ministry. At the end of the weekend, each inmate is given a bag of 12 cookies, and he is instructed to give them to someone he needs to forgive or someone he is needing forgiveness from. The men in our church make a huge commitment by serving in this way. Surely baking some cookies was the least I could do. then reality hit me like a ton of stale cookies. I hate baking cookies. I used to enjoy it, but at my age, it’s a pain in the back, the legs, the feet. And it takes me at least half a day. In fact, I have to mix up the dough on one day, and then bake on the next. But I had made a commitment.

As I assembled the ingredients and added them to the bowl in turn, I thought, “this is going pretty well. It’s not so bad after all.” I had chosen a recipe for peanut butter cookies and added chocolate chips. But when I was stirring in the chocolate, I thought, “this doesn’t smell very good, and it should. Chocolate and peanut butter go great together.” then I pinched a little off the dough, and sure enough, it didn’t taste so good either. I stood there in consternation. what had I done wrong? then it dawned on me. I would have slapped my forehead if I hadn’t had peanut butter dough on my fingers. I forgot to put in the sugar! How could I not put in the sugar? Another senior moment I guess. Anyone who has ever baked knows you combine the butter and sugar first. Then you add the eggs and then the rest. A better cook would have thrown the whole batch out and started over, but that wasn’t going to happen. I had no more flour, and I had used my last eggs. So, I tossed in the brown sugar and the white sugar, rolled up my sleeves, scrubbed my hands, and began working in the sugars as if it were bread dough. After I had worked it in as much as possible, I let it rest on the counter, hoping the sugar would melt. But no such luck. In the end, my cookies were a little sugary, but I don’t think anyone would complain. Senior moments are common in my age group. We laugh them off, because as long as we can still recognize them as senior moments, we’re not yet ready for “the home.”

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3 girls and 2 bikes

Sunshine in March is like getting a present when it’s not even your birthday. Here in Ohio, we get one of those bonus days every once in a while, between days that are cold, windy, and grey. Last Wednesday was one of those gifts of a warm and sunny day. For me, there is no better way to celebrate a sunny day than to ride my tandem bike. My biking buddy Tricia was my captain, and our friend Jan joined us at my house on her single bike. We rode from my driveway to a restaurant in New Albany, a distance of 10 miles, almost exactly. I had asked Tricia to create a route that was no more than 20 miles, since this was my first ride of the season, and she did it. when we pulled into my driveway 3 hours later, we had 20.33 miles on the odometer. Not bad, since I wondered if my hips and back could hold up for that distance. Of course, we had about an hour break for lunch before we headed back. It was such a pleasant ride, full of girl talk. Because we weren’t riding with our regular cycling friends, we pedaled in a leisurely manner. There were no boys to try to keep up with. I say boys and girls, because when we’re on bikes, we’re young again. Only instead of talking about our kids and upcoming parties, our conversations include sharing information about retirement and Medicare. It was relaxing to feel the sun on our faces, get some good exercise, and share what has been on our minds and hearts. Talk about girlfriend therapy. We hope to make this a regular outing once a week. My goal is to increase the miles each week, so I can get back to being able to ride with the guys. But in the meantime, I’m so grateful to Tricia for being responsible for getting me back on the bike and to my doctor for finally finding the right injection to make my hips and back behave. Of course, to help make this a successful ride, I had to take a steaming hot bath afterward, followed by an ice pack on my back, but you do what you have to do to keep doing what you love to do.