A respite. A bubble. A piece of the world untouched by the world. I often go back to Grandma’s house and the town of Coquille when I close my eyes.
I walk through Grandma’s woods, my feet crunching sticks my kid-self tied together with yarn. The creek is only steps away–heard but not seen through the trees. God knows how my 62-year-old grandmother built the stepping bridge across the ice-cold water.
I trudge through the deep sand at the park. My brother and I fly around and around on the old-school merry-go-round, begging Dad to fling us in circles just one more time. The rickety teeter-totter that swayed a little to the left if you launched too quickly from the ground. Two dinosaurs of the playground era–no longer found in lawsuit-happy America.
I boo along with the crowd at the Sawdust Theater, because the bad guy has just come on stage, twirling his mustache and threatening the heroine. We awwww and cheer and laugh and clap and throw popcorn and I wish a melodrama audience could follow me every day.
I try not to cry as I kill the car again while trying to find first gear in Grandma’s non-automatic tank. A truck rolls up behind me, trying to be patient as the obviously-new-driver rolls backwards a little down the hill. Dad encourages me from the passenger seat. “It’s fine. Take your time. He can turn around if he’s in such a hurry. Take a deep breath. Feel for the catch.”
I watch the hummingbirds flit faster-than-the-eye along the side of Grandma’s house and admire the flowers that love my Grandma. I breathe deep–the Oregon air, heavy with rain–my favorite smell in the world. It still doesn’t mask the smell of her garden. She had a greener thumb than the rest of us put together.
I grasp the little green basket gently, plucking only the largest, most blue berries. Like Grandma taught me. Little brother and I walk along each ledge of her tiered backyard, trying so hard not to eat too many. The less we eat, the sooner our baskets are full. The faster our baskets are full, the sooner we get blueberry cobbler or muffins or cookies. We sit at Grandma’s table, swinging our feet off dining chairs, our mouths stained purple, and knowing that everything in the world can be made right by eating blueberries.
Lemon Blueberry Cookies with Chia Seeds
Lemon sugar cookies were one of my Grandpa’s favorites. I’ve stuffed them full of blueberries because blueberries make me happy. And chia seeds are good for you, or so I am told. So these cookies are good for you, right? Infallible logic.
These lemon blueberry cookies are somewhere in between shortbread cookies and sugar cookies. Very light, very buttery (that seems like a contradiction, but it isn’t), and delightfully pretty to look at! They also do fantastically well at staying buttery and moist, even if you have to leave them out for a while, so they are great for parties. (I credit the lemon glaze.)
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