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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Cookie Care Packages

Around the holidays, everybody likes a yummy cookie or two.  (If only we could stop with two… I find it easier not to even start-!)  Our family has been using our kids’ love of cookies to be a blessing to others this year.

“La gente vecchia…” my husband starts one day, thinking of the old folks’ home we pass on a regular basis.

I recall visiting his mother in a similar place about three hours away, and the staff asking if we were part of the show that day, the children dressed so nicely-?  I hated to explain while we may provide quite a show on some days, no, we really had no outstanding talents to share….  If Benedetto now believed that we could sing or dance for the aged or infirmed, well, he had another think coming.  I didn’t want to push any old folks over the edge-!

“Biscotti,” he laughed, seeing the suspicious look on my face.

Ah, cookies.  Cookies we could do.  We had just baked 20 dozen for charity, some going to the troops serving abroad, some raising funds, some probably gobbled by staff or family gatherings.  It was organized by a group of lady-friends literally baking hundreds of dozens (or more?) just after Thanksgiving.  I felt like I had contributed a lot, only to find out some of my friends with high-powered jobs and responsibilities had baked 50 or 60 dozen….

What a slacker I was.

So now that he saw the power of the cookie, Benedetto suggested that the children pitch in and make some for the nearby nursing home.  We discussed it at the dinner table and, Mr. Enthusaism that he is, he saw no problem with raining cookies down upon the old people.

“One little problem,” I started, known for my own raining, as in raining on his parades.  “Health codes.  Sanitation.  Maybe you’re some kook that wants to poison the inmates….”

“Meraviglioso,” (Wonderful) he muttered in my direction.  It took someone like me to take a perfectly great idea and turn it into a terrible tragedy.  I could tell I was irritating him.  Yet again.

“All I’m saying is that I would check with the administration first….”

The kids nodded, agreeing with the voice of reality.  Bless you, my children.

So they presented themselves to the facility.  Benedetto was immediately recognized by staff and residents alike.  Seeing that he was such an amazing person, so likable, and really a “neighbor” of sorts, they would be happy to receive his cookies.

I rejoiced at news of the ruling, while trying not to gag or roll my eyes.  The children were all atwitter.  Hailing from their own backgrounds of want and deprivation, the greatest thing in their minds was giving to others.  They had learned that several of the residents had no family that ever visited, and made a note to stop by.

Well, the hands were washed and the flour started flying so much that Misha and Grisha the Scotties even got a little dusting on their heads, so insistent they were to be underfoot during the proceedings.  Several dozen cookies popped out in no time, and our very own band of holiday joy-bearers headed for the nursing home.

This year, sugar cookies were our secret weapon.  Who knew that such a simple item could bring such joy to so many?



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6 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar hoonew says:

    Good for you! Wonderful project. What did the kids have to say about their visits with the old folks who didn’t otherwise have visitors?

    • avatar admin says:

      The kids were so happy to greet them, hoonew. All of them enjoy making the rounds when we visit my MIL in her nursing home, so it’s nothing odd or unusual or frightening for them. About the only good thing about her decline is for them to see that all of the debilitated people in any rehab facility were once vibrant and had a life. The kids listen and stroke their hands or touch their arm.

      They reported that in this case it wasn’t quite clear if the old folks were happier to see them… or the cookies! Hopefully, we can start going more often to this local nursing home. You can see it in the residents’ eyes– searching for a smile, for someone to glance their way and break up the hours of loneliness….

  2. avatar Sybil says:

    What a loving way of sharing.

  3. avatar AP says:

    We used to visit the nursing home quite frequently when older three children were young. My then three-year old, normally very shy, became fast friends with one of the residents who nearly never received any visitors. We visited her for years. She even crocheted a blanket for our daughter. I think we made her days brighter.

    I haven’t been able to bring myself to go back there since both my parents passed away. But you’ve got me thinking ….. a visit there just might do my youngest children good …..

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