• Last modified 2708 days ago (Dec. 22, 2011)


Another day in the country

© Another Day in the Country

In our attempt to make Christmas cookies again this year, we weeded out all but our most absolute favorites to make. When we went to the store to find mint chips to make that wonderful, delightful cookie (recipe on the package) we couldn’t find them.

“What’s this”? I asked my sister. “Usually they have displays of these clogging the aisles and now no chips — are we early?”

“Maybe they were phased out,” Jess replied. “They’ve got something new for this year.”

“Oh, NO!” I said, and we started hunting. We went to small stores, out of the way places and found no chips. Then we called our cousins in Colorado and said, “Look there!”

Vicki took up the mission like a battle commander going to war. She even called and gave us updates.

“Nothing at the grocery. Nothing at the convenience store. Nothing at the outlet stores.”

She got on the internet — she’s much more modern than we are.

“According to their web site,” she said when she called, ‘they are available still at Target and Walmart.’”

Really? We jumped in the car and headed for Salina. At Target we only found those wrapped mint candies. Yes, one kind was pink and white in a cute striped wrapper — tasted like those mint chips we love, but we’d have to unwrap every single one and whiz them up in the blender which wouldn’t be the same as the chips.

At Walmart we headed for the grocery department and found chips of all kinds.

“Here’s ONE,” my sister crowed. “Only one?”

She found a clerk.

“I think they were on sale because they were phased out.”

We threw our hands in the air and pulled bewildered, sad faces. The clerk wasn’t fazed at all. She just phased us out!

However, in Aurora, Colo., the Christmas elves were still searching to make our Christmas wish for mint chips (in order to make those delicious cookies). We got an update.

“We’ve found TWO,” Vicki said. “And we’re still looking.

“Oh, dear, it’s taking up way too much time and effort,” Jess was getting embarrassed. “I think we should call them off, Pat,” she said with that certain look in her eye — like SHE was the older, more sane, sister.

“What? I think they are having fun,” I retorted.

Yes, I had told them that I wanted 10 packages if they could find them.

Another day, another update! Vicki called and left a message on the answering machine.

“Your Christmas wishes are coming true. We have found 10 bags of peppermint crunch, and they’ll be on their way later today. This is your Christmas present from your two elves who love you so much. Merry Christmas!”

When we called to tell them “thank you,” Keith answered the phone.

He laughed and said, “I want you to know that I found only ONE package at Walmart and it was 6 o’clock in the morning. We’ve been all over town.”

I asked if he’d saved a package for himself so that he could make a batch.

“No, they all came your direction — already mailed.”

Don’t you just hate it when things are phased out? Whether it’s your favorite bra, your brand of toothpaste or that ointment that makes wounds heal fast? When you find something you just love, whether it’s a kind of chewing gum or a person, you just want them to be there forever!

Shortly before my dad died, he told me that getting old was like being phased out.

“I feel like a little boy sitting on the end of a bench, holding my red handkerchief with a few of my most precious things inside — and I’m about to be pushed off the end.”

Phased out. Not a seller, no longer a money maker, not productive, phased out.

That’s why we make memories, especially during holidays like this, so we always have with us, those things that are most precious! Those nearest and dearest people, who share our holidays, are always with us. The flavors of our favorite cookie remembered into old age so that just one sniff, one familiar voice, one nibble can conjure up all the holiday memories we so enjoy from years past.

It’s another day in the country and I’m going to whip up a batch of those yummy peppermint surprise cookies! We’re going to make these sweeties last. (One down, nine Christmases to go!) Happy holidays!

Last modified Dec. 22, 2011