Sunday, January 3, 2016

Cousin Herald and the Bag of Chocolate Chips

Who doesn't like chocolate chips?  Stop reading right now if you don't.  For those of you who know (or knew) the love for chocolate chips, read on.

Grandma Jennie loved to bake and would often bake chocolate chip cookies, but her kids loved the chips whether or not they were surrounded by cookie dough.  Thus, in the interest of keeping chips on hand for her baking needs (which were often, as she entertained frequently and generously), Grandma Jennie placed her bag of gold . . . er, chocolate chips. . . on the topmost shelf of the kitchen cabinet,  just above the Westinghouse electric stove, and just to the left of the cellar door.

Try as they might, the kids could not reach those chocolate chips; that is, they could not reach them unless their cousin Herald came visiting.  He, too, loved chocolate chips, and he was tall! The kids were never so happy as when Herald reached up to that top shelf and they could all share in Grandma Jennie's chocolate chips.  

The funny thing is, Grandma Jennie never once scolded any of her kids for their "generosity" to their cousin Herald.


  1. That reminds me of a story recounted in Saroyan's 'The Human Comedy'. It was the neighborhood boy's ritual of stealing apples from the Apple Tree that had been planted the century before, owned by a man grizzled with age, who presented a fearsome mien to the boys hunkering for the Fall, and the raid. The old man knew his place in the liturgy. When the boys came, first one to reconnoiter, then another and another until the tree planted the century before, no doubt by Johnny Appleseed, himself, sported a fullness of boys scared and wide eyed, filled with the ripeness of adolescence, on the alert for the first signs of being discovered by the owner who had fought injuns and sported arrowhead wounds in chest and back, or so they were certain. The old man was patient, and counted the moments for his appearance in the orchard he and his father had planted, an orchard which had this one last tree still standing.
    The old man squinted and listened, his breathing labored after so many Fall sunsets and raids. He banged open the screen door and bellowed his arrival. Caught with their pockets full, the menagerie of boys soon to be old enough to go off the great wars being fought, fell and leaped to the ground, howling their success and their getaway.
    The old man, younger by one day, returned to his Ithaca home, a home built by his father, Homer, before the telegraph could inform them of the wilderness to the East.

  2. BUT . . . the most hilarious part of this Chocolate Chip Chase / Adventure was: Not only would Herald grab the bag, he would run away from the 3 of us and . . . running up and down stairs, going outside of the house from the back door, entering from another door and climbing up and down more stairs (being chased by us as we watched him plop handfuls of those tasty morsels in his mouth . . . . we wanted to share in the feast! As time went on, this became a ritual, and Herald became Chief Mahogany (creatively named after our Mom's wooden dining room furniture from 1940)!