Sunday, March 26, 2017
"When I cannot write a poem, I bake biscuits and feel just as pleased." — Anne Morrow Lindbergh (not my wife)
Myself, and my family, we love biscuits. My wife always used to say that biscuits didn’t love her, and she wasn’t talking about excess pounds—she was talking about the container and the cooking. She didn’t like having to hit the container on something to make it pop open (see picture at the right). It always scared her a little (to tell the truth, it scared me a little, too). Still, once she got them open, she put them on a cookie sheet and put them in a hot oven and therein lies the tale. This was before smart phones and timers on stoves. The biscuits would go into the oven and then disappear from her memory. Later, she would exclaim, “The biscuits!” and run and pull them out, but the result was always the same: biscuits that could be used for hockey pucks. She was the absolute master at turning soft dough into the hardest substance known to man. We used to put them under the tires to keep the car from rolling backwards—they were that hard. The kids threw them like rocks at anything handy. It wasn’t really her fault, she always tried to make them for us—it just never seemed to work out right. This rather sad biscuit treatment went on for several years, always with the same outcome. Had to tell the kids not to try to break them by throwing them at the concrete driveway . . . because they were chipping the concrete. Once, the kids threw some into a creek that was near our house, and, over a week later, pulled them back out of the rushing water, just as hard and perfect as when they went in. A week of being submerged in fast flowing water wasn’t enough to break through the hard crust that my wife created. Those were some hard biscuits, buddy.
One day, after a trip to the grocery store, she pulled out the package of biscuits and put it on the table. I looked at the boys and we all rolled our eyes in unison. Then she did something unexpected. She picked up the package of biscuits, walked over to the trash and dropped the new, unopened package of biscuits right into the trash. We were all looking at her with our mouths hanging open, and she looked at us and said, “Just saving energy.” She went on to fix the rest of breakfast (which was wonderful) and not one of us every questioned her about tossing a brand new package of biscuits right in the trash. To this day, “Just saving energy” has become a family phrase that we use whenever we don’t want to do something. I love my wife, and I love the spirit that she has always brought to our relationship. And I love that she has always been conservation minded and saved energy wherever she could, and I love that she never again tried to make biscuits. I’m sure there is a religious or moral message to this story, but I don’t know what it is.