Category Archives: friends

Tradition

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Cassie and Julie have been baking Christmas cookies every year since they were teenagers. They would go out and buy Tupperware containers and label each one for those they make cookies for. When it came to getting all they needed to make the cookies, each one had their list of what they needed to get. 

Every year they would take turns baking at each others place. This year it was Cassie’s turn. She put up colorful lights and Christmas decorations and put on holiday music to set the mood. Julie was on her way over, so she put on the tea kettle and had the tea ready for when her friend arrived. Once she arrived, they sat down and checked their lists to make sure they had everything before they got started. When they had everything, it was time to start with the first batch.

When certain songs would come on, it would remind them of different times of when they were younger. They met when Cassie’s family moved in just a few houses down on the same street when she was around 5 years old. Their connection was instant, and they have been together ever since.

Julie smiled while she was mixing some butter and sugar in a bowl, it reminded her of one of the first times they started baking together with her mom. She giggled as she started the story.

“Remember when we were finally allowed to help my mom mix things instead of just waiting to scoop the dough on to the cookie sheet?” Cassie giggle at the memory and added, ” Yea, that was the time when I mixed up the sugar with the salt, and your mom told me I wasn’t allowed to do anything until it was time to scoop. But she allowed you to mix the butter and sugar.” They both giggled over that. Julie stopped mixing and held out the bowl to her and they both laughed themselves silly. When they got their composure back, they finished up adding the ingredients and scooped the dough onto the cookie sheet and put them in the oven. They even had a list of how many batches they were going to bake for each type of cookie. While they were waiting, they made another cup of tea and sat for a minute before making another batch.

Julie was singing along to one of the songs that came on, and Cassie got up and started to dance. Since she didn’t really know how to dance, she gave it all she got and danced her heart out. They both were dancing and singing when the timer for the cookies went off. 

After a few hours, they were almost done, only one more batch and they were finished. As each batch cooled, they separated them into each container. Cassie had a plate set out for them and put some on the plate for them to have when they were finished. 

They had baked Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Kisses, Oatmeal Raisin, and Snicker Doodles, and Julie’s favorite Spritz cookies. Because she liked decorating them with rainbow sprinkles. Cassie’s favorite were Snicker Doodles. 

The last batch was done and Julie placed the cookies on the cooling rack, Cassie was making them a cup of tea. As each container was filled, they marked them off the list. With their cup of tea in hand, they headed to the living room to put their feet up and relax. They were quiet for a few moments, looking at the Christmas lights and decorations and feeling good about baking the cookies for friends and family. Without a word, Julie got up and grabbed the plate of cookies from the kitchen counter and brought them back in, already chewing on a spritz cookie as she put the plate on the coffee table. Cassie smiled and grabbed a snicker doodle. 

Cassie was the first to break the silence. “We can split up the containers to deliver to everyone. That way, one person isn’t having to drive all over to deliver them.” Julie nodded in agreement. When they finished their tea and cookies, they divided up the containers and said their good byes. 

Their tradition every year has been not to exchange gifts. On Christmas Eve, one person orders the pizza and the other brings their favorite Christmas movie, The Christmas Story. Their present to each other is spending time laughing and enjoying each others company. Their friendship is a gift that they give each other everyday. 

 

Food Fight at the Bake Shop

 

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Danielle was stopping by to see her friend Katie who is working at the local bake shop. They planned to get together for lunch today. So, Danielle thought she would keep her friend company until it was lunch time. Katie was mixing ingredients to make some mini carrot cakes. Once everything was mixed, she poured the batter into small cake pans and then put them in the oven and set the timer. She walked over to the table where Danielle was sitting and they shared of a cup of tea. They also shared a plate of oatmeal raisin cookies that Katey made for her earlier today. 

“What is on the bake sheet for today?” Danielle asks as Katie checks the clipboard with the list of cakes she has yet to make today. 

As Katie reads the list, she tells her, “Well, the carrot cakes are in the oven, then they will be done. Next up is vanilla cake with chocolate icing, then a chocolate cake with buttercream icing and rainbow sprinkles on it. So, not too much more. I can make them after we come back from lunch.” 

They used to be roommates, but Katie wanted to find a place closer to the bake shop. When she lived with Danielle, the commute was about an hour. She found a cute little efficiency apartment a block away. This works out great for her, she is able to come in early and get things set up and make sure the display case is filled before the door opens for the day. 

Katie was taking the carrot cakes out of the oven and putting them on a cooling rack, she didn’t notice that Danielle had walked over to where the bowl of buttercream icing was sitting,  Danielle was watching her take the cakes out and waited until she closed the oven door. Then she waited until she turned around. She had a spoon with some icing on it, ready to fling it towards Katie.

With a smirk on her face, knowing what Danielle was going to do, she warned, “don’t even think about it.” As she warned her, Katie grabbed a spoon and put some on her spoon, ready to fling it at Danielle. For a second, neither one of them moved. Seeing who would make the first move. 

Katie was the first to fling the icing. Hitting Danielle in the middle of her forehead. Then Danielle flung hers, hitting Katie on her cheek. And the food fight was on. Katie grabbing an egg and smashing it on the top of Danielle’s head. Danielle grabbed a handful of flour and flung it at Katie. Creating a cloud of flour. They both were reaching on the table not sure what they were grabbing and flinging it towards each other. Everything was flying, flour, sprinkles, icing, handfuls of butter. The floor became slippery and they both fell to the floor. Laughing so hard they couldn’t breathe. The kitchen was a mess. And they were covered from head to toe. 

When they caught their breath and looked around them, they knew if they didn’t clean this up before Katie’s boss came back in about an hour, Katie was going to get fired. So for the next hour and a half, they wiped down the counter, washed all the dirty dishes, mopped the floor. Making sure there was no evidence left of the food fight they just had. Katie got them to clean shirts with the bake shop logo on them so they had something clean to wear outside. They could walk to Katie’s apartment and get cleaned up. Susan worked the counter and came in at the end of them cleaning up and just chuckled and went back up to the counter saying nothing. Katie knew Susan would not say anything to the manager. After everything was cleaned up, Katie took the mini carrot cakes and put them in the display case. Then Danielle bought a few cookies and they were on their way. 

Walking up the stairs to her apartment, Katie said, “That was a close one, I thought Linda would have been back before we got everything cleaned up.” Danielle was giggling as she followed her up the stairs. “Yea, I thought so too, but it was so worth it.” After they got showered and changed, Katie ordered a pizza and the relaxed and watched a movie. They ended up falling asleep on the couch. Cleaning up all that mess exhausted them. But it wouldn’t be the last time that they would do that again. 

Sometimes going in early has its advantages. 

Rest Stop Dancer

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Leslie is on a road trip up north to see her best friend Jill. They have been friends since high school. Jill has always been a free spirit and she never stays in one place for too long. Leslie never knows what place Jill will say she is next. As long as she is happy, Leslie just lets it be.

She has been on the road for a few hours, she is getting hungry and wants to get out of the car and stretch her legs. Just passing a sign that read service station is one mile. Following the signs, she takes the exit to take a little break. When she is parked, she gets out and walks around the car a few times. Leslie still hasn’t decided what she wants to eat, she looks around and decides to get a sandwich and an iced tea. Then goes and sits at an empty table. Relaxing and enjoying her sandwich, she texts Jill to let her know that she stopped for something to eat. Jill responds back that she is excited to seeing her. Leslie smiles and finishes her sandwich. She gets another iced tea for the road and heads back to the car. 

Leslie is back on the road after taking a break. She only has about four hours left to go. Arriving to Jill’s around dinner time. Leslie is excited because they haven’t seen each other in a few years. This is the break that she has been looking for. Work has been driving her crazy and it’s time to get away and just relax.

Traffic hasn’t been too bad, after getting past the cities, the traffic thins out and only a few cars are on the interstate. After driving for another two hours, she needs to fill up on gas. A sign for a gas station is five miles away. Leslie will pull off then and fill up. She is glad this trip is almost over. She loves road trips, but she is starting to get tired. 

The sign for the gas station comes up and she pulls off the exit and goes to fill up her tank. She looks over and see a rest area to the right. Once she is done, she will drive over to the rest area and just sit for a minute. There are a few people over there taking a break before heading back on the road. 

There is a couple with two small children, the parents are sitting on the picnic bench eating sandwiches, while the children run around and play. A gentleman with head phones is walking around the parking lot, every so often he would start dancing when a good part of the song comes on. Sometimes he even sings out loud. Everyone around stops and looks where the singing is coming from and just smiles and go back to what they were doing. Leslie chuckles and he reminds her of one of her friends back in high school. He would be walking down the hallway with head phones on, dancing to whatever song he was listening to and sing parts of the song. The guy at the rest stop was oblivious to others around him. He was just enjoying his break with some music. 

Leslie was back on the road knowing she didn’t have much further to go. Passing a sign that read the where Jill was. It was only a few more exits. She felt it was taking forever. But finally she came up on the exit and turned off the interstate. After checking the directions while at a stop sign, she found her way to Jill’s house. Finally off the road and time to relax and enjoy the time with her best friend. 

Midnight Bowling

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At the bowling alley near Maggie, Saturday nights they turn off the normal lights off and turn on the special lights for midnight bowling. They have this ball above the lanes that spins with all different colors. And they play music while everyone bowls. 

Maggie brought her best friend Claire with her. They always come to midnight bowling. Claire mostly bowls gutter balls because she is too busy watching some guy that she finds cute. Maggie isn’t that much better, but she does knock down some of them when she really tries. 

When Maggie was done taking her turn, Claire stood up and went to pick up her ball. Before she picked it up, she said “check out Mr. Tight Jeans over there.” Pointing to the group of guys the next lane over. He was the one taking his turn. They both watched as he took his turn. He bowled a strike. Mr. Tight Jeans bowled like he was on a league. Claire looked up at their board and noticed that he bowled a few strikes,  one or two spares, and some where he only knocked down a few pins. He had the highest score out of the group. And he had a killer smile that could turn your legs to jello. 

Claire was up, and she wanted to make sure to not get a gutter ball this time. She gave herself a little pep talk, no gutter ball, tight jeans is watching. If you can’t get a strike, at least knock some of the pins down, BUT NO GUTTER BALL!!  Maggie couldn’t hear what she was saying, so she just giggled and sipped on her iced tea. Claire stepped up and swung her arm back and then forward, letting the ball go. So far, the ball rolled down the middle, went slightly to the left, but didn’t go towards the gutter. Knocking down all but four pins. Maggie watched and then cheered after the pins reset. Claire looked over at tight jeans, he wasn’t paying attention to her or Maggie. She was on a mission to make him notice her. Maggie just shook her head and chuckled. 

Maggie was up and she knocked down half of the pins, a spare. Claire cheered and high fived her when she came back to sit down. They took a few minutes to take a sip of their iced tea. Watching the group of guys with tight jeans. Claire was just watching him as he took his turn. All she could utter was, “Oh, that form, mmm mmm mmm.” Maggie rolled her eyes and was checking the others out. But wasn’t making any confession about which one she liked. Maggie is the more quiet and shy type. Claire is not. People can’t understand how two people that are so opposite can be friends. It just works for them. They have been best friends since high school.

They had a few frames left to go before the game was done. What Claire didn’t notice, but Maggie did, tight jeans has been checking Claire out most of the night. He is just more subtle that she is. Maggie didn’t want to say anything because she didn’t know if he was interested or just checking her out.  

When midnight bowling was over, the overhead lights came back on and everyone covered their eyes for a second to readjust to the white lights. Then everyone was heading to the racks where the balls went. As Claire was returning hers, Mr. Tight Jeans walked up to her. She was surprised when he was kind of shy when he spoke. 

“Hi, my name is Jeremy.” He extended his hand to shake hers. She gave him her hand and he held onto it and continued, rather stumbled over his words, “yea, um, I , uh was wondering if you would like to come back here with me sometime. For like a date.” She thought he was so adorable asking her out. She didn’t know he was checking her out. But she is glad that he was.

Squeezing his hand a little, she smiled and responded excitedly, “Yes, I would love to. Let’s exchange numbers and we can talk and get to know each other better over dinner sometime, and then come here afterwards.” He smiled and nodded. They exchanged phone numbers and parted ways.

Maggie had to escort Claire to the car because she was so happy she floated out of the bowling alley. They finished off the night at the diner a block away.

Burnt Offering Redemption

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“Remember the last time you attempted to bake?” Her friend Julie pointed out. “You almost set the kitchen on fire.” 

Emily shrugged her shoulders and answered, “But I didn’t set the kitchen on fire. It was just my smoke alarm telling me, third time is not a charm.”

She was attempting to try again. Julie valued her life and was not going to hang around to see how bad this time would be. She didn’t have too much faith in Emily, because she knew that Emily is not someone that should be making ANYTHING in the kitchen. Well, except for boiling water for her tea. That is about the only thing she doesn’t screw up.

After mixing all the ingredients together, Emily put spoonfuls of dough on the pan and slid the pan in the oven. She set the timer and went back to her desk. Checking emails and playing a few games of solitaire. Every few minutes, she would get up and check the timer. She was determined to not burn them. The timer had about five minutes left. While she is waiting for the timer to go off, she put on some water for some tea. Everything is better with a cup of tea. After a few minutes, the water boiled and she poured the water in her mug and let the tea brew for a few minutes. Then the timer went off for the cookies. She turned the timer off and put on an oven mitt to take the cookies out.

Before she opened the oven door, she took a deep breath and prayed that they were not burnt. When she opened the oven, she looked in and saw the cookies were not burnt, they were golden brown.  I did it!! I didn’t burn them!! She said to herself. Setting the pan on the stove for a minute, she grabbed a metal rack to put the cookies on to cool. Once all the cookies were on the rack, she placed the hot pan in the sink. Emily was so excited about not burning them, she went to get her phone and take a picture of them to send to Julie. 

Taking about a dozen pictures of the cookies, Emily decided on the one she wanted to send to Julie. With the caption ‘I did it!’. A few minutes later, Julie calls Emily back.

“I am so proud of you! They look delicious.”

“Thank you, I was so excited they weren’t burnt, I almost dropped the pan.” Emily giggled as she told Julie that she bought an egg timer that she sat at her desk so she wouldn’t forget. They talked for a few minutes more and then hung up. 

After dinner, Emily put a few cookies on a plate and made a cup of tea. With the plate of cookies and her tea, she went to the living room to watch tv and enjoy her cookies and tea. Emily enjoyed her cookies so much, by the time she went to bed a few hours later, she had eaten up the whole batch. 

So proud of herself, as she was falling asleep, she was thinking that she would try baking something else but wasn’t sure what it would be. Tomorrow she will look through her cookbooks and see what would be fun to make. 

 

 

The Oak Tree

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When Molly was younger, her family lived on a street that had a polo field for everyone that lived on the street. It had two small baseball diamonds, a soccer field, down the hill there was the playground. With a basketball court in between a swing set on either side, two metal slides next to each swing set, and then a teeter totter. Molly and her friends would play out there until it got so dark you couldn’t see in front of you. Or til your mother called you in for the night. 

Sometimes on the weekends, there would be a baseball game or a soccer game happening. Molly and her friends would sit on the bleachers behind the fence behind the one baseball field. They wouldn’t watch the whole game since they didn’t know anyone on either team. Just watch a few pitches and then go down to the swings or if the basketball court was empty, Molly and her friends would play jacks. There was always something to do at the polo field. And plenty of kids to play with. 

There was this big thick oak tree that sat on the one side of the swing set closest to the row houses that Molly lived in. The tree acted as a starting point for tag or hide and go seek. It was for when friends were coming over and agreed to meet at the oak tree. A green bench sat on one site of the tree, but hardly anyone sat there. All the kids were too busy playing to sit there. 

When it was winter, the kids in the area would bring a big box and flatten it, so they could slide down the big hill. They would go so fast, they would make it to the one swing set to the right of the basketball court. One time, Molly was sliding down the hill on a box and she wiped out and rolled down the bottom of the hill, she was covered in snow. Instead of stopping and going home to put on warm clothes, she stayed outside and her pants froze and she had a hard time walking back to the house. When she did make it home, she took her pants off in the back room off the kitchen. They stood on their own because they were so frozen. Her mom had to wait for the to thaw out before she put them in the washer. 

As the years went by, Molly and her friends still spent time on the polo field, but not as they got older. The girls would have slumber parties and go to the mall or go out to lunch. Though Molly would go out and spend time on the bench under the oak tree and write in her diary. She wrote about the time of her first kiss with a neighborhood boy that lived around the corner. They never dated because his mother was very strict and didn’t allow him to spend time with girls. Her friends set up a secret place for them to have their first kiss. It was in an ally way between two stores right by the main street in town. It was just a quick peck on the lips, but Molly was happy because she had a crush on him. A year after that, his family moved away. She knew they were never going to date, so she just happy her first kiss was with him. Then a few years later,  Molly and her family moved away. Life was moving on. But she knew someday, she would return to visit, because a few of her friends still lived here. 

One weekend after Molly moved away, her friend had a slumber party. It was in the summer and they carried old peanut butter jars with tiny holes in the lid and picked some grass and put it in the jar. It was a contest to see who could catch the most lightening bugs. No one really caught all that many because they were too busy talking to each other about boys. Laughing and giggling too much to notice lightening bugs flying around them. When they lost interest with that, they came inside and made bowls of popcorn and grabbed some soda and sat on the floor in a circle on their sleeping bags and continued to talk about boys. About once a month, they took turns at the places to hold the slumber parties. 

When they got to be teenager, they spent less and less time together. Some had boyfriends and lost touch, others started working jobs. They tried hard to stay in touch, but everyone’s interests changed and little by little it was time to find new friends with the same interests. It took her a while, but Molly has a great new circle of friends. 

Molly recently went back to the old neighborhood. She parked her car on the same street that she used to live on. Standing at her car for a few moments, looking out onto the polo field, it was different. That feeling of being home wasn’t there. Like she didn’t belong there. She saw that the oak tree was still there, and the bench. She walked over to the bench and sat under the tree. And just sat in the quiet that surrounded her. She smiled because she felt the comfort of sitting with an old friend. The tree has always been there. It could always be counted on like a friend. The tree and her have had some good talks when she was younger. She came to rely on the tree when she didn’t feel that she had anyone to turn to. Molly wouldn’t talk out loud to the tree, just sit and silently talk with the tree, having a feeling that the tree knew what she was saying without saying anything at all. 

The oak tree helped her get through some pretty tough times. Sometimes it takes someone you don’t know to help you through something. Could be an object, a tree, the ocean. Whatever gets you though, that is all that matters.

 

 

Jack Attack

 

It was three o’clock Friday afternoon. Ruby had finished up proof reading her reports and was straightening up her desk to pass the time until the end of the day. One more hour and she was done for the weekend. Jack is in the cubicle next to hers still working on proof reading. He still had a few to get through. Ruby offered to help him, but he said he would finish them in time. Once she was done straightening up, she went through some manual and made sure they were update and threw out outdated information. 

Ruby and Jack have worked together for a few years. Jack transferred from another department and she trained him on how to proof read the reports. They got along really well. Sometimes too well. Others in the office would complain about them having too much fun. They ignored them and had fun. The boss didn’t have a problem with them because they did their job very well. Their performance didn’t suffer from their shennanigans. It was just the way they passed the time when things were slow.

After Jack had been there a few months, he found out it was her birthday. So he filled her cubicle with balloons. As payback, Ruby filled his cubicle with styrofoam peanuts and put clear packing tape across the opening of his cubicle, so when he went to go and take the peanuts out, his face smashed into the tape. Ruby almost peed her pants she was laughing so hard.  They never knew what they were going to come into when the arrived at work in the morning. 

Ruby went to go get a cup of tea while Jack was finishing up his last report. She could hear him still clicking away when she returned to her cubicle. As she was relaxing and enjoying her cup of tea, she got a mischevious grin on her face. She was about to launch an attack on Jack. She opened her drawer and took out some rubber bands and paper clips. She lined them up on the desk. It’s been awhile since she has done this to him. 

She wrapped the rubber band around her finger and placed the paper clip in the rubber band and pulled back. Aimed it just so, so that it would go over to his cubicle. It flew over the cubicle wall and you could hear the ping of the paper clip hit the desk. Jack was so focused on Dhis computer screen that he jumped when it hit the desk. 

As it flew over, she yelled, “Jack attack!” Then she giggled when she heard it hit the desk.

“Ruby!” He yelled back at her. “I am trying to finish this up.” Jack sighed and went back to work. 

“Ok, I will let you finish up, I will go get another cup of tea and leave you be.” Walking to the break room to make another cup of tea, her co-worker Diane followed her in the break room. 

“Hi Diane, how’s it going?” Ruby asks as she stirs in the sugar.

“Doing good, glad the day is almost over. You doing anything this weekend?” Diane is asking because she has been trying to get Ruby to go out with her and some of the other women in the office out for drinks. Ruby always declines. But it doesn’t stop her from asking.

“No, not doing anything, just going to relax.” Then Ruby picks up her cup of tea and heads back to her desk.

While she has been gone, Jack went to her computer and brough up her screen saver and changed it so that it would scroll a sentence on the screen. So anyone that would walk by would see it. He put the message as ‘don’t stand close behind Ruby, she has really bad gas.’ By the time she returned to her desk, Jack was back at his desk as if he never moved. He heard her return and was waiting for her reaction. At first she didn’t notice, she just moved her mouse and was checking email. Then when she was checking something in her file drawer, the screen saver came on and she looked up from the file and read it. 

She was laughing too hard to respond. When she caught her breath she said, “Jack, you bastard, I will get you back for that.” He was laughing and challenged, “I will be waiting for it.”