Everyone needs a little icing on their chest

Everyone needs a little icing on their chest

Selena asked if we could fit a cake from Litty’s Bakery into the car for our trip down to Harrisonburg, Virginia to see her graduate with her master’s degree. I laughed to myself and told her “there’s always room for cake.”

They grew up on Litty’s cakes for birthdays and graduations. Chocolate cake with Bavarian filling always fit the bill. I had my daughter-in-law pick one up before we met for the trek through the mountains. I nestled it inside our big blue cooler and away we went. We opened up that cake in Selena’s kitchen and sang at the top of our lungs. Someone pointed out a dollop of frosting that had fallen onto my skin in between bites, and I said, “Everyone needs a little icing on their chest.”

Then we polished off slice after slice, eating the last corner piece late at night on the day before we left. A celebration isn’t complete without cake, deep and lush, feelings of joy and contentment enough for the moment. Whoever said we shouldn’t eat food to be happy should be put on the naughty list and given cake for breakfast.

Hunter and I have been bouncing ideas off each other for various reasons. Every time he said something funny, I laughed and said this was why the idea would work. In between grad ceremonies, we drank lots of coffees and wrote down snippets of word salad to save for later.

“This trip will not go unwritten, “ he said as I opened up my iPhone notes to write down something else.

We somehow found the time to hit Gift & Thrift, a big thrift store run by MCC in Harrisonburg. George was holding our sleeping grandson and sat down on some of the furniture for sale so he could rest. I saw him chatting with a man in Spanish, and they seemed deep in conversation. When I finally strolled over to check in with him, I realized he was being witnessed to by a Jehovah’s Witness.

To each their own, man, truly.

But George should get his own personalized card he can pull out at these moments that says he has listened to enough hours of their rhetoric that he doesn’t have to listen anymore. He always, always opened the door and listened to them — even when the rest of us ran to hide so they couldn’t see us from the door. Their stops became so frequent they were invasive. He never turned them away, but this man was too much. I could see he was.

Do not catch me unawares at the thrift store. When he tried to ask me if I spoke Spanish, I said sure, but I already know the way and that anything he wants me to read isn’t going to change it.

Just ask Selena about her showdown with them several years back. She challenged them in a big way, and they had several meetings. She actually got them to begrudgingly respect her. I always admired that about her. Her degree in conflict transformation will be used well.

Now that this weekend is over, it’s time to focus on the next big event in our family, our son’s wedding in June. I have a bridal shower to plan and a dress that gives ‘70s vibes to find. Hopefully, along the way, there will be more delicious cake to celebrate and drip frosting onto ourselves.

Melissa Herrera is a published author and opinion columnist. She is a curator of vintage mugs and all things spooky, and her book, “TOÑO LIVES,” can be found at www.tinyurl.com/Tonolives. For inquiries, to purchase her book or anything else on your mind, email her at junkbabe68@gmail.com or find her in the thrift aisles.

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