Tuesday, February 26, 2008

No Cookies for Old Men

Gramps was one tough cookie. He had a list of ailments that would have made the toughest movie outlaws and bad guys cry big baby blubbering tears. Any single one of his illnesses would lay them out flat. Not Gramps, he was tough. Man, they don't make them like that anymore, Gramps and the guys from his generation. Gotta love 'em!

However, there were times when his sweet tooth would act up, and right at the exact moment, I was dealing with a fidgety little kid, caught with his hand in the cookie jar. His usual sugar fix of choice was either black cherry ice cream or pineapple sherbet from Thrifty (now Rite-Aid), and in a pinch, any ice cream bar or paleta would do him just fine. But he sure did love cookies. He denied it, of course, but he would sneak a pack of those chocolate covered grahams into the house. And boxes of vanilla wafers and plain grahams always seemed to disappear, exactly when I needed to make a pie crust or a layered dessert. Cookie crumbs were scattered everywhere--- the cold hard evidence gave him away, little crumbs and chocolate smudges all over the place. Of course he blamed the fact that they were already in the house, so that's why he ate them. "Are you eating cookies again? Better let me take a look at your numbers, old man," I would threaten to read the meter. "It's not my fault, you bought them!" "What?" and that was the argument nobody ever won.

Lots of us sandwich generation folks are living our lives, stacked like a bunch of Oreo sandwich cookies---with aging and frail parents on one stack, kids growing up and moving on another, and whatever is leftover goes to our significant others, if we are fortunate to have their love and support. It is truly a miracle how we divide ourselves up, and not come up a cookie or two short. Talk about tough cookies, God bless you if your life is like that. I know how hard a task you have.

This is the first year since the late 1950's that I haven't seen a single Oscar nominated movie. Watching the trailer for "No Country, etc." makes me crack up, because on a good day, my hair looks like the wig on the gimpy menacing evil bad guy, played by Javier Bardem, who won the Oscar. Oh, big woo, he's so mean and tough! Nah, not even close with that funky lady hairdo, it only makes him look like a tough old broad, and I mean that with all respect to tough broads everywhere.

We sure loved to watch old movies together, Granny & Gramps and me. Our numero uno family favorite will always be "The Godfather"---all 3 parts, (although I don't care much for Al Pacino's hair in Part 3). It should have its own cable channel running 24/7, heck, they show it practically every week. Granny loved musicals and mysteries, Gramps loved war movies and westerns, like "Stagecoach" with the Duke. Tough guys, just like him. Tough broads like Granny.

Well, if you happen to have a couple of tough cookies in your familia, like our Gramps & Granny, share a sweet cookie or two with them. Once in a while won't hurt. Plain grahams and vanilla wafers actually have less sugar, but chocolate covered grahams are so tasty! Get together with them and talk about old movies on AMC or Turner Classics, the ones they grew up watching. Sit back and watch an old flick. You deserve to enjoy the moment. They don't make them like that anymore.