It started on a rainy Monday during registration week at the college where I worked. I had run across campus to get the mail from the post office and was dripping wet and complaining when I struggled to get to my desk without taking a header on the slippery floor.
And there, in the middle of the chaos that was covering the top of my desk, sat delight. A delicate white paper doily sat properly next to my computer covered with a delicious looking cookie dressed in a frosting that called my name.
“Andy!” My friend at the next desk looked up. “Did you leave this cookie on my desk?”
“Cookie? Let me see it. No, I didn’t leave it, but wish someone would leave me one it looks yummy.”
“Do I dare eat it? I mean would some crazy person leave me a cookie? Do I know anyone who would want to hurry my exit from this exciting life I’m leading? Did you see a crazy person at my desk?”
I looked at the cookie and decided to throw it away, but to be honest, the smell overpowered me and I picked it up. I sniffed. Lavender, I believe. I took a bite and was smitten. It was definitely lavender, but subtle. With just a hint of citrus. A nice break from the everydayness that was my job. Sort of like having a secret Santa at Christmas. A surprise and an encouragement. Somehow work went so much better with the lingering taste of lavender in my mouth.
Tuesday wasn’t raining, but the mail was still waiting, so I went to the post office as usual. When I got back to the office there was a cookie on my desk.
Wednesday. The same. Thursday I was beginning to expect the cookie. Friday with the weekend coming I sailed out the door happy savoring the sweetness of the delicate glaze and trying to decide if the citrus taste was grapefruit or lemon.
This happened for over a month. Really … by actual count…I received 35 beautiful delicious fragrant glazed lavender cookies. Of course, I came to expect them, to daydream about where they came from and to anticipate how this adventure would end. And then, abruptly, it ended.
Unbeknown to me, I received the last cookie on a Friday. Monday when I got back from the post office I filled my coffee cup in anticipation of a cookie break but no cookie, no doily, nothing but work was to be found on my desk. Not anywhere. And, believe you me, I looked. No note, no nothing.
Two days later I dragged myself over to the post office as usual. When I got back to my desk there was …in addition to the usual clutter… a beautiful Wedgewood cup and saucer and next to it, a small plate with a lavender cookie on it. As I got closer I saw an English breakfast tea bag on the plate next to the cup. And an elegant cream colored envelope.
With shaking hands I poured water into the cup and sat down to sip my tea, delight in the cookie and to open what looked like a card.
It was eye-catching, and contained a message that made my heart beat faster.
To celebrate thirty five years of a wonderful marriage (you wondered why thrity five cookies), I ask you to join me for tea at the Ashcroft House at Stratford Upon Avon, England tomorrow afternoon, March 28th, 2013. Your bags are packed and your ride is waiting in the office parking lot right now. Everything has been taken care of—I have your passport waiting for you at the airport.
You are the best wife in the world and…”
A bell shattered the silence. What on earth? My cheek was wet. Tears? No, I wasn’t crying. What was happening? I took a startled breath and opened my eyes. The dog was licking me—was that the alarm ringing?
Without question, the best dream ever.