Elmer and Lucy were an elderly couple in our community. Elmer was a short heavyset man with a great sense of humor. He was friends with everyone and the sound of his laughter would alert us that he was nearby.
One Sunday we were invited to their house for lunch. We arrived in time to help Lucy with the preparations of her simple meal. There were potatoes, meat and gravy and some kind of vegetable. For dessert there was a bowl of peaches and a plate filled with oatmeal cookies.
We children sat on a bench at the back of the table and listened as the grown ups visited. Elmer was regaling us with stories from his younger years and everyone was enjoying themselves. As everyone finished their first course it was time to pass the cookies and peaches and a little pitcher of milk.
Everyone took a cookie and some peaches. As I bit into my cookie I was surprised how hard it was. It was difficult trying to gnaw a bite off. The conversation continued as Daddy and everyone else placed their cookie in their plate and poured milk over it and spooned peaches beside it. I watched as Daddy tried to pry a bite of the cookie off with his spoon. It was too hard and as he kept visiting he kept on trying to get his spoon to cut through the cookie. The cookie was so hard that even the milk that had been poured over it was having a hard time soaking into it. All of a sudden his spoon slipped and his entire cookie went flying across the table and landed in Lucy's plate.
Conversation stopped and Elmer started laughing. Daddy was embarrassed by what had just happened but Elmer continued laughing. Loud rolling laughter. His shoulders shook and tears streamed down his face as he tried to control himself but every time he was almost done laughing he had to start all over again.
Daddy finished his peaches and I had a sneaking suspicion that he was secretly glad he didn't have to eat that cookie.