Friday, February 9, 2024

When Sharing Goes Wrong

     Stocking the pantry with all the basics after we got married took a little while, and it was a few weeks before I had everything I needed to finally be able to bake something good.
    The cake had turned out beautifully and was waiting on the countertop to be enjoyed for dessert with supper. 
    I heard the door open and the sound of LVs feet running up the stairs. I went to greet him at the kitchen door, but he was in a hurry. "Is the cake ready?" he asked.
    I had told him my plans for baking earlier as we ate lunch.
    I turned to get him a piece, when he asked if I could package some up for the guy who did our feed rations.
    I was surprised, but went ahead and wrapped some up and he hurried back outside with it.
    Later that evening we talked about it.
    He was used to sharing fresh baked goods with anyone who came up to the farm. It was something he hoped we would continue doing.
    It was all new to me. I couldn't imagine how much food we would have given out had we shared something with everyone who stopped in at our woodworking shop when I was growing up, but if this was what he wanted to do I would certainly do my part.
    Over the next years I lost track of all the things I baked that we never got to eat because someone stopped by. Bread, cookies, cake, pie, and more made their way out of the kitchen and into someone else's hands.
    And then one day LV had to go deliver a load of hay. I had just finished baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies when I looked out the window and saw a vehicle pull up to the barn. A guy got out and entered the doors to the milkhouse.
    By now I was used to making sure no one left empty handed. I quickly packed up some still warm cookies, and went outside to see what he wanted and send the cookies home with him.
    It was the milk inspector. He surveyed my offering of cookies and told me that trying to bribe him will not work.
    I was stunned, I had never thought of trying to bribe him, had never met the milk inspector before so I had no idea that was who he was until that moment. He must have seen the confusion and dismay because he ended up accepting them as I told him they weren't a bribe, but that we give everyone baked goods when they come to the farm.
    I never offered to give an inspector anything ever again, and it took a while for the uncomfortable sting of it all to diminish.
    Thankfully I can somewhat laugh at my naiveness now.


  1. I'm sorry that gesture of kindness was so misunderstood! Please don't feel naive. You and your husband were nothing but generous to have such a sweet practice. Thing of how many people were blessed by and enjoyed your baking!

    I think it's likely that inspector also remembers the encounter--with a touch of shame--for how he immediately assumed the worst and accused you of bribery.

    Perhaps some good came out of it. Quite possibly he softened his attitude and ways after that, and no longer looked for treachery where there was only beauty.

  2. He'd probably had others try to bribe him. What a wonderful, generous custom you had!

  3. Oh my. Well, he had probably never run into someone like you before!

  4. Having a well-intentioned act misconstrued can be so hurtful. I'm glad he finally accepted your gift in the end.

  5. Wow, I'm sorry that your good intentions got turned into a accusation like that. He was probably someone that wasn't used to doing good deeds himself unless it was to promote himself, or why would that be his first thought.

  6. That was such a wonderful and generous custom that you and LV had. How sad that the gentleman's first reaction was suspicion. I'm glad that he realized that you only meant to be neighborly and friendly.

  7. What a lovely tradition to create for you and your husband in your new life back then. And too bad about the milk inspector adding that sting to your beautiful good deed. Such is life. Not everyone sees life from the same side of the lens. And probably he did encounter a few wanna-be bribers. Anyways, thanks for a lovely peek into your early married life.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.