Just the Other Day: Getting Even

After living there for many years and trying corn from other states, I’ve concluded the best sweet corn in the world comes from Iowa. Returning from our camping trip in Ankeny, we brought home extra corn to share with friends and neighbors.


When I took a few ears across the road, Bonnie asked me to come inside, “I have something for you and Melissa, too.” She brought a baking dish of something that sure looked good, to the table. “It’s a blueberry dessert I made,” she said, while cutting two pieces, each about three inches square. She placed them on a paper plate, “I’m not going to cover this. The plastic wrap will stick to the whipped topping.” I told her it was okay I was going straight home.


Smelling the fresh blueberries, I said, “I hope this makes it home.” Then added, “I don’t think we need to tell Melissa about this dessert, just in case it doesn’t.” We shared a good laugh about that. I thanked her for the dessert; Bonnie and her husband, Kenny, thanked me for the corn. I was barely off their steps when I caught another whiff of those berries. I smiled thinking I sure got the better end of this deal.


About halfway on the short walk home, the two pieces shifted a little. Sliding them back into position, I got some whipped topping on me. Obviously, I couldn’t go home with dessert on my finger; it would look as if I had sneaked a sample. Mmm.  The square had a small dent where I pushed it, so I evened out the edge. “Oops, I accidentally got some more on my finger. My bad.” Mmm.


At home in the kitchen, I took a fork and cut a small corner from Melissa’s piece and tasted it.  “Oh my. That is good.” I said, then tried another small bite. I took a third bite to Melissa, who was sitting at her computer. “Close your eyes and open your mouth.” I said, then waved the fork under her nose.


“Blueberries!” She said with excitement, then opened her eyes and ate the bite. “That’s really good! Where did you get it?” She sprang up from her chair and followed me to the kitchen. Her eyes lit up when she saw two big pieces on the plate – one missing a few small bites. Taking the fork, she tried another bite, as if to give a second opinion. “Mmm. That is so good.” She pointed the fork at the piece we had been sampling and declared, “That’s your piece.” We shared a good laugh about that.

“Bonnie gave it to me when I took them the sweet corn.” I explained.


Melissa took another nibble, “Honey, we got the better end of that deal. Go ask them if they need some more corn.”


“This is for dessert tonight.” I said, snatching the plate from her and setting it in the refrigerator.


With the dessert safely tucked away, I drove to the Finland Co-op to get a couple things I needed for dinner. When I got back, Melissa confessed, “I have to tell you, I already ate my piece of the blueberry treat.” I laughed. Somehow, I knew that was going to happen. I decided to have my dessert before dinner, too.  I took the plate from the fridge and looked at the small piece that remained, about half the size it was when I brought it home.


“I thought Bonnie cut the pieces bigger than this.” I said, giving Melissa the stink eye.


“Oh,” she smiled, “Your piece had that bite out of the corner, so I evened it up for you.”  Hmph. I ate the rest before anything else could happen to it.


Sunday morning after mass there was a pancake breakfast in the church hall. Kenny is one of the cooks for the Knights of Columbus. They don’t always have them, but on this day, they had both regular and blueberry pancakes – I had the blueberries and sat with our neighbors to eat. I learned it was Kenny’s birthday, which gave me an idea.


When I got home, I made a pie. After it cooled, I took it to the neighbor’s house. “I made this peach pie and I wanted Kenny to have the first slice for his birthday.” I told them. Bonnie got a plate from the cupboard. I cut into the pie; it was still warm. The aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg escaped from the flaky crust. I gave them two big slices, then walked down the road to visit another neighbor.


Gene was in the driveway working with his tractor and a trailer full of gravel. He said, “Peach pie is my favorite.”


I reminded him, “Gene, you told me every kind of pie is your favorite.”


“Well, it is.” He said, “But peach is my favorite, favorite.” We shared a good laugh about that. I carried the pie up to the house where Lois took a plate from the cupboard.  I gave them two big slices, then walked home.


Melissa and I enjoy sharing pie with friends and neighbors. It gives us a good feeling inside and it keeps us (me) from eating the whole thing! After dinner we each had a slice of pie, leaving the last two pieces for the next day.


I suppose it was around seven p.m., when I walked to the kitchen. Melissa quickly turned away. “Ah ha!” I said, “And just what are you eating?”


“Nothing.” She replied, acting suspiciously innocent, but I knew what it was and she knew that I knew that she knew it. She justified, “It was just a tiny bite.”


When she left the kitchen, I removed the foil from the pie pan. Her bite left a small divot in the side of one of the slices. “Look at that.” I said, shaking my head. I took a knife and fork from the silverware drawer, “I’ll have to even up that edge…” Mmm.