Mattie reached for the ringing telephone. Scooter, the mongrel that kept her company, barked in response.
Her friend Lucy was calling. “Mattie, you’ve got to come over right away. Seems we need to bake some more cookies.”
“Oh? I thought we had enough cookies in the church freezer to last plumb up through Christmas.”
“Well, I ain’t sure. All I heard was that we need to get together and make some more.”
“All right, Lucy. I’ll be there quick as I can. ”
“See ya shortly.”
Mattie hung up. Baking with the ladies was one of the few things Mattie looked forward to. She scratched Scooter’s head. “Us women got to get busy. Somebody’s needin’ some cookies.”
Several of the ladies from Mattie’s church got together twice a month to bake cookies. They made sure the kids had cookies for their parties, and newcomers were welcomed with delicious home made goodies. There was rarely a circle meeting or luncheon that didn’t have an offering of the ladies home baked treats. It had become a tradition.
Mattie gathered some baking supplies and stepped out onto her weathered wooden porch. Her thoughts turned to who would be there. She was looking forward to hearing about everyone’s families and latest blessings.
It was a short walk to Lucy’s house. She heard chatter and laughter coming from inside, so she went in without knocking.
Belva beamed at Mattie from the kitchen. “Well look who the wind blew in. It’s Mattie Mae. Come in here, sweetie.”
She was greeted with smiles and hugs from her friends, then she turned her attention to Lucy. “Who we bakin’ cookies for?”
“I ain’t sure. I just heard we needed more. Pastor Mike seemed to think we needed to store some more up.”
Mattie grabbed an apron. “Well, let’s get busy then.”
Lucy’s kitchen was bright and warm. Her husband had recently bought her a brand new gas stove. The ladies all admired it very much and were excited when it was Lucy’s turn to host the baking sessions.
They took their usual places in the cookie assembly line, some measuring, and some mixing. They worked together smoothly like a well oiled machine. Belva cracked eggs into a bowl and began to sing “Just a Little Talk with Jesus” in her country twang. One by one, they all joined in on the chorus. The kitchen became even warmer filled with the sweet sound of their voices singing for the Lord.
When the first batch of cookies came out, Lucy applauded. “Looky here. Ain’t that the prettiest batch of sugar cookies you ever laid eyes on?”
Mattie grinned. “We done good, didn’t we?”
“I’ll say we did.”
“Let’s make ‘em even better. I feel like they’re for some special folks. I’ll make some chocolate icing.”
Belva clapped her hands together. “Yes Mattie, do that.”
Mattie got ingredients together for a simple frosting. Before she started making the frosting, she asked for the ladies attention. “I just want you women to know that gettin’ together with you means a lot to me. Havin’ Christian friends that share work with you is downright enjoyable. Besides that, we’re doin’ somethin’ good.”
Belva dabbed at her eyes. “I feel the same way. You women are so important to me. I know we’re workin’ when we get together, but I ain’t never happier. This is just so much fun.” Belva blew her nose noisily.
The awkward moment was interrupted by a knock at the door. Lucy looked out to see who it was. Pastor Mike stood on the other side of the screen door. “Come on in here, Pastor. We’re makin’ the cookies you asked for.”
He entered the small kitchen and removed his hat. “I want you ladies to know how important you are to the church. The truth is, we’ve already got of plenty of cookies. This get together’s for you.”
The ladies looked around at each other, puzzled. Pastor Mike continued. “You do so much for the church. We have some donations for you. You’ll find some big sacks of flour and sugar out on the porch. Coy said for you to stop by his dairy any time you needed milk or butter.”
Lucy grinned. “Ladies, let’s eat cookies. Pastor Mike, would you like one?”
He nodded. “Believe I would, Ma’am.” He bit into the sweet offering. “Best cookie I ever ate.”
Mattie hugged him. “And this is the best time I ever had.”
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