Some thoughts on realizing this is THE END. Continue reading “The Last Lebkuchen”
My Wife is my greatest treasure, but as I’ve mentioned before we’re rather particular about sharing personal photographs.
I already shared how coffee is my daily dose of bliss; spoiler alert: it makes another appearance here!
First, there are the family treasures: the kind of thing you’d want to grab in case of fire.
For me, that’s my great-grandfather’s matchsafe. He was a printer on turn-of-the-century banana boats (that’s the 1890s-1900s, by the way) as well as almost serving on the Titanic, but didn’t. This particular matchsafe is from the SS Almirante, a merchant vessel out of Belfast, Ireland that sank off Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1918. I don’t believe Great-Grandpa was on board.
Second, there are the daily treasures: the little things that help make life worth living.
You guessed it, time for more coffee:
Finally, there are the rare treasures: things that are only here for a short time and then gone for good.
Like lebkuchen from Day’s Bakery:
Word of the Week certainly fits the mold of a regular feature.
Last week’s word was discovery. This week’s word is . . .
Late last week, my sister posted to my Facebook:
However, all is not lost. There are rumors the bakery will be bought – property, machines, expertise – and the tradition continue. In addition, I received a parcel:
I’m not as
desperate financially able as the woman who cleared out her freezer and ordered fifty dozen lebkuchen.
At ten dollars per dozen, that’s quite a bit of dough.
Then there’s the loss the world is talking about:
Sir Terry Pratchett
I doubt there’s anything I can say here that hasn’t been said elsewhere.
I have no story of how I met him or saw him or received an autographed book as a gift. Nevertheless, he influenced my life in ways few authors have. In those terms, he’s part of my Triad:
His books have been out since the early eighties, but I only discovered the Disc in 2008 or so with the Hogfather DVD American release. Having loved the film, I tracked down the book; looking back, it may not be the best introduction to Discworld, but I was hooked. Soon most extra money went to purchasing more of Pratchett’s works, and I found myself emotionally invested in Rincewind and Granny Weatherwax and Gythia Ogg and Havelock Vetinari and Sam Vines and Moist von Lipwig and DEATH.
As Iain Sutherland wrote on the change.org petition that DEATH return Sir Terry:
Terry Pratchett turned Death from a figure of hate into a much loved and sometimes welcomed character. No-one else cared about you Death.
You owe him!
I’ve never cried about the death of a celebrity or other public figure . . . until now.
And the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was crying not as much for Sir Terry, but for the end of the Disc.
Does that make me selfish?
I’ll never understand why I’m such a selfish man.
Sir Terry’s death also makes me angry.
Angry for the loss of literary wonder.
Angry at the Alzheimer’s that took him far too early.
Angry at the unfairness of it all.
Another petitioner on change.org wrote
It is like when you lose that relative who you didn’t know very well, but they helped you get through some really tough time and you always meant to call or write, and now it’s too late.
It’s times like these that make us wonder what makes it all worthwhile. Sir Terry had the answer:
“I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?" Death thought about it. CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.”
When it comes down to it, I just don’t know what to say. So I’ll read instead, savoring every line and turn of phrase and share the ones that speak to me. Because although Sir Terry is gone,
No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away.
May Sir Terry’s ripples go on forever.
Mom sent Lebkuchen for my birthday.
Or maybe Christmas.
The two tend to run together.
Either way, it’s Day’s Bakery Lebkuchen.
Just as good as I remember.
Mother-in-Law found Lebkuchen at the commissary.
She told Mr. Tom.
She/He/They bought me a bag for Christmas.
Let the Lebkuchen-Festival commence!
The best things in life require effort.
Lebkuchen, for instance.
My hometown of Honesdale, Pennsylvania is semi-famous for two things: the Stourbridge Lion and “Winter Wonderland.” It should also be famous for the wonderful lebkuchen from Day’s Bakery. Their wonderfully soft and spicy bar-style lebkuchen is simply divine. And when the crunchy glaze cracks and begins to melt in your mouth . . .
Unfortunately, they don’t ship. At least, their website doesn’t offer shipping and I haven’t heard back from my email. I could ask family to send me some, but things of that nature tend to get “lost in the mail” – if you know what I mean.
I tracked down a recipe that sounds like it might be similar to my culinary fantasy, but the ingredients proved to be cost-prohibitive.
The stores in my area don’t even sell a boxed variety, the smaller, crunchier lebkuchen set on oblaten. Rumor has it that the commissary sells some sort of lebkuchen, but I’m not in the military. I have friends who are, though, so maybe I can call in a favor or two.
Now if only I could find some Moxie to go with it . . .
My good blogger-friend Phil recently commented on Christmas People and Non-Christmas People.
Apparently – according to my family, at least – I am an NCP.
They put up the decorations.
I look at said decorations.
They drive through neighborhoods for lights and decorations.
I watch Fireplace for Your Home.
They sing along with 24/7 Christmas radio station.
I sing Christmas carols in German.
They watch Hallmark Christmas movies.
I watch A Christmas Story.
And Fireplace for Your Home.
They drink mulled cider and hot chocolate and eat sugar cookies and gingerbread.
I drink mulled cider or hot chocolate or eggnog or coffee.
I eat sugar cookies and gingerbread and – when I can get it – lebkuchen.
While watching Fireplace for Your Home.
I enjoy Christmas, just in a different way. Don’t judge me.