Molasses cookies. One of our favorites for the holidays. They have all of the warm scents and spices redolent of the season. I cannot recall a winter that has gone by when we didn't have these cookies filling the house with their rich aroma.
These are soul-satisfying cookies. No fuss cookies. Humble and unassuming nibbles that ask for no praises or glorification.
On the positive side, their unassuming presentation lures one to pass over them for a more ornate choice - leaving more of these chewy, spicy molasses flavored cookies for, well...
These Molasses cookies are extra special this year. Every batch of cookies, every meal at the table, every holiday that passes is of special significance ~ we have a senior in the house ready to embark on a new journey next year.
In October, M. and I returned from a whirlwind college road trip. This year is it~a chapter closes~a new one begins. It was time to hit the road and see where her next journey in life might possibly be. Now, college applications are all in. The grueling waiting period commences.
We were off to the East Coast to visit campuses in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New Hampshire. We were giddy with excitement to see the fall leaves dressed in their brilliant reds and oranges, feel the snap of crispness in the air, and the crunch of early morning frost on the ground.
As we flew over Atlanta, GA we could already see swaths of brilliant fall foliage down below.
Visiting college campuses is certainly an exhilarating time for both parents and their children. Poor M. She was filled with stress over handling interviews and about making lasting impressions.
I tried to bear her consternations and agonies over the "what ifs" and "maybes". My face was a countenance of solace and understanding, but, truth be told, I had a most enjoyable time following her around ~ free from the anxieties and strains of fretting over "rejections" and "acceptances".
The air was breezy, the foliage spectacular, the campuses lovely, and the little New England towns were charming.
We wandered campuses, peeked in libraries, ate in dining halls, and listened to student panel discussions.
I cannot say that I would be the least bit interested in going back to my college years. I very much enjoy being in my '40s. I feel more confidant about myself, my interests, and my place in this world.
Actually seeing the locations of where your child might relocate is immensely helpful in making college decisions. I found that my trepidation about this impending change has greatly eased. The unknown is often much more worrisome than the known.
The New England campuses were filled to the brim with charm and scholarly atmosphere. While M. was occupied with interviews and information sessions, I had plenty of time to take in the surroundings, enjoy the beauty of each campus, and imagine possibilities of her new life next year.
It was amusing to trace back to the beginning of this college selection process when she was younger. Listening to her thoughts at that time and what her aspirations are now parallel her growth and maturity into young adulthood.
We were uncertain if all of the colors of New England would be gone since they had quite the deluge of snow earlier in October.
The reds were brilliant. The oranges were glowing. The corals, browns, and whites created a quilt of entertaining colors that washed my spirit with beauty and happiness.
Like I mentioned, and chuckle to admit, the time perusing each campus gave me ample time to relax and simply enjoy the beautiful surroundings. I can't quite say the same for my travel partner!
My new fall drink was a café latte with a tiny squirt of pumpkin flavor from Starbucks. So wonderfully aromatic and warming.
This time next year so many changes will occur. So many of you who (amazingly) read my rambling musings, have been so kind with your supportive and caring words.
I've met so many other mothers who have just turned this corner with their children or who are in the same chapter as me. I appreciate all of your words of wisdom!
It was an exhilarating whirlwind of college campus tours. Navigating the city of Boston has all of the frenetic pace of Houston but with so many added curves thrown in!
Instead of fretting over next year's loss ~ I am giddily anticipating which of the towns visited might become a new area of travel and exploration for the rest of us!
I will be thrilled with each and every one of the locations M. has selected. Now, all that's left is that nagging concern..."rejection" or "acceptance"!!
Simple Molasses Cookies:
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Melt shortening over low heat. Remove and let cool. Add the sugar, molasses, and egg to the shortening. Sift the dry ingredients. Mix everything together. Chill.
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Roll each ball into a bowl of sugar and place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake at 375˚ F for 8-10 minutes.