Thick honey cascades down into the gloppy peanut butter. I finish pouring then wait for the thread of stickiness to withdraw back into the bottle. I cap the bottle and store it in the make-shift pantry in my dorm room. Finally, the sandwich is crowned with another piece of whole wheat bread. Or at least I think it’s whole wheat, that’s what the bag said. My health class back at Centralia taught me to be wary of advertisers and their ability to twist words; actually, come to think of it, a lot of people do that nowadays.
Honey is supposed to be good for you, it’s made by bees. Bees are hardworking; I’m a hardworking college girl. I want honey on my sandwich even though I’ve gotten yet another cold and shouldn’t be eating sugar. It’s made from the nectar of flowers. I used to suck on purple clover when I was little, seeing if my big clumsy tongue could taste the hint of nectar.
I loved watching bees amble amongst the raspberry bushes. I often wanted raspberries from the rows of prickly bushes in the summertime. I loved raspberries. The bees wanted to get to the raspberry flowers. I didn’t bug them, they didn’t bug me; both of us got along. The raspberry would melt in my mouth with a hint of velvet-fabric texture; reminding me of fairy dust and tangy summer mixed with just the perfect amount of sweetness. Berries are good for you too. Mom and Dad always called me ‘their little berry-fairy.’ I liked that.
I loved peanut butter. Dad says peanut butter toast is good for colds (with the toast slightly burnt, of course. Charcoal is good for the teeth he says, but I’m never sure how, the only bit of good it seems to do is turn my teeth black. Perhaps I will one day tell my children the same thing when I burn their toast).
Peanut butter makes me want to drink lots of tea; it dries my mouth out. Perhaps I am like a raccoon. Perhaps I should always dip my food in water so I can swallow it. Peanut butter makes me think of expeditions to the Beaver Pond, a park I can never remember the real name of, besides the fact that it starts with an ‘M.’ Dad would always take my brother and I to the Beaver Pond to find the eagle named Wisdom and the Wee Folk. We loved it. We always packed lots of snacks, “Just in case we get stuck in a blizzard” Dad said. Peanut butter and honey sandwiches were a favorite winter snack, “Plenty of protein,” Dad said.
Snowfall used to be fun, it meant Dad got a day off from teaching school and he could come play with us in the snow. It meant Mom would make us hot cocoa and be sure we took our vitamins and that we wore enough layers. It meant our dog Maggie Mae would trot through the snow with us.
But that was then, this is now.
Maggie Mae died a couple of summers back; we had had her ever since I was a little girl. I guess she got old and worn out, just like everything does. I guess neither summer nor winter last forever.
Now if we get snow I’m lucky if I can make it home and back again on the weekend to visit my family down south. I miss home. Perhaps one day I will get stuck in a blizzard and need a peanut butter and honey sandwich. Blizzards seem to become more common as I get older; perhaps we really are slipping into another Little Ice Age as the scientists say. Or perhaps it’s just another form of advertising.
Sometimes I wish I could go back to being a little child.