Katharine Osborne column: Remembered happiness: Sweet it is

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 6, 2007

By Katharine Osborne

For The Salisbury Post

As a treat for myself recently, I stopped at Krispy Kreme for coffee and a doughnut. Sitting inside, I was beset with memories of the past. A few trips to Winston-Salem when I was a child introduced these warm, sweet circles of dough called doughnuts. It wasn’t until I was married and living in Charlotte that they became an integral part of my life.

I discovered that the hassle of taking the children to Sunday school and church was decidedly eased if we went to Krispy Kreme for breakfast. The Independence Boulevard shop was only several blocks from St. Martin’s Episcopal Church. Everyone seemed to dress faster, anticipating the expected treat.

From the counter, one could see the process of making and cooking the doughnuts. My son wanted to sit as close to the glass window as he could, as he closely inspected the process every Sunday.

When we moved to Salisbury, we lost our Sunday outing. However, I found that Innes Street Drug Store at Ketner Center had a small counter that sold drinks and snacks. On my way to the grocery store, I could have coffee and a Krispy Kreme doughnut.

Then Krispy Kreme opened a store here in 1975, the year my husband retired. So once again it became a special part of my life. The quiet of our now empty nest was relieved by trips to Krispy Kreme. Around the counter, there developed a real camaraderie as familiar faces would drop in. Many workmen such as the Eaton brothers joined many retired men as regulars.

But things change!

My husband died and I did not like going there by myself. Then Krispy Kreme took out the counter and made little tables of three or four. The fellowship or friendliness of the coffee drinkers diminished.

I could look at these past times and have them color me sad and gray since I am now alone. But I choose to remember those days as blessings given to me.

My present contentment is closely tied to acceptance of the present colored by these remembrances of long ago times.

The Rev. Barbara Crafton in one of her Geranium Farm meditations writes perfect advice: “Do and love the things you can do and love now. Do and love them in the awareness that they will not always be within your power. They are now, though. You have them today. Seize the day, then, and bless it.”

This guides me to a happier life, being grateful for past pleasures and being glad I’m alive.