I love caramel rolls. Now, I know there are lots and lots of people out there who, if given the choice, would select the arch enemy of the beloved caramel roll, otherwise known as the “cinnamon roll,” complete with cream cheese frosting. Now if I am honest, I must admit to having enjoyed my fair share of cinnamon rolls over the years, but only when there was an unfortunate absence of caramel rolls. I mean, there is really no comparison. Sure, you have the “other” roll loaded with cream cheese, but frankly, there is only so much of that you can consume before you start seeing dots in front of your eyes. Plus, there is always the inherent danger that the cinnamon roll will have cooked a bit too long in the oven, at which point it doesn’t matter how much cream cheese you slather on top – it’s just going to be gag-you dry, like an over cooked chicken breast. Don’t get me going on that.
Instead, let us draw our attention to delightful, always sweet enough, malty, brown sugary and buttery delight that is indeed the caramel roll. They are usually served warm, with that wonderful pat (sometimes scoop) of butter that melts and flows all over the caramel goodness. As well, unless you are horribly unskilled, caramel rolls are always soft and tender and full of life and goodness. Not so, you say? I refer you back to the first part of the last sentence, and that “horribly unskilled” phrase…
In full disclosure, I do believe that my beloved at times prefers the “other” roll. It is not my place to condemn that behavior, that poor selection, other than to hold a sad disappointment in an otherwise stellar personality. It’s kind of like going to a business banquet, and choosing the pork chop over the ribeye. You just have to ask “why?” Why go down that path, when the road to divine delight is found on the caramel way. I expect when we all get to heaven, St. Peter will have a nice warm batch of caramel rolls waiting for us as soon as we walk through the pearly gates. If there are cinnamon rolls, they will be on the ground outside, if someone really wants one.
With that bit of shared knowledge now resting between us, let me offer a tale that you may not actually believe to be true. About three weekends ago, that Friday afternoon brought visions of caramel rolls dancing in my head, and I suggested to Cheri that we go out early on Saturday and pick up some for breakfast. Wise as she is, she reminded me that our favorite donut place in town, Sandy’s Donuts, actually will deliver baked goods to your door, so long as you order them the day before. Since that was indeed the day before, I went online, and ordered a dozen caramel rolls to be delivered. I figured they would last at least until Sunday.
All night long, I slept in peace, knowing that a sweet breakfast was coming our way. Sure enough, at the appointed hour, there was a knock on the door, and a masked man (everyone wears masks) handed me the box of rolls. What I was not expecting was to have the box weigh upwards of ten pounds! For a dozen rolls. I hauled the box into the kitchen, pushed it on to the counter, and then opened it to try to figure out what little caramel rolls would weigh so much!
I made a mistake using the word, “little.” As I opened the 9x13 box, I couldn’t see the bottom of it. Instead, there in the box, staring up at me were 12 massive caramel rolls, probably a pound apiece, and slathered with tons of caramel goodness. It must have been how they felt when they first entered Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. For a moment, I thought I too heard St. Peter whispering, “Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about…”
I took a knife, carved out one of the rolls, put some butter on top, and heated it in the microwave for only about 30 seconds. It was a glorious caramel roll. Tasty, soft, caramelly, and just warm enough to have with a cup of coffee. Did I mention it was also big? Really big. About halfway through, I felt like I was at caramel roll Thanksgiving, and I hadn’t even gotten to the yams and the rest of the stuffing.
I finished the thing. Did I mention it was huge? I pushed the plate away, and estimated I would next eat sometime after 8pm that night. Maybe. After breakfast was done, with four of us in the home, I noticed that only 3 ½ rolls out of 12 had been eaten. More to enjoy on Sunday!
After Sunday breakfast, only 1 ½ more rolls had been consumed. The boys opted for an alternate meal plan, and of course, we know who only at ½ of the roll… With seven giant rolls left, I realized I had miscalculated the sheer amount of roll needed to feed a family of four. As we were approaching now the full second day of the rolls, I needed to take action to preserve them. Using freezer bags, and a strip of waxed paper on top of each set of two rolls, we sealed and saved them for another time in our garage freezer.
There they sat, forgotten by all the world, frozen in time for three weeks. Last Thursday, however, the caramel roll bell began once again to ring in my head, and I recalled the hidden frozen stash. Knowing that the quality of a roll degrades pretty strongly after a little time in the freezer, I still pulled out a package of two, and let them melt/thaw on the counter until the next morning.
Knowing they would be tough and dry, but that they still would have the semblance of caramel rollism, I put one of them on my plate, dropped the butter on it, and microwaved it. I sat at the table, took a bite… and lo and behold, through some magic or mystery – could it be St. Peter? – the roll tasted as good, and maybe better than its brother did three weeks before! It was glorious, and a wonderful way to get a sugar buzz for most of the morning.
We all hope for happy things in our lives. I don’t know anyone who says, “I hope I have a really sad day today.” Happiness, joy, peace, pleasure, satisfaction are woven into the core of our being. When we hear that we have been created in the image of God, we also hear that when God made everything, God called it “good.” That’s our hope too. We don’t just want fairy tales to have happy endings – we want each of our daily lives to be the same. I would guess that’s our intention, and it’s only when we become absent-minded, and not present in our here and now world, that we accidentally create pain and sadness and dry caramel rolls. I invite you to remain attentive to your life, intentional in your actions for joy and hope, and I believe that when we live that way, more often than we realize, God will bring showers of blessings – and maybe tasty rolls – to our daily lives. God indeed will bring life that is amazing and significant, so long as we intend for that as well.
Word for the day: dactylioglyph. dack-TILL-ee-o-gliff. Neat word, and sounds like others we have heard. At Hemingway’s Key West home, today you will find descendants for the first polydactyl cats, all having six or more toes on a paw. The dactyl, or daktulos means “finger,” or at least digit. The “glyph” we have heard in cave paintings or “petroglyphs” really talk about the Greek glyph, which is to engrave.
So, a dactylioglyph stands for either the one who engraves, or the engraving itself – not on a finger, but on a finger ring (as opposed to a ring one might wear somewhere else on their body). When we were going through Mom’s things after her death, in one box was a gold wedding ring. Engraved inside, seventy one years ago, was the dactylioglyph, “Ruth Roger 6/26/49.” It’s up to me now to cherish and care for Dad’s wedding ring, known by its dactylioglyph
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.