Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

“Why Jelly Donuts Make Me Smile,” by Janean Baird

Janean Baird, my niece, is the oldest child of my brother Gary Thompson and his wife Patty. She's an artist, writer, and a younger woman of wisdom. You can read more of her work at her blog Turquoise Tangles. Here's a funny family story about my older sister Julia. This is the first time I'm hearing it. Definitely out of profile for my sister! --(Aunt) Janet

"Why Jelly Donuts Make Me Smile"
by Janean Baird

As Aunt Julia began doing more collaborative work throughout Illinois, her travels often brought her to my neck of the woods near the center of the state. As she passed through the corridor where I lived, she sometimes stayed for a night or stopped for a brief visit before getting back on the highway.

On one of these layover visits she was telling me about the seminar she had just attended at a nearby university. In passing she mentioned, "Oh, and there were these jelly donuts".

Her expression as she uttered the words, "jelly donuts" was one of pure appreciation and pleasure. As a woman with a weakness for chocolate myself, and knowing how healthy, healthy, healthy everything she ate, often choosing food in it's purest form straight from the earth, I was rather incredulous and amazed to find out she had a secret sugar obsession in the form of jelly donuts.

I never knew. In all my 30-some years. What a marvelous piece of information to discover about a woman that seemed so different from me, but was the same in ways were just beginning to discover before her untimely death.

Ironically, I've never been a jelly donut person. Glazed. Powdered. Apple fritter. Long john. Chocolate covered Bavarian Creme Filled. I haven't met too many donuts I didn't like. However, jelly has never held any appeal for me. I can resist them just fine. Even now that I know they were my Aunt Julia's Achilles Heel. She couldn't pass 'em up.

Ever since that shared moment with her, as we chatted about our days, jelly donuts make me think of her with a grin. So, the next time you pass a bakery case filled with delectable delightful donuts and you spy the ones with purple jelly ooze, I hope you'll think of her and grin.

If only I liked jelly donuts, I buy one and say aloud, as if in a toast to her, "This one's for you, Julia," before taking that first sugary sweet purple filled bite. Mmmmmmm, donuts.

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2 Responses »

  1. Thank you for turning my comment into a Riehlife guest post. A friend of mine bought donuts for her children today, to start the first day of school with a sugar buzzzzz. While I didn't buy donuts at the grocery store this morning, or even stop by the bakery case to drool, I did buy a new jar of Concord Grape Jam. Not to be used for donut filling either, but for jelly sandwiches to be packed in my oldest son's lunch box.

  2. Janean...I love jelly donuts, too! --Auntie J.

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