Last week, I stopped watching “Star Trek” long enough to venture away from my TV to run an errand for my wife.
She wanted me to leave the warmth of home and bundle up on what will probably be one of the last truly bone-chilling days of this winter.
I shouldn’t have been happy about it, but I was. The errand involved a harbinger of spring, namely Girl Scout cookies.
The cookie season rolls around at this time of year as surely as baseball players enter spring training, daffodils begin emerging and our dog Rodney renews his daily barking match with his nemesis – the neighbor dog on the opposite side of the backyard fence.
After dragging my puffy, down jacket out of the closet for perhaps the last time this season and leaving the TV to fend for itself, I hustled our Girl Scout daughter into the car. My wife wanted us to meet our daughter’s leader to fetch the cookies our neighbors, co-workers and friends had ordered.
The only thing was, I had no clear idea where I was going.
My wife’s directions took us down a long, winding road that seemed to lead into the middle of nowhere. It was such a long drive that our daughter got bored with obsessively flipping from radio station to radio station to find the perfect song. She silently stared out the passenger window watching the cold, grey landscape pass by. The clouds seemed eerily close and swollen with the promise of more snow.
Just as I was beginning to worry about a slick drive home, I finally spied the semi-trailer my wife told me to find. It was parked at the end of the road and looked as though it had long ago been abandoned by the big rig that had left it there.
I soon found that looks really can be deceiving.
Our daughter’s leader arrived a short time later. She looked around before stepping out of her car, as if checking to make sure she wasn’t followed. Then she slowly walked toward the trailer. I didn’t notice but I’m pretty certain she must have knocked on the side of it in a certain way or softly whispered a password that wasn’t meant for my ears. In any case, the trailer’s door slid open revealing the motherlode of all Girl Scout cookie stashes.
I might be kidding about the long drive and all the cloak and dagger stuff but I really did stumble upon what apparently was the Eastern Panhandle’s entire supply of Girl Scout cookies. That trailer was brimming with cases and cases of my favorite Thin Mints and Savannah Smiles, plus Do-Si-Dos, Trefoils, Samoas and Tagalongs.
I was cheerfully told by the woman whose job seemed to be to stand watch over the stash that the neighbors know when the cookies arrive when the trailer shows up. She chuckled as we collected our daughter’s cookie order.
The presence of that semi-trailer may be an open secret, but the last thing I’m going to do is publicly reveal where it’s located.
But now that I know where the Girl Scouts park it, you can bet I’ll be looking out for its arrival next year.
And not just because I have an insatiable craving for Thin Mints. It’s because that trailer, at least to me, has joined baseball and daffodils as another sign that spring is on the way.