Sherry Hopkins Column

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 18, 2008

Dear Don knows route to Sherry’s heart: orange cupcake

I was reminded a few days ago that “at least I had a romantic husband.” I was whining about stuff in general and I shouldn’t have been. I have many, many things to be thankful for not the least of which is Dear Don.

Just to confirm that notion, out of the blue last week he brought me an orange Hostess cupcake home for no reason. I love, really love those cupcakes with that citrusy orange taste and creamy white filling. They are moist and delicious and make my mouth water and my jowls ache just thinking about them.

It was a romantic gesture by a man who knows his woman. Dear Don knows well that I am not persuaded by jewels that glisten in the sun, nor by bouquets of store-bought flowers to watch wilt away and die. I cannot have my head turned by expensive fragrances issued by fleeting starlets each year for the holidays. No, I can be bought by a cheap orange cupcake. He surely knows where my heart lies.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

This brings to mind a story that I haven’t shared to date. A romantic story from February 1994, the year of the ICE STORM.

As you now must know, we live in a very rural part of Panola County. We are at least two-and-one-half miles off of a secondary road. Enid Lake Corps of Engineer property surrounds most of the residences at Plum Point. This means lots and lots of deciduous and evergreen trees. The trees lend to the setting and I for one love them all.

But there is a downside to that many trees. Especially on a bitterly cold night in February when it starts to rain, freezing rain. In just a few hours on that night we were encompassed by a winter wonderland. The most beautiful sight I had ever laid eyes on.

Before dawn, heavily weighted by the frozen rain that clung to limbs as ice, branches began to break. They cracked and splintered one after another, allowing for a cacophony of sounds exploding.  The splendor of the sights and sounds soon gave way to concern as we realized that we were trapped in our diamond-encased haven. Trees of every age and description had fallen, some singly and some in mounds.

Our power had stopped at 9:27 p.m. the evening before. Our heat source was electric and we had no auxiliary heat. For the first few nights, we piled on all the available blankets and quilts we could find to stay warm as we slept. Thankfully, our cook stove was gas and we lived downhill and at the end of our community waterline, allowing for a small, yet steady stream of water.

There was not enough water pressure to shower so we would fill the tub with warm water each evening after many trips with buckets and long intervals to heat the water on the stove.

It was exhausting to those of us so spoiled by faucets and hot water heaters. We were without power for nearly 30 days and during that time it was hard to keep our spirits up, especially for me.

On Valentine’s Day I was having a particularly difficult time. But Dear Don had a plan.

He single-handedly heated all the bath water for me.  He called me into the candlelit bathroom and as I bathed he sat playing his guitar. He sang and played softly and beautifully every love song he knew. I cried partly at being so selfish and irritable but mostly because no one had ever done anything quite like that for me before. As I neared the end of my bath, he washed my hair and gently poured the warm water over and over me to rinse away the shampoo and my tears.

It was a long, trying month for us, but made special with a memory that will last a lifetime.  The orange cupcake gift will no doubt hold its own memory somewhere down the line.

You get the picture?

(Email Sherry at