Unless you suffer from seasonal sinus allergies, it’s pretty easy to identify what’s inside the paper bag. Cranky looks at the bag, looks at me, “Whattya got in there? Some kinda pie?” It’s impossible to turn down the blueberry-peach-butter aroma. I become fascinated with the transit map, adjusting my gaze every so often to catch glimpses of the rapidly approaching sunset. Painterly doesn’t do it justice. Pie transport on a city bus lends a new definition to the phrase joy ride. If all goes well, no knee burns, no runaway juice spillage, this journey will have a happy ending. If not, and my traveling companions are scalded due to a gravitational crisis, the advice of pie counsel may be necessary. Feigning blueberry/peach ignorance, I sense my destination may be near because there was mention of crossing a bridge. Or was the instruction NOT to cross the bridge? Too late, the driver is cruising over a portion of waterway, bending around a curve and demonstrating the braking mechanism with great flair. The pie has shifted considerably and with my knees I am attempting to steer the pie ever so slightly towards the left. The traffic light changes, the bus lurches forward and so does the pie. Cranky stands to exit the bus, blocking the wayward paper bag just in time. Less So, a true gentleman, leans in and suggests there are four stops remaining until I reach my destination. Thank you, Sir.
Disembarking, cradling my butter-stained brown paper bag, I quietly chastise the pie while scanning the horizon for a familiar face. Four blocks later, there she is, Sibling Baker from Seattle. Without saying a word, she knows, and relieves me from pie transport.
The following morning at breakfast, Pie-School Pie creates a sparkly centerpiece. Gently warmed in the oven, its border of deep purple unable to contain itself, we pause. Should we dive right in, or exercise extreme restraint and save it for dessert? My youngest nephew, Lattice-Pie Guy is wise beyond his 10 years. He looks at the pie, looks at the faces assembled around the dining room table and clarifies the situation succinctly. “But if there’s no pie, there’s no happiness.” Pie wisdom is taught early in the Pacific Northwest.