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2022-04-16: Bring the Rolls

Bring the Rolls

April 16, 2022

A man growing old becomes a child again.

I was lazing in Chicago when the family Easter dinner in Arizona was planned. Although we can be in touch electronically, there is a mental distance that expands when 1800 miles away, my mother’s voice remonstrating me about the cost of long distance calling in the 1970s. Thus, Little Sis and ED planned the menu as I celebrated my granddaughter’s birthday.

Having retired from church work, I find myself completely disoriented when it comes to the Christian calendar. “What should I bring?” I asked when I realized belatedly that a holiday was approaching. 

“Bring the rolls,” was the response. 

The rolls? The rolls are usually delegated to the young adult, newly independent but lacking the cooking repertoire to add to the dinner. The one who is trusted to show up because they are hungry but will be too late for the appetizers. It prompted me to wonder where I am in my life journey. 

Here are five stages of aging, although I am reducing them to four because I wasn’t sure where to put “crisis management”, which, to me, seems not a stage but a lifelong task: 

  • Stage 1: Independence

  • Stage 2: Interdependence

  • Stage 3: Dependency

  • Stage 4: End of Life (Rebirth?)

Let me reverse it:

  • Stage 1: Birth

  • Stage 2: Dependency

  • Stage 3: Interdependence

  • Stage 4: Independence

It seems that these stages could form a continuum on a circle chart, much like the circle of fifths in music.* I attempted to design such a chart but discarded the task when I realized it would take way too much brain power (interdependence or dependency?). 

Where does bringing the rolls fit in the continuum? I would judge it to be interdependence since I was told to do it and it requires no cooking. However, when I went to the store yesterday to purchase my contribution, I couldn’t find the Hawaiian rolls which were specifically requested. In fact, there were few dinner rolls at all. ED informed me, when I inquired, that they are usually on an end cap. Since she was shopping the next day, she would pick them up. I think that moved me to the dependency stage.   


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