Look For Sprinkles

Today had been a cabbage of a day. Now I needed sprinkles.

It was a harried, unpleasant day at work. Nothing extraordinarily gruesome, just the sort of day we all have now and then which we’re glad to see come to a close. A hectic day full of irritable people and I resigned myself to endure it to the end. Yes, it was a cabbage of a day but once the cabbage was gone I could have my sprinkles.

As a kid growing up in Richmond, Virginia, I sometimes accompanied Mama on shopping trips to Southside Plaza, the local shopping center in its day. For me, eating at the S&W cafeteria there at the Plaza was the highlight of the trip. Mama picked our lunch items but allowed me the dessert of my choice. I always asked for pudding with sprinkles.

Sprinkles made me smile.

Desserts waited for me in neat rows behind glass at the end of the line where Mama paid for lunch. As she did, I looked over pudding options searching for those with sprinkles on top. There were many desserts but not all were sprinkled with happiness and I became frustrated if I could find none. Mama waited patiently for me to discover them, knowing I’d just not seen them yet.

“Sometimes you really have to look for sprinkles.” Mama said. “Just keep looking.”

She was right, of course, they were there all along but sometimes it took skill to see them. I chose my pudding, enjoyed my sprinkles, and smiled all the while.

I’m sure Mama picked a variety of things for each lunch, but of all the items she chose for me during all of the lunches we had at the S&W, I can recall only one. Cabbage. It was disgusting. Mama’s rule was hard though – eat my lunch first, and then I could have my dessert. I learned to endure the cabbage knowing that sprinkles awaited me on the other side. Then I would smile.

I thought about that on the bus ride home from work today. What a cabbage of a day I’d endured and how ready I was for sprinkles. As I sighed in relief at the day being through I overheard an elderly man in the seat ahead of mine telling jokes to his friend. I smiled at each of his punch lines. Were those my sprinkles?

When I stepped from the bus to walk home I saw two young boys carrying a fat black puppy. Not knowing which one it wanted more, the puppy rapidly licked first one boy and then the other, back and forth. The boys’ uncontrollable giggles made me smile. Were those my sprinkles?

I didn’t know what I expected my sprinkles to be today but surely jokes and a puppy didn’t qualify. Or did they? I had smiled, after all.

We all have cabbage days and as sappy as it sounds we all need to look for sprinkles. It’s imperative. We might find them in a stranger’s jokes, the comical antics of a puppy, or a million other places. As Mama taught me, it sometimes takes skill to see the sprinkles and the more cabbage of a day you have, the harder your sprinkles might be to find, but they’re out there.

Find the sprinkles. Tomorrow could hold another serving of cabbage and the next day could hold even more, so find the sprinkles where you can. It’s not always easy.

“Sometimes you really have to look for sprinkles.” Mama said. “Just keep looking.”

Stuart M. Perkins

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156 Comments

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156 responses to “Look For Sprinkles

  1. A wonderful story. Enjoyed your tale of cabbages and sprinkles which put a smile on my face.

  2. This is amazing. I’m going to go print this off and have a hard copy of this article! Thank you for your story, Stuart.

  3. I enjoyed this piece a lot. It speaks to where I’ve been lately – those days that are less connecting and more enduring! I need some sprinkles too! Cheers!

  4. Oh this was adorable! All Sprinkles here!:D

  5. Reading your story made my day 🙂

  6. i really enjoyed this…..I have a cupboard full of sprinkles, now, to find something to put them on

  7. My “sprinkles” are usually pieces of chocolate I hide in the freezer. It’s the one thing I don’t share with my kids. Totally makes me ‘smile’!

  8. haven’t thought about the s&w cafeteria in fifty eleven years…my grandmother lived in walking distance with a small child- me…she let me pick what i wanted for lunch but she always carried jelly in her purse to put in her hot water and a hard boied egg. lol

  9. Rekha

    Reblogged this on Window With A View and commented:
    Finding Happiness in little things.

  10. Thank you for liking “City Geometry” and “Snowstorm.” Wonderful story! 🙂 You are right about enjoying those sprinkles when are where you can. When I was a child, I remember spending an entire afternoon stuck with a plate of vegetables that I did not want to eat, and I did not get any dessert. I was lucky just to be excused from eating the vegetables. I am glad there are more sprinkles in my life these days. 🙂

  11. I liked your story of cabbage and sprinkles. It made me smile. Sue

  12. Nice job Stuart. You made me smile.

  13. What a fun story and it made ME smile because I am knee-deep in searching for a new name for my blog and “sprinkles” shows up on my list in various ways every so often because I believe in the “sprinkles of life” that elevate an ordinary day.

  14. inspiredbybooks

    Cabbage & sprinkles give a nice tangible way to think of the ups and downs of our day. I also think one is often disguised as the other.

  15. Awesome! I needed this today. Thank you!

  16. What a lovely heartwarming post. I will think of cabbage and sprinkles when I’m having one of those days too.

  17. What a wonderful story and so eloquently expressed. I love the analogy! Thanks to your visit to my blog I have discovered you – I’m smiling 🙂

  18. Reblogged this on Michelle Hanton and commented:
    A wonderful read that I just had to share. I loved the analogies.

  19. Love this story so very much. And, as an aside, I too was a sprinkles kid. Actually, I still am 🙂

  20. Princess Marksalot

    you’re a good writer! thank you! xx

  21. Excellent piece… loved it!! Reading it put a smile on my face… Sprinkles!! 😉

  22. Imperative indeed! 🙂
    Your blogs each reveal that you know the wisdom of joy.

  23. What a great life motto! Sometimes those sprinkles are harder to find than in other days, but sure enough they’re there.

  24. excellent. THIS was my ‘sprinkles’ today! thanks 🙂

  25. A beautiful piece, which had me at its fabulous opening line. I was eagerly anticipating what the sprinkles might end up being, but the jokes and the puppy were great examples of how sprinkly the world is when we really look at it, and have been willing to take our dose of cabbage… H x

  26. Pingback: 4 Blogs That Have Taught Me About Blogging | Change of Perspective

  27. Cabbage days. Yuck!
    But Sprinkles! Yay!!!!

  28. rlast

    A charming life philosophy is to be gleaned from this post:
    Endure the cabbage, for sprinkles await.
    OR: Sometimes you have to look hard for the sprinkles; Just keep looking!
    I intend to try these out daily.

    I’ve really enjoyed perusing your recent posts, especially this one and Free Show. Thank you for following my blog (R. P. Last), and I look forward to reading more of your posts 🙂

  29. Reblogged this on Running with Buddha and commented:
    Found my sprinkles with this wonderful post (and other equally enjoyable reads at his site) by Stuart M. Perkins. Stuart has a uncanny eyes for life’s pearls disguised in the mundane details. Thanks for sharing.

  30. Pingback: Quotable You: "Not All Were Sprinkled With Happiness..." | Below The Salt News

  31. Pingback: Little Ironies: Part 2 | Inner Ramblings:

  32. Once again, wonderful. You are as sentimental as I am. Memories can bring tears and sometimes an ache. I’d say memories are bittersweet; even if they are happy memories, I find myself mourning at the loss of the person or a certain period of time that will never happen again.

  33. This is really nice. Besides I remember those sprinkles from being a kid.
    When I was around 5 or 6 the store only had chocolate sprinkles.

    When I was about 7 years old, my father came home from the grocery store very excited. He told me to sit down at the kitchen table and wait while he put all the other groceries away.

    I never argued with Dad. I sat patiently. Then he pulled out this jar with multicolored sprinkles. I had suspected he was a superhero but now I was sure.

    This was when they first came out with colored sprinkles. …or at least the first they were in the Baltimore grocery stores.

    I thought of my father as I read this post and how excited he was to show me the colored sprinkles. 🙂
    Annie ❤

  34. lovely story! glad I discovered you!

  35. rudyhou

    i do this pretty much daily by trying to be grateful for the little things that give me joy, despite whatever stress the day gives me. but thanks for the reminder. sometimes we need that.

  36. Pingback: Little Ironies: Part 2 – Inner Ramblings Boulevard:

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