Today I purchased a jelly-filled doughnut. But it wasn't the same. When I was 7 or 8, my mother would get me ready for bed and my father would bundle me up and take me down to the train depot. Once we were aboard, we would settle into the sleeper. He'd tuck me in the lower berth and climb into the upper. Sometime during the night I'd awaken and feel the rumble. I'd peek out the window and see the lights flashing by, which meant we were on our way to Chicago.
Daddy would deposit me at his mother's apartment, and I would spend a couple of weeks - four stories high overlooking other four-story buildings. The back porch was a wonderful place to blow soap bubbles; as I held the pipe upside down, I would attempt to blow bigger and better bubbles in myriad colors.
Sometimes Grandmother and I would plod down all the stairs and walk several blocks to the beach at Lake Michigan. Dear, patient Grandmother would sit while I wallowed in the shallows and built sand castles.
And once, Grandmother and I took a long trip on the streetcar to downtown. My great joy was riding on the escalator at Marshall Field's - the only one in existence at that time, and she never said, "Now that's enough."
Some mornings, Grandmother would give me a nickel and send me down those four flights to the bakery around the corner to purchase a jelly-filled doughnut.
Today I purchased a jelly-filled doughnut. But it wasn't the same.