I know I should feel sad that a “pie fairy” is retiring, but I am so overwhelmed with charm by the mere fact that there was a pie fairy that I’ve been giddy ever since I heard the news.
Oh, wait, I should back up and tell you what I’m talking about. (See? Like I said, giddy.)
For the last 35 years at Christmastime, Columbus, Ohio resident Bill Welch has been receiving a pecan pie from an unnamed baker. The pies have been accompanied by affectionate and sometimes teasing notes, but the baker has never revealed her identity.
But this year, the pie deliveries ended abruptly, according to Columbus Dispatch columnist Joe Blundo. All Welch got was a note:
“It has been a great ride,” the note said. “Still not telling you who I am yet, but my wings are shorter now and I am a little too fat to fly anymore. But I still love you!!”
It was signed: “Pie Fairy.”
Okay, that’s awesome. Pie Fairy. I dunno about you, but my life has been altogether too thin on fairies (not counting a few beloved gay-guy friends who embrace that concept).
The only real fairy I’ve been blessed to have in my life was The Blue Fairy, who came mysteriously in the night during my childhood and took my recently shed teeth, replacing them with loving notes and money. In most homes, this magical wisp was known as the Tooth Fairy, but somehow in my house she was called The Blue Fairy. I have never fully investigated why, in part because I love the name and didn’t want to mess with its karma. And besides, the Blue Fairy would sometimes strike with merciful magic during my adolescence and early adulthood. One afternoon, for instance, when I was waiting tables in Los Angeles and had parked at a meter, in a hurry and short on change, I rushed out at a break to feed the meter and found a note on my windshield: “Your meter’s good for two more hours! The Blue Fairy strikes again! xxoo.”
I felt so loved! So looked after!
Until the Columbus news, the closest thing to a pie fairy I’d heard of was Kate McDermott in Seattle. Acclaimed pie baker, teacher of aspiring piemakers, and author of the blog Art of the Pie, Kate engages in pie-bys. These are a combination of a home invasion and a drive-by shooting, only love, nurturing and pastry replace the lawbreaking and violence. She bakes a pie, and sneaks into a friend’s house and leaves it for them. How wonderful is that? (I need to ask her how she gains access to these houses. I need tutoring!)
So here is my New Year’s Resolution, inspired by the Pie Fairy of Columbus, Ohio, and by the Blue Fairy of my childhood, and by the mischievous pie love of Kate McDermott: 2012 will be a year of baking pies for those I love, and bringing them unbidden to their homes. Not because CurvyMama’s been hired to do it, or even because I’m going for dinner or a party. Just because. Because life is short. Because pie is nurturing and full, like love. And because we all need some-a-dat.