My sister, Lindsey, leaves for her mission for the LDS church to Sao Paulo, Brazil today. Well, her visa hasn’t arrived, so she is going to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, UT to wait. I guess it’s made me a bit nostalgic, because my thoughts today are of one thing– visiting Ginger in the North Pole.
Having only one sister, Lindsey and I were best frienemies. We shared both a room and a love for staying up late and pretending, and our favorite pretend game was to go on adventures. Lindsey’s bed sat against the wall across the room from mine, parallel to the window. As the clock on the radio would glow 10 o’clock, we would sit on her bed and imagine looking into a mirror that showed us the North Pole. We saw a small wooden cottage with smoke coming out the small chimney, and decided to visit.
We held on tight as the bed bumped against the snow. It had been our flying carpet, and now it was our sled, speeding past three-hundred year-old pines and over rocks. We passed many wolves and rabbits, until we slowed to a stop on a rough welcome mat in front of the cottage that we had seen previously. We shivered in the cold, and Lindsey rubbed her arms feverishly while I knocked on the door.
A giant gingerbread woman answered. She had red gumdrop buttons, a licorice smile, and great big chocolate eyes. She was holding a pan of freshly baked cookies (ironic, I know). “Come in, come in!!” she exclaimed as if expecting us. She offered us warm blankets by the glow of a friendly fire, and gave us each a cookie.
“I’m Ginger!” she introduced herself kindly, like a grandmother meeting her grandchildren for the first time. “My, Lindsey! You have grown!!”
Lindsey was stunned– she knew her name, but we had never met her before. She smiled shyly at the compliment.
“And Leisl, what brings you out in this weather?” She shuddered as she gazed out the frosted window.
“How do you know us?!” I blurted out, very impolitely. “We’ve never met before!” Lindsey scowled at my impertinence, but was just as curious as I.
“Well,” said Ginger, leading us to a mirror that took up one wall, “I’ve been watching you two grow up ever since you were small. Santa makes sure that I keep an eye on you two!”
“You know Santa?!” We were both thrilled! It wasn’t at all creepy that she had been watching us for years without our knowledge.
“Oh yes!” she exclaimed, then gasped as she peered at the time on the clock through the mirror. “Now you two must get home! It’s nearly 11 o’clock! What would Santa say about me keeping you two out past your bedtime!”
“Girls!!” Ryan, our older brother, called from across the hall, “If you don’t go to bed right now, I am going upstairs to tell Dad! Go to bed!!” We rolled our eyes. He was always tattling on us at bedtime.
“How do we get back, Ginger?” we asked, intrigued. She ushered us to the mirror, and instructed us to step through.
We were just leaping from one end of the portal to the next when we heard footsteps on the stairs as Ryan ran up to tell. He had to in order to salvage some of his sleep. We jumped back into bed, threw the covers over our head, and sighed deeply, as if asleep. Then we looked at each other and grinned mischievously. We would visit Ginger again, soon.