If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you already know that my husband and I moved into our forever home in September. We didn’t just move to a different neighborhood or a different city within the state, we moved just outside the city limits of a much smaller city IN A TOTALLY DIFFERENT STATE.

Rockford, Illinois (my hometown city of 57 years) is home to approximately 150,000 people, but Columbia, Tennessee’s population is somewhere around 35,000.

We didn’t just pick up and move without some planning. We had been through Tennessee a couple of times and it really seemed like home. The morning we were planning on touring houses, we started with breakfast at a local diner. We asked the waitress how she liked living in this town. She told us we really needed to talk with the people at one of the larger tables.

When we told them we were looking at moving to Columbia, one of the gentlemen looked at us. “Why on Earth would you want to move here?”

My husband countered. “Well, if you could live anywhere, where would it be?”

The gentleman sat a moment in thought. “I guess,” he finally admitted, “I’d live right here.”

Everyone we have met in Middle Tennessee has been extremely welcoming. Gentlemen open doors for ladies they don’t know. Kids at restaurants are, for the most part, well behaved. Even at Walmart, I have noticed that everyone seems to behave in a respectable manner. I suppose that there are unruly people; I just haven’t seen any yet.

As Christmas approached, my husband and I wanted to do something for many of the people who have made us feel welcome in our new community. Buying some trinket at a store seemed to lack that personal slant we wanted. Finally, we decided that we would bake cookies, 10 kinds of cookies and candies, and put them on decorative plates that we didn’t want to keep.

cookie plates

“You keep the plate,” we told each of them. “If you don’t want it, bake something and pass it on.”

It was the best way to show our new friends our gratitude.


  1. Chocolate Chip / M & M (red and green) cookies
  2. Snickerdoodles
  3. Spritz
  4. Caramel Spritz
  5. Russian Tea Cakes
  6. Thumb Prints (Kolache)
  7. Peppakakor
  8. Gingersnaps
  9. Brandy balls
  10. Peppermint bark


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