Monday, March 4, 2013

Pancakes or Waffles? Slice of Life Challenge 4 of 31


Slice of Life Challenge 2013 
Memory Monday.  During this year's challenge I'm trying to write more from something I notice during the day.  I'm trying to make myself pay more attention to the writing possibilities that happen across the day.  My plan, right now anyway, is to make Mondays the day to write about something from a memory.  Today's slice is about my grandma.

Every summer we'd pack our suitcases with all we would need and jump into Grandpa's car to drive forty-five minutes to get to my grandparents' house.  Even at eight I knew every part of that drive in my head.  I knew every sign that I was getting closer.  First the water tower near the freeway, King Arthur's Restaurant, past the town where my aunt and uncle lived, then the State Highway Patrol station, and finally the hills.  The hills quilted with trees were the best sign.  The hills meant we were almost there.  It was hard to sit still as we got closer and the excitement began to bubble inside me.

Grandpa would pull the car into the small garage.  It was all we could do to wait until he turned off the engine so we could bound out of the car, grab our luggage, and race to our rooms.  We'd set up camp for the week.  Grandma had spaces and places for all of us.  Grandma kept her house as neat as a pin.  Everything was in its place and there was a place for everything.  Her house smelled like heaven to me;  a combination of clean and home cooked meals danced in the air.

As soon as you walked in the door you quickly fell into the rhythm of Grandma's schedule.  With Grandma, there were certain things you could count on each day.  You knew what time you were getting up and going to bed.  You knew each day would be filled with well planned adventure.  You knew you would be expected to help, but you didn't mind because working with Grandma never seemed much like work.

Of course, we all knew that there would be three good meals and a few snacks tucked here and there across the day.  There wasn't a meal I didn't love at Grandma's.  Spending the week with her meant pot pie, roast beef, mashed potatoes, fried chicken, homemade mayonnaise, and orange cookies.  Spending the week with Grandma meant the toughest decision to be made each day would be whether to have waffles or pancakes for breakfast.  Myself, I was a fan of waffles.  There was something about filling the little squares with butter and then pouring syrup, hot from the oven, over each tiny hole.  There was something about watching the butter melt and tasting the sweet goodness as Grandma laughed and talked in the kitchen.

You really couldn't lose.  If outvoted, the alternative was pancakes.  Grandma would get out her pan and pour small silver dollar pancakes.  You knew when Grandma made pancakes she was going to make some small itty bitty pancakes and toss them onto someone's plate.  I'm pretty sure that someone was usually my cousin, Jen.  Those pancakes were no bigger than a penny, but each of us hoped we'd be the one to have them.

My parents would arrive at the end of the week to take us back home.  We'd say our goodbyes and get into the backseat of the car.  My grandma would stand on the front porch with my grandpa, arms waving farewell.  We'd shout and wave and blow kisses until they were out of sight.  The hills, the State Highway Patrol station, the town where my aunt and uncle lived, the water tower and then on toward home.  Looking back I'm thankful for the time at Grandma's.  I'm thankful for picnics, Old Maid games, and times at the lake.  Pancakes or waffles?  It didn't matter, they were equally sweet.




12 comments:

  1. Love, love, love! Gives me inspiration for tomorrow AND permission to sleep! Good night dear writing friend!

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  2. I, too, love this. It reminded me of our visits to my grandparents...but it was a seven hour drive. So, do you make itty bitty pancakes? Isn't it wonderful what stands out in our memories?

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    1. Jackie,
      As a matter of fact, the picture above is from an itty bitty pancake I made one morning. It reminded me of Grandma's pancakes so I had to snap a picture. I love any time my kitchen reminds me of my grandma's.

      Cathy

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  3. Love all the memories of my own time spent with Grandparents that this Slice gave me! Also, I'm ready for a children's picture book titled Pancakes or Waffles now, filled with lots of win-win situations on every page! :) Thanks for sharing your slice!

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    1. Kelly,
      Thanks so much. I'm glad you enjoyed the slice. Don't our grandparents make for a million good stories?

      Cathy

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  4. She made the little teensy pancakes for me. When you guys went to college I had many glorious years of solo trips to Grandma's - oops, I mean to say the trips just weren't the same without you and Chad. ;)

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    1. Rob,
      My next slice will be titled SPOILED.

      Love,
      Your sister

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  5. Love it. And totally agree with Kelly's comment! Your details about "How to eat waffles" brought me right back to my own childhood, and watching your grandma, arms waving goodbye, nearly brought a tear to my eye. That is still my story, and I fear the day it ends! Gave me something great to write down, for sure! Thanks for sharing.

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  6. What wonderful memories! Isn't it funny that our dearest memories seem to revolve around food? My grandmother scrambled eggs for breakfast. The were the fluffiest I've ever had. I think we'll have pancakes for supper tomorrow night!
    Catherine

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  7. Your trip down memory lane triggered my own recollections of childhood visits to my great-grandmother's house. My siblings and I played a game called "Who can spot the water tower first?" Silver dollar pancakes and quality time spent with family are definitely sweet treats. You are a gifted writer. I loved your circular ending and the way you play with words!

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  8. Cathy- Such beautiful writing. The details you chose are so, so, so perfect. I felt like I was on the drive with you, then sitting at your grandma's table for meals, and then eating those yummy waffles. Gorgeous writing!

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  9. What is about trips to grandparents that bring such fond memories? My grandmother also had meals I wouldn't miss - her special fried chicken, meat pie, bacon for every breakfast. Thanks for evoking my memories.

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