Archive for December, 2008

coffeesugarcubesI guess getting ready for the holidays brought it on.

It’s only natural, I suppose, that this time of year, we find ourselves thinking about the past. The good times we had as children with people who are now but a memory.

I’m not sure why, but I fixed a big breakfast this morning. Eggs, bacon, home fries, and pan toast.

Pan toast.

When I was a very lttle girl, we lived next door to my mother’s parents. Every morning I would jump out of bed and run over to my Papaw and Mamaw’s house for breakfast.

Every morning.

This was a time when most country people didn’t have toasters. A time when my grandmother wore an apron all the time and still used a wringer washing machine.

My grandparents adored me and I remember most of my early childhood by their side. I went almost everywhere with my Papaw. I remember being small enough to ride in the back seat window.

My grandfather was known as a “jack-of-all-trades”, and I learned that most people are capable of doing a lot of ordinary as well as extraordinary things when they put their minds to it.

My grandmother was a great cook, good with a plow, and always there when I needed her.

And every morning, she made me pan toast.

To make pan toast, you need a few slices of white bread – or leftover hamburger buns, fresh churned butter and an oven. She would chip off chunks of the butter and place them on top of the bread so that once you put it in the oven, you’d have little “puddles” of butter that soaked into the bread. The perfect pan toast was a little brown and crusty around the butter spots.

My grandfather was passionate about coffee. To make it more “child” friendly – to a budding three year old, he would put a little bit of coffee in the cup, and add loads of sugar and cream – fresh from Aunt Bessie’s dairy.

There before me was my perfect breakfast. Oh, there were always fresh eggs and sausage or bacon – but the brightest spot of my morning was dipping my pan toast into my coffee and talking to my Papaw and Mamaw. I was their sunshine, and they were mine.

Life was good.

While I do possess a toaster, that’s used quite often, I have – on occasion – made my family pan toast. Though their fascination with it is far less than my own. This morning, of the four pieces that I made – no one took even one piece. Which meant they were mine – all mine.

So, I fixed myself a cup of coffee. Though I usually drink my coffee “black” – like the grown-ups do – this morning I sugared it up and added loads of half-n-half, merrily dunking my pan toast and thinking about my grandparents and how much I miss them.

It’s funny how such simple things can bring a flood of memories of loved ones lost so much alive. I can see Mamaw fussing around the kitchen and my Papaw sitting across from me fixing my coffee. I can feel myself fidgeting on my knees – wearing only my “step-ins” – in the chair across from him in anticipation.

How delightful it was to have recalled this wonderful memory of my childhood this morning.

Life is good.

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