Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday Mornings

Thinking about Saturday mornings at my Grandparent's house when I was little still makes me smile. Their bedroom was never closed to us, and when I was little, I would sneak in to bed with them early in the morning. It was a special time, when I got snuggles from my Grandmother, soaking in the warmth of her bed and the safety that her embrace gave. I remember feeling like the world was good, that nothing could touch me.

I remember helping my Grandmother make applesauce pancakes and smelling the rich aroma of peculating coffee. There was a special stool I got to stand on to help, a white one with steps that folded underneath the seat. I remember it being so heavy that my Grandfather always carried it for me. My job was to stir the batter to get the flour all mixed in. Grandma always added her fresh applesauce, made from the apples picked from the backyard trees. It wasn't like the applesauce you got in the grocery stores - it was slightly tart with huge chunk of apple pieces throughout.

She always cooked on an iron skillet, with had a unique smell to it. She used butter on the skillet, not oil, and when the batter was pour onto the hot surface, I remember that it made a loud sizzling noise and Grandma always hugged me so I didn't get splattered. She would let me turn them, using her special pancake turner that had the wooden handle her father had made years ago. It had a huge surface, so it easily flipped even the biggest pancake. As it cooked, the smell would fill the small galley kitchen with potent fragrance.

We all would sit at the table and eat, never rushing. It was a time that we talked about anything and everything. We watching the squirrels and blue jays through the huge front window in the dining room, joking about their antics and yelling at them when they buried acorns on the lawn. We would pass around the comics, which always came on Saturday with our newspaper. My Grandfather would lament about his favorite sports teams, how the managers need a wake-up call and how the players are overpaid. Grandmother would always look in the section with the recipes, hoping to find something new to try. She also looked a the community section, commenting about how her friend Minnie or Bambi (yes, these were their actual names) were doing such and such in the community or were seen with so-and-so at some event. She liked the local gossip, and always seemed surprised at marriages and babies born in the area.

There was never anything deep discussed at Breakfast - Grandma insisted it that way. She said it was bad on your digestion to start the day talking about "bad" things. She was funny that way. We would talk about what we were going to do in the garden, who was going to visit that day, or when was the right time to take the boat up to the lake. We would talk about places we wanted to visit or people we wanted to see. We would talk about so and so's new hair color (and how it really looked pink, not the red she claimed it was) and the new song the choir director was trying to get them to master even though it was in German.

We talked, and laughed.

When ever I smell pancakes cooking today, I get the same feeling of warmth and comfort - it was what I call a comfort smell now. Many times I have longed for those days again, the simplicity of it all. I have even tried to duplicate it at home, but found it to just not be the same. With one teenager, one pre-teen, and a husband with a demanding job, we are always rushing to get somewhere on Saturday, our precious "day off". Whether it is work, sports, scouts, or what, it is a rare occasion when we can stop and eat a breakfast together. And when that rare occasion does occur, it seems like we have nothing to talk about. Someone is reading the paper, while someone has their nose in a book. Someone else is looking at their cell phone waiting for a call, while another is texting someone back. We are together at the table, but really we are alone. 

I will still keep trying. Maybe when I have grandkids of my own, then they will look forward to apple pancake Saturdays too.

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