Go to main contentsGo to search barGo to main menu
Sunday, July 21, 2024 at 12:31 PM

Is This You? Break-Fast

Is This You?  Break-Fast

The name says it all. Breakfast is telling everyone to hurry and eat and get going. Hurry, swill down that coffee or juice. Hurry, gag on that pancake. Toast a waffle and eat it with your hands. When did the luxury of a bowl of frosted flakes and reading the box from front to back, even the nutritional side panel, disappear? 

There was envy oozing from me about breakfast as I grew up. There was no table of juice and toast set up and waiting for the family each morning. It wasn’t a ritual to come into the bright breakfast nook with the sun shining in clean windows and sparkling off the drops of water on the fresh strawberries. But! Yes, a sugar pop “but.” We did something that far outweighs having June Cleaver in the kitchen every morning. On special weekends, our family got to go out to Saturday morning breakfast. Oh, those times are… Well, let me take you there.

I know, I know. There always seems to be a story of life with us all. The Saturday morning breakfasts with the Russell family are indelibly etched in my pea brain. I still have no idea how my mom got her three munchkins dressed, and in the car, at the appointed time it left the driveway. I think back now and see a clean but rag-tagged fivesome that looked down South Virginia Street in Reno on our way to Uncle Happy’s Pancake House on those special mornings. The biggest rule that was put into our line of sight was, “Children are to be seen and not heard!” 

The ordering process of three under ten-year-old children, a mom that surely looked forward to someone else cooking for her and her family, a dad that had the patience of---well, no patience, really. I imagine, because I have been a waitress, that those three little kids wanting it all was something the poor gal that got our table never looked forward to. Two things I remember of those few and far-between outings are: first, we got to order what was called the “dollar size” pancakes. It was an era when silver dollars were still used so you could order a dozen little dollar-sized mouth fillers and put as much sugar as you could pour on your plate before that cute glass, silver topped syrup pouring thingy was taken away. Oh, what fun eating those child-sized cakes. 

The second thing? Okay, my dad was a pragmatist. He could see things that might happen and usually plan for an event. He did that on those breakfast outings by parking our car up against one of the big front windows of Uncle Happy’s Pancake House and then making sure our family was seated so we were in full view of our green faux wood-sided station wagon. This was done for one reason and one reason only. I have to laugh now as I think of what I am about to let out into the world. IF! If we crossed the oh-so-fine line from being seen and not heard. IF! If the line was crossed in a way that Mr. Patience had had enough. IF! If we started to giggle as children sometimes would do and then start to poke at each other and become what was known as “a bunch of orangutans?” Then, without hesitation or fanfare, one, if not all three, were marched out of the restaurant and put into the car, where we would sit and watch whoever was left at the table eating those wonderful dollar pancakes. HAHA, I have to tell you, after once, maybe twice, being marched through the tables of people, taken “to the car,” sitting there watching the family eat all those syrup-laden cakes. All three of the Russell chick-a-dees found life was better if you towed the orangutang lines and minded your P’s and Q’s. 

No doubt we all have little pockets of memories. The title of this story, “Break-fast,” hopefully will remind me to slow down, make those memories, and then share them with others. I am always amazed at the line I get more often than not when I talk to someone who reads or hears me talk of life. That is, “Oh, I had forgotten all about that. What a memory ‘it’ is.”

Everyone, every stinking one of us, is chasing the dollar to keep our noses above the water line of life. That doesn’t mean that we can’t slow down to sub-Mach II speed and enjoy the treasures put on our breakfast tables. Yes, even if it is from the back seat of a green station wagon looking through the window at your family eating your plate full of dollar-sized pancakes. AARRGGHH

Trina lives in Diamond Valley, north of Eureka, Nevada. She loves to hear from readers. Email her at [email protected].