Probably my favorite daily event at Granddaddy’s house was breakfast. It was predictable. He had a routine. I like routine. Granddaddy always got up around dark thirty and slipped on his overalls and slipped out the door. I’m not sure exactly where all he went during those wee hours of the morning but I do know that he always made it back in time to have breakfast on the table around 7:30.
My brothers and I would be asleep on the hide-a-bed sofa in the living room when we would be awakened by the sound of pots and pans clanking, silverware rattling and the oven banging in the kitchen. We’d lie there, snuggled under handmade quilts, playing possum until Granddaddy would wander in calling us to rise and shine and come and get it. Slowly we’d crawl out of bed and find our places around that old dining room table with Granddaddy in his reserved spot at the head and Grandmother to his right.
My grandparents weren’t rich by any stretch of the imagination. In fact it was at their house that I discovered “government cheese”. Some of you know what I’m talking about. Breakfast was never fancy and it was always the same. We usually had pork sausage but occasionally bacon or salt pork. Then there were the eggs scrambled and cooked in a cast iron skillet in a bit of the grease left from the meat (Granddaddy didn’t make gravy). Finally there were Surefresh biscuits cooked in a round 9 inch cake pan. Always in a 9 inch cake pan. If you’re not familiar with Surefresh just think of the cheapest store brand. Tiny little, non-flakey biscuits topped with grape jelly. I still buy store brand biscuits because of those days at Granddaddy’s. (Jeanette thinks it’s because I’m cheap… let’s keep this our little secret).
Grandaddy had a strange ritual at breakfast. He would take his coffee and pour a little bit into his saucer then blow on it to cool it. Then he would pick up his saucer with the thumb and middle finger of each hand and sip (or slurp) the coffee. My brothers and I thought our granddaddy was pretty peculiar for this but I later learned that he wasn’t alone in blowing his coffee.
I cherished those times around the breakfast table at Granddaddy’s. There was never any fighting or fussing or arguing. It was usually fairly quiet, except for the occasional request for more this or that, the inquisitive “where are we going today”… and the blowing and slurping of coffee. On those mornings at breakfast all was right in the world. There were no wars, hunger, disease, politics… It was family enjoying the best of each other.
I hope heaven is a little bit like breakfast at Granddaddy’s.