Saturday, March 13, 2010

Breakfast Memories

On the weekends when it's just Jeremiah, Elijah and myself we tend to go out to eat a couple times.
It's not that I don't like to cook, but sometimes it's nice to be the one served rather than the one serving.

Today we ate at Perkins, an American fare chain restaurant in an area about 45 minutes away from our home. The Perkins in our hometown used to be my favorite place to eat as a child, before it closed sometime during my teen years. I squealed in delight as we almost drove past the place, making Jeremiah jump and swerve in fright. He seemed to be surprised that I would want to eat there, after recovering from the jolt my scream had given him.

My grandparents would take me there after church on Sundays (and before they made me visit the nursing homes...a whole other torturous experience, a whole other post in the making).

My grandma would order me chocolate milk and then would top it off from her coffee cup. Delicious 'coffee milk' we called it and as a child I thought it was a magical creation born solely of my grandma's awesome genius.

My pappy would always order blueberry pancake pigs in a blanket, which made me laugh and grossed me out all at once.

My grandma and I would split a giant omelet, hashbrowns and 3 buttermilk pancakes. The waitress would bring out the plates with the food and then set two delicate dessert plates in front of us so we could serve ourselves from the mass of breakfast mess. My grandma would have butter and maple syrup, I would have blackberry syrup and no butter (my momma told me as a child that if you never used butter, you would never miss it when you were older, I believed her, never used it and still miss it).

I reveled in the fact that I got these two wonderful people all to myself for that short time at the restaurant every Sunday morning. Perched high in the giant wooden booth, garlands of cheap and dusty cloth flowers hanging on the paneled walls next to us, I would pretend that I was an only child and that I would stay with my grandparents forever...

No baby siblings, no tired mommas, no daddys to miss. Just me and my Pappy's jolly round belly, my grandma's elegant red nails, eggs and coffee milk.

Today we had late lunch at Perkins. Jeremiah ordered pop (he's such a bad boy). I had regular coffee, no milk.

Elijah and I split an omelet, hashbrowns and three buttermilk pancakes. I had to ask the waitress for an extra plate. Elijah ate most of the pancakes, with butter and maple syrup.

I kept waiting for some of the magic to be back.

While we were leaving the restaurant I imagined for one moment getting in to my grandparent's old red Grand Am (my Pappy loved that car), my Pappy hoisting me onto the grey velvety seats and then my Grandma ducking into the back seat to belt me in. She would smooth down my hair, tuck my dress down around my legs and remind me to sit 'like a lady'.

Jeremiah and I put Elijah into his car seat. We got into the car, Jeremiah in the driver's seat and me in the passenger side and set out onto the rainy highway.

As we drove away the magic tingle left my skull and I was once again adult Me, with only memories to cloud the experiences at hand.


Ms. Moon said...

Ah. But you gave those memories to us and reminded us of our own. What a nice thing to do! Thank-you.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Sweet post. Thanks for bringing us along.

Angela Christensen said...

There's more than one post-in-the-making here. Inspiration. I just wrote about being surrounded here (BlogLand) by the ordinary and the extraordinary...and here are both.
Love, love.

diane said...

Those are nice memories Erin. Perkins is all about comfort food. Yep, comfort covered in syrup.
Your grand parents sound really nice.

Tony said...

This is truly a great, wonderful post. But maybe Elijah would have the same memories of going to Perkins with just you and Jeremiah and none of his sisters, and he'll see it in the same light as you did when you were a kid? You know, he had the two of you, all to himself, sharing omelets and pancakes with his mom?

Now I want some pancakes...actually, waffles.

Robert the Skeptic said...

I have a cookie jar that I inherited from my grandmother. It's usually empty, but even so, when I open the lid and sniff the inside, it has a wonderful smell that is unique to that wonderful cookie jar... and that unique scent brings forth vivid memories of my grandmother.

Sam said...

Lovely. Oh, Perkins! When my friend and I drove my car cross-country when I moved to SD, we ate at Perkins every single day. We were driving very slowly, so that was a lot. :)

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

I'm not sure we ever can capture those moments of childhood...but, the fact that you remember them in such detail means that you have never really lost those feelings. I think is wonderful that you had those times with your grandparents.

The other thing that has changed is the service industry in general. The wait staff at places used to really care about the customers...many places today they act as if they are doing you a favor just to bring your coffee. Sad.

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

Great memories.

I took my kids out this weekend too, with hubby away. Love doing that. Makes it somehow more special!

otherworldlyone said...

Lovely post, Erin.

Kim said...

Things are never as great through adult eyes, are they? Makes me wonder how my kids will remember things.

Now I want some breakfast.

Colleen said...

Grandparents are truly special people. Thanks for sharing the memories.

Ally said...

What a sweet post, my eyes are actually misty. I love memories of going out with my grandparents.

Side note, my mom LOVES Perkins, growing up on LI we don't have even Denny's here, we're home of the Greek diners, other than Friendly's we honestly didn't have breakfast chain joints. When I moved to NJ, my mom was so excited to know I lived 10 minutes from a Perkins and 20 minutes from a Cracker Barrel. The only problem is Perkins closed after we only made it there one time and the local Cracker Barrel is always so crowded we often give up and leave after an hour.

Again, thanks for sharing this beautiful memory!

Ally @

Unknown Mami said...

Beautiful nostalgic post.

It reminded me of a restaurant my mom would take me to whenever she wanted to make me feel special. I still feel special just thinking about it.