Janet's Jargon

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pancakes--for the soul

Yes, pancakes. When I was a kid at home, we had pancakes for breakfast every day except Sunday. My dad swore that he got a migraine headache if he didn't have pancakes to start the day out. Sunday, however, was Mother's day, and we got to have whatever she wanted. I never could figure out why Daddy had a headache some days even when we had pancakes. I finally asked him. His reply was, "I guess I didn't eat enough of them." Anyway, I have always thought of pancakes as my "comfort food." After a hard day, nothing soothes my nerves like a stack of them on my plate. I don't even have to have ham or bacon or sausage with them to make them do their job.

Back in 1996, right after Ivan had lost his leg, our daughter Raquel and I stopped at the Village Inn on our way up to the hospital one day. The waiter was a fellow we had gotten to "know," just by our trips to the restaurant. We had exchanged small talk with him many times, but didn't really "know" him up close and personal--until that day. I ordered pancakes and explained to him about Ivan being in the hospital. He then told us that it was probably the last time he would be serving us, as he was leaving the next week for college in Texas. He was going to be studying jazz music. Jokingly, I asked him if he would write down his name "so we can watch for your CD when it comes out--after you get famous." He grabbed a napkin and scribbled his name on it. We knew that his first name was Jeremy, but what a surprise to discover that his last name was Hallett. That was my maiden name! A bit of delving into our pasts quickly assured us that we were indeed distant cousins.

Anyway, other things over the years, especially since Ivan's death, have offered me that same feeling of comfort that I get from pancakes. Last night was a perfect example of that. When we were in Grand Forks (ND), we often kept the radio on, tuned to KFNW, the Christian radio station, as we crawled into bed, especially on cold winter nights, and we would listen to Bill Pearce on Night Sounds. If you have never heard the program, check it out in your area. He has the most soothing voice I've ever heard. The only problem was that he often would lull us to sleep before the end of the program and in the morning we would ask each other, "Did you hear what he said all the way through?" It was seldom that either of us did, but it was a good feeling.

When I moved to northeast Wisconsin, I was delighted to find a new Christian radio station. It is WRVM, which stands for Wisconsin Radio Voice of the Master. The local people seem real friendly. I have even met one of them a couple of times. Yes, it is Michael Fletcher, whose picture is up at the top there. We have met at a couple of the music programs the radio station has sponsored at the Cup O' Joy Coffeehouse in Green Bay WI. I even gave him a copy of one of my books, which I don't think he has read yet, but since he is on the air early in the morning and late at night many days, I have decided to overlook that. After all, it is a Christmas book, so he has plenty of time...

And, Bill Pearce and Night Sounds is also on WRVM, and it is late enough that I turn it on when I crawl into bed, and yes, I often fall asleep before the end of the program. But last night, for some reason, I stayed with it for the full half hour. He was talking about "stuff." You know, the things that fill our garages and our attics and we haven't used it in 25 years or more, but we still leave it there. Bill talked about all the traps we fall into as far as buying things we don't really need. Yes, he even confessed to doing the same thing himself. I was feeling fairly self-righteous, as I had to get rid of a whole lot of "stuff" before I moved. Then I mentally traveled around my new house and I realized that I had not only kept a lot of the "stuff" from my previous life, but I had accumulated quite a bit more "stuff" after I moved here, which is just over a year ago. I vowed to be more careful about what else I buy, which isn't that hard right now since I have to pay the pre-buy gas bill for the entire year by the end of May.

I left the radio on for a bit after Night Sounds ended, and then I fell asleep. When I woke up, some other fellow was talking. I don't know who it was, but I caught him just as he said, "Seek righteousness first, then all these other things will be added onto you." It didn't take me long to shut the radio off. I didn't really need a new excuse to start all over with more "stuff," no matter how righteous I felt!

So, my comfort zone got invaded. I started out feeling like I'd just had a stack of pancakes, and it quickly turned into an overdose of too much maple syrup on top of it!


  • At 11:25 AM, Blogger Marvin D. Wilson said…

    Loved this post and muse. I too have a fondness for the delightful stack of flapjacks. When I was a kid Dad always made pancakes for all us boys every school day morning. Those were the best tasting pancakes I've ever had my whole life.

  • At 1:28 PM, Blogger Sylvia Kaye Hamilton said…

    Loved the story. We do just the opposite with the pancakes. They are our Sunday morning special.I'll copy this story for Ralphie. He'll get a kick out of it.

    Pee Wee

  • At 1:33 PM, Blogger The Belle in Blue said…

    My "Daddy food" is grilled cheese sandwiches. Nobody can make them like he did! Thanks for evoking those comforting memories, Janet!

  • At 7:56 PM, Anonymous Nina M. Osier said…

    "Stuff" does have an amazing way of accumulating, even after a major cleanup such as moving forces! I can relate, Janet.

    I can also feel a visit to the Augusta House of Pancakes coming on. :-)

  • At 11:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great post, darlin'. My comfort food is raw kefir cream and apples. That and chocolate, of course. : )


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