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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Larry Simoneaux
Bio: Larry Simoneaux
Date:  June 29, 2008
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Memories are made from this.

Pancakes. It's funny what kind of things trigger memories.

This time it's pancakes. Stay with me for a bit and I promise this will all make some sort of sense.

Right now, both our daughter and granddaughter are living with us. Because of this, I get to see them on a daily basis which is how I found out that my granddaughter, Lori, really likes pancakes.

As many of you have come to know, I've spent a lot of time at sea. Too much Dana and Melville rubbed off on me when I was young. I wanted to see the places they wrote about and cross the oceans I needed to cross in order to get there.

I did that and it was everything I thought it would be and more. In fact, if I close my eyes, I can bring back another ocean - an ocean of places and faces that could fill a book. However, there was a downside. The price of that travel was being away for long periods of time.

This meant missed birthdays and ballgames. It meant not being able to read stories to my kids at bedtime. It meant not seeing plays and recitals. It meant my wife having to shoulder many of the cuts and nicks and bruises and tears that come with raising three kids while I was at sea.

Like many wives, though, she did it and did it well. For that, I'll owe her big time until my dying day.

When I was home, however, I found myself looking for all of the time with my family that I could find and then some. This led to pancakes.

If there's one thing we do well at our house, it's eat. My wife is Italian and Iím Cajun. We both like to cook and we both come from families where the eating was good.

I like breakfast and I especially enjoy cooking breakfast. When the kids were in school and I was home, I'd get up before them, let the animals out, grab the newspaper, start a pot of coffee, turn the heat up, and get breakfast going.

Hot breakfasts. The kind the kids would eat and that would fill them up. Biscuits, sausage, bacon, eggs, fruit, French toast, juice, waffles, grits (theyíre darned good if you know how to fix them) and pancakes.

They all liked pancakes. They liked them with a hint of vanilla, with crushed nuts and blueberries in the mix, with maple syrup and butter (real, thank you very much) or strawberries on top.

They'd come downstairs and the kitchen would be warm and full of smells that would dare them to tell me that they didn't want breakfast. Doing this gave my wife a break and it gave me something even better. It gave me some of that time I was always looking for.

Every morning we'd have 30 or so minutes to sit down and talk about yesterday or today or what was coming up next. We'd have time to talk about the games they'd played, their classes at school, the friends they had, the spats they were going through, and whatever else was going on in their worlds.

There was time for quiet too. Some mornings, not a lot was said. Those days I'd just sit there, read my newspaper, and drink them all in.

I did this all through their grammar, middle, and high school years. When they went off to college and whatnot, I'd still go downstairs to have my coffee and read my newspaper, but Imissed that time with them.

Now, since I no longer go to sea, I'm home every morning. This means that, whenever my granddaughter and daughter are up, I get to cook breakfast again. Just now, it's mostly on weekends but, come September, Lori starts school and I get to start my routine all over again.

As noted, Lori likes pancakes too - the ones with crushed nuts in them and just a hint of vanilla.I'll get her into the strawberries and whipped cream soon. Might even introduce her to French toast in the near future. Iím looking forward to that.

They say that time is priceless and that once itís gone, you canít get it back.

Maybe so.

But sometimes, just sometimes, you get a second chance at time. I think Iíve been lucky with my granddaughter and Iím buying all of the time that I can get - basically, for the price of a box of pancake mix.

Not a bad deal if you ask me. Not bad at all.

Larry Simoneaux

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Biography - Larry Simoneaux

Larry Simoneaux is a regular columnist for The Everett Herald in Washington state. He is a retired ship driver for the US Navy and NOAA.

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Copyright © 2008 by Larry Simoneaux
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