During a recent visit to my oldest son’s house, he and I were trying to figure out what to have for supper. Both sitting on the couch, staring straight ahead, stockinged feet resting on the coffee table, we took turns tossing out and turning down ideas.
“Waffles would be good,” he said.
“Yep, waffles sound good.”
“Ehh, I don’t feel like making waffles.”
Still facing the TV, he moved only his eyes to look in my direction. “Do you remember how to make your grandpa’s pancakes?” he asked.
I remembered – in general – nothing specific like how many cups of flour or teaspoons of baking powder. As his daughter raced by, as toddlers do EVERYWHERE they go, he shouted, “Hey Riley, you want pancakes for supper?”
She stopped dead in her tracks, “Pancakes?!” She squealed, clapped her tiny hands, spun on her heel and raced to the kitchen. Ten seconds later she was back with a bottle of syrup. Dinner plans were definitively decided.
So I called my sister.
“The 22-year-old and the 22-month-old want grandpa’s pancakes for supper,” I told her.
She was quick to give me the details I needed to complete my mission. But why am I telling you this, you wonder? Because it leads me to this week’s Flashback Friday post. The following column was first published in the Chester County Independent sometime in 1999. It was reprinted in 2000 in an anthology of devotionals entitled Treasures of a Woman’s Heart,and has a little bit to do with my grandpa’s pancakes.
Early Morning Whispers
I remember sharing the hide-a-bed with two other slumberers each time we visited my grandparents. All decked-out in our footed, fleece pajamas – blue for me, pink for Kerri and yellow for Jerri – my sisters and I would sleep two side-by-side and one across the bottom.
Early in the morning, before anyone else was up, Grandpa Walt would lean over the sofa bed and whisper, “Guyla, wanna have pancakes with Grandpa?” My feet were on the floor before my eyes even opened.
Very quietly in the little two-bedroom house my mother was raised in, Grandpa would brew himself a pot of coffee on the stove and whip up a batch of his famous pancakes. The first pancake or two off the griddle would go to our dog, Skippy, because as all great pancake chefs know, it takes a few passes with the batter to season the griddle.
Two golden, fluffy pancakes smothered in real butter and Mrs. Buttersworth later, I knew that I was the most important child on the planet, maybe even the universe.
I come from a long line of twins. Of five grandchildren, I am the “odd man out.” But I never felt that way. I always told people that I was the special one because I was the only “singleton” in the family. My grandpa had a major role in making me feel that way.
But I’m not the only one he made feel special with those pancakes. Decades, weddings and births later, all five of us still shout “pancakes and hamburgers!” when Grandpa asks what we want for supper. When one of us goes to visit our grandparents, the next time we see one of the others we say in our best “nanner nanner” voice, “I went to see Grandma and Grandpa and I got to eat pancakes.”
Yeah, that’s right, we’re all adults now.
Early in the morning, my Lord whispers in my ear, “Guyla, wanna spend time with me?” So often I blink and roll over or jump up and rush into my day’s activities. But when I do stop to open my Bible and read, especially a psalm or a proverb, I feel like I am the most important person in the universe.
God loves me more than my grandpa does. He doesn’t get up and make me pancakes, but He did give me the man who does.
He loved me so much, that He sent His only son to die a brutal death on the cross, and He would do it all over again – just for me.