If you are anything like me, certain words have the power to trigger memories, good or bad. A word that I hadn’t heard for years and years, standpipe, reminded me of those days in Chicago when we had heavy rains and worried about flooding, so we had to put in the standpipe. Other words and expressions have the same effect – Volkswagen Beetle, spelling bees, custard and Beeman’s gum.
One word that always conjures explicit and positive memories is pancakes. Everyone knows what pancakes are. They are flat breakfast foods that are most often eaten with butter and syrup. In more exotic venues, you can add pine nuts, fruits such as blueberries or strawberries and virtually anything you like.
For me, pancakes remind me of the few and treasured times that we went out for breakfast when I was a child. With five people maintaining busy schedules (for me, endless homework) and somewhat compromised finances, going out to eat anywhere was unusual. But breakfast was always very special because I always ordered pancakes.
Venue was irrelevant. It could have been one of the delis that were in our neighborhood. It could have been a restaurant that was one of my dad’s customers. But except for very few occasions, pancakes were never something that we ate at home. To this day, pancakes evoke memories of the rare trip to a breakfast spot where I immersed myself in buttery, gooey splendor.
While I quickly admit that these observations have no national or global significance and won’t improve the world in any way, I always hope to inspire and educate. Three of the five participants in this memory are no longer here to reminisce but the recollection remains.
If you have reminder similar to mine, share them with those who may be enhanced through the suggestion. When that’s not the case, celebrate the reality that something mundane can bring a smile to your heart. Shalom.
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