Sunday, September 10, 2006

Simple Pleasures

"Is that all you want." asked the waiter, 19, as he put down a plate with a single waffle for my breakfast.  It looked pretty stark, a piece of warm bread, small and square, and waffle surfaced.  It wasn't warm enough to melt the butter.  It had been baked somewhere east of the Mississippi in February, frozen, and delivered in an icy case, thawed and warmed to room temperaure and placed on my plate Today in September.

"Waffles are supposed to be HOT," I thought. Should I tell the waiter that?  And then I realized, he had no idea what a waffle should look, smell, or taste like.  He is 19, and never had a waffle fresh from a waffle iron, crusty, hot, covered with melted butter and swimming in Maple syrup.  He, in his entire life has had only frozen replicas of the real thing.

He has never picked an orange from a tree, nor an avocado, or grapes from the vine, nor strawberries from the plant.  He has never tasted ice cream from the hand cranked freezer, packed with ice and ice-cream salt.  He has never put potatoes on the coals and covered them with dirt and let them bake in the ground.

He has never dug clams from the sand, put them in a cast iron bucket with sea-weed, and fired it up until they popped open.  He has never caught grunion on the beach with his bare hands and feasted right there at midnight. He has never picked a watermelon off the vine, and doesn't know they taste sweeter, sun warmed, and stolen from the field.

No sense in my telling him that my waffle should be HOT.  I would just seem like a cranky old man with silly ideas based on simple pleasures that no longer exist.

12 comments:

garnett109 said...

just got done eatting homemade pancakes w sausage links yummy!
I've done some of those things and the are sweeter when raiding a garden , corn is the sweetest when the farmer is chasing you! Good day to you chuck!

bamawmn46 said...

It is unfortuate not everyone will get to experience all the fun things in life as they exsisted for us. But, I wonder what they thought 120 years ago when the ideas of automobiles were coming into play..... I wonder if they thought life as they knew it were passing those 19 year olds by??

plieck30 said...

Such a thoughtful entry. I'm sure you are right, it wouldn't have done any good to tell him the waffle should be warm. Paula

astaryth said...

This entry made me hungry! The clams and the grunion were the only ones I hadn't experienced.... It got me to thinking... of eating the foam off the top of a sourgham molasses mill with a stick of sugar cane and watching the mule turn the wheel.... Of fresh blackberries, warm and straight from the vine to your mouth... but putting enough in the bucket for Gram to make a cobbler... wow... I have to go find some food I think <LOL>  Great Entry!

jmorancoyle said...

Can't tell you the last time I enjoyed a homemade waffle. Or for that matter the other items you described. For all we gained with our technology, there is so much we've lost along the way, too.
Jude
http://journals.aol.com/jmorancoyle/MyWay

desannie said...

Loved this post.  It brought back so many warm and happy memories.  True, the kids of today have missed out on a lot of pleasures now lost to time.
Annie

mavarin said...

This is truly lyrical.  But you ARE entitled to a hot waffle!

memes121 said...

I created a journal called Help Wanted. It is so people can come who has questions about anything. Computers, gardens, an antique that needs a part but don't know where to find it, anything you can think of! Drop in sometime. AOL was an error and made it private but I fixed it. Tammy

judypearllove said...

I HAVE DONE ALL THOSE THINGS AND I'M SO HAPPY I'M OLD ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO SAY I HAVE. I REMEMBER GOING WITH GRANDFATHER SITTING IN HIS ON HIS TRACTOR THINKING I WAS DRIVING IT ALL BY MYSELF THROUGH HIS COTTON FIELDS ACROSS THE BRIGE OF THE CASH RIVER IN ARK. WHERE WE LIVED TO THE GARDEN. HE WOULD TAKE ME OUT TO THE GREENS GROWING IN THE GARDEN PULL UP A TURNIP OUT OF THE GROUND WIPE IT OFF WITH HIS FLANNEL SHIRT.WE WOULD TAKE ONE AND EAT IT RIGHT THERE. THERE WAS NOTHING LIKE WATCHING MY MOTHER GET A CHICKEN TO COOK PICK IT'S FEATHERS AND GATHER EGGS TO EAT IN THE MORNING. YES PEOPLE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE MISSING.

tendernoggle said...

I loved this entry so much!!! You brought back alot of good memories!!! ut I have to ask.Just what is grunion?
Hugs,
carlene

reconcilinglife said...

Thanks for the blast from the past Chuck...remeinded me of being in a peach tree and just pulling it off the tree wiping it on my pants and eating it with the juice running all over my little arms and face......lol. Bam

valphish said...

Yes, food WAS better back then.  And I am only 40.  Thanks for the "reminder", Chuck! xox
http://journals.aol.com/valphish/ThereisaSeason