I love breakfasts. Always have. Any time of the day.
Pancakes. Eggs. Bacon. Sausage. Biscuits with sausage gravy. Biscuits and strawberry preserves. Breakfast tacos. Toast. French toast. Doughnuts. Kolaches. Pigs in blankets. Huevos Ranchero. Cinnamon buns. Fruit cobbler. Even oatmeal or Malt-O-Meal.
Now, I’ll also eat an omelet or quiche or eggs Benedict or yogurt or fresh fruit … but they’re not getting me out of bed early.
I probably took breakfast for granted because it always happened at our house, but it became a focal point for me when helping my dad open his grocery store, Martaindale’s 7-Eleven at 3810 W. Marshall, Longview, Texas. Three doors down, across Harrison Road, was Paul’s Grill.
It was Daddy’s routine to get breakfast and coffee every morning before opening the store at 6 a.m. – 7 a.m. on Sundays. During the summer, and most weekends during the school year, either my brother or I would usually accompany him to open the store. The other one often helped close the store at 11 o’clock.
Paul’s was your standard grill … and somewhat magical in my eyes.
The waitresses seemed to keep an eye out for my dad’s pickup. When they spotted it, they put in an order for his usual and would have coffee ready by the time he reached his seat.
During the summers, they would wait until they could see which boy was with him and turn in the respective favorite. Mine was a short stack with sausage. That’s a “stack” of two (or was it three?) pancakes, if you’re not familiar with the term. The sausage was patties. The butter and syrup flowed freely. My drink of choice was hot chocolate.
Life was good.