Saturday, December 24, 2016



Ah, last evening came a delightful message, long phone text from my brother, concerning our intended and upcoming visit to Louisiana, Denham Springs where they live. My brother has in his life, and shares with me, interesting stories, episodes, adventures. One I’d not heard, of years ago on travel — he traveled on business as I did years ago — by calculation, I was away from home those years, driving and flying, more than seventy-five percent of my Time — which I would never do again because it kept me away from Tass in her years from five, as she was when I retired from the Navy, until twelve, when we packed off from Harrisburg to Apalachicola for her teen years. So seven years I traveled on business, and missed so much of her growing up though I loved her so, and do love. 

The older two were grown and gone.

See, the mind wanders. Waking this morning, up to curse Father Nature then back futilely to bed, the mind was thinking that it’s its own worst and only enemy, stirring me to thoughtful wakefulness when I wanted to drowse again. So up to stay for delicious hot lemon water with honey, then black coffee and the square of dark chocolate, die wunderfullen Schokolade. Or schokolade, languages evolve: is it becoming acceptable to leave a noun uncapitalised, IDK. Gardenia computer, constantly I must put it in its place by going back and correcting its word correction to my will and not its. This MacBookPro is more arrogant and self-willed than that clergy collar button that is yet exiled in its place till I am done keeping the Χριστός in Xmas. 

But so, Walt’s stories. He generally carried a firearm, as I never did for fear of shooting my own foot, and on that occasion he was checking into a motel, took a few things in, returned to his car to discover that he was being robbed. Thief ran and Walt gave chase a couple blocks until suddenly it occurred to Walt that the robber had not only his clothes, but his pistol as well. And so he skidded, did a U-turn and returned to the motel. Best part of his story was the enormous breakfast he had next morning: huge homemade biscuits drowning in butter, thick sliced crispy bacon, buttered grits, two eggs over medium, fresh orange juice, coffee, a good memory. 

My brother and I are alike in ways that turn up to surprise me from time to time. People can't tell us apart on the phone. We have been taken for twins. He said he selected his motels, when on business travel, based on the breakfast. I also did that. Though I don’t remember where it was, I used to travel, lots of airplanes, executive waiting rooms in airports, but especially by car including across contintent and back, stories for other mornings, and I remember approximate dates by the car I was driving at the time. It would’ve been 1980, because I had a new black Cadillac Sedan Deville at the time (comfortable car except that at highway speed the vinyl top caught air under and rose up like a ridiculous bubble, not GM's finest years), and then that white 1982 Cadillac Cimarron with red leather seats. Driving my Cimarron once, Linda’s mother shifted it into park while it was still going about ten mph costing a major transmission repair. Anyway, traveling between home in Harrisburg, and Pensacola where I was teaching two graduate courses in the political science division of the University of West Florida, I always stopped overnight at a certain country motel in southern Virginia, because of the breakfast there. A long, plentiful buffet with the cook behind the line keeping everything freshly cooked and hot. I’d help myself to three or four eggs over medium and, my entire reason for being there, a couple of their huge, thin country sausage patties, straight off the grill perfectly spiced, local sausage from a farm in the area. Except for when the university would fly me down, I stopped there for the breakfast every trip the six or seven years I taught as adjunct professor, until the time I drove through and the motel was gone, torn down. Now nearly half century, but the breakfast lives on in my heart.

The other motel breakfasts that Walt’s story brings to mind this morning — for several years after my Navy retirement, the Australian Department of Defence ("c" dammit) flew me down to conduct seminars variously in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide — never went to Perth, Darwin or Tasmania. My Australian DoD buddies always put me up in motels with a genuine Ozz breakfast buffet that included all the lambchops one could eat, and I can eat a lot of lambchops. 

Those memories in mind, I cooked my own breakfast this morning: a 4-ounce boneless pork chop, seared on both sides then simmered to medium and deliciously tender. Another mug of black and one slice extra thin ww toast cut in strips to catch any yolk, and three extra large eggs from WalMart, I buy them at that back chilled bin at $1.09 for 18 eggs. Surprise, one egg had twin yolks. Over medium.

Bit chilly out here on the porch, noisily groaning dredge a couple miles away moving ever farther into the Bay channel,

breakfast here on 7H porch because for the past several days Linda has had the dining room table set for tomorrow’s Christmas dinner. Linda likes things orderly and must live in unending frustration with her unapologetically lifelong slob. My "task" this morning being to clear the sty round my chair in the livingroom. Fortunately, or blessedly depending perhaps on one’s theology, lightly misty, chill evaporating with the rising sun, and supposed to be 75°F and sunny before Santa discovers there’s no chimney here. No leaky roof either, nor burst plumbing, nor attic raccoons. But a lovely Holiday Greetings card from CritterControl. Thank you, God, and Merry Christmas, One and Three.


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