On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Published in the Rains County Leader on August 17, 2021:

Big country breakfasts weren’t part of my childhood. Mom joined the work force when I started school, and with everyone in the family leaving the house for different destinations at different times, our morning meals usually consisted of a quick bowl of corn flakes or an over-well egg and a piece of toast that became a fold-over sandwich to be eaten on the run.

However, on Saturday mornings, Mom sometimes cooked breakfast. It wasn’t a real country breakfast because we never had gravy with our biscuits, and we didn’t waddle away from the table after having consumed several days’ worth of calories, carbs, and fat. But waking up to the smell of bacon frying was a real treat. And occasionally Dad would fix breakfast for dinner. Nothing elaborate – usually oatmeal and cinnamon toast – but special nonetheless.

A regular breakfast hasn’t been a part of my life as an adult either. My son wanted bacon, cereal, powdered sugar donuts, or some combination of the three – and his father’s breakfast consisted of Dr. Pepper and cigarettes. David would love to have a big breakfast every day, but cholesterol and weight issues make that a bad idea for both of us. For most of our life together, breakfast has been cereal with something more substantial thrown in for a special treat now and then.

In the last several months, we’ve given up even our minimal breakfast, at least for a while. In our effort to stay healthy as long as possible, we have begun a regimen of intermittent fasting. What that means is that we eat only between noon and 6:00 pm – so, no breakfast. We’re not rigid about it, though. When David has to go to the VA for an appointment that involves fasting lab work, we enjoy stopping for breakfast on the way home. We are also regulars at the 1st Saturday breakfast at House of Prayer and the 2nd Saturday breakfast at the American Legion. And we still have breakfast for lunch or dinner sometimes.

Although the foods that make up a big country breakfast are important, the people you share them with are even more important. At our Home Group on Friday night, David reminded everyone about the American Legion breakfast the next day. He also texted our neighbors to be sure they remembered.

Bill was the first to arrive on Saturday, and he called David to tell him that no one was at the American Legion Hall. A sign on the door said the breakfast had been cancelled due to health concerns. We arrived at the Hall a couple of minutes later, and while we were discussing an alternate plan, two more couples showed up. No one wanted to go home without some eggs and bacon, so we decided to have breakfast at our new favorite breakfast spot in Sulphur Springs across from the airport. As we pulled out, Connie and Charles drove up, and after a chat through rolled-down windows, they tagged on to the end of our little caravan.

The place wasn’t too crowded when we arrived, but we still had to wait for a few minutes before a table that would seat nine became available. We didn’t mind, though. We hadn’t seen each other in over twelve hours, so we had lots of catching up to do.  The food and service were great, but the fellowship was even better. Tales were told of notable breakfasts we had eaten before, and lives were shared. It was so much fun that Charlie and David decided it was time for a Breakfast for Dinner Night at Home Group. It looks like we’ll be having another country breakfast on Friday. With all this rich food, David and I will have to spend extra time at the gym – but those hash browns and bacon are worth every ab crunch and every minute on the treadmill.



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