I woke up this morning to ghosts in my apartment. The scent of the peach crisp I baked yesterday hung heavy in the air, and as I stumbled sleepily from bed into the hallway, my olfactory senses struggled to identify the aroma. Instead of remembering the peach crisp, my memory reached back 20 years to childhood, to the summer mornings when my grandfather would make pancakes for my sister and me.
As I walked down the hall to the living room, I expected to see my mom and grandmother sitting at the table, sections of the newspaper in front of them. My mom would have one foot folded up, her left hand curled around a cup of hot coffee. My grandma would be wearing large blue-framed reading glasses that she would pull off as she looked up to talk to me.
My grandpa Sid would be standing at the stove in the kitchen, wearing casual pants and a v-neck undershirt. Raina and I loved his pancakes because they were polar opposite to the nutty whole-grain ones our dad made the rest of the year. These were made of Bisquick and water and he always cooked them in margarine, which left the edges crispy and laden with an almost-buttery taste. He served them to us on glass plates with a restaurant-style dispenser of store-brand Mrs. Butterworth’s. We loved them.
I hesitated as I walked towards the end of the hallway, not wanting to dissolve the memory of those mornings. After a pause, I stepped out into the living room, and confirmed the fact that I was no longer 7 years old and that there would be no grandfatherly pancakes for breakfast.