Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas at The Waffle House

Happy Holidays Everybody! I hope you'll enjoy reading this year's Christmas story. This is one I didn't have to make up ~ it happened last Christmas and was too good to forget about. 

Peace and love to all from Cappy

Cappy’s third book of holiday stories, HIGH COTTON CHRISTMAS, will be available on Amazon.com and also on Kindle on December 6, 2012.
     SIMPLY CHRISTMAS is still available on Amazon.com
     SIMPLY CHRISTMAS II can be downloaded on Kindle as well as Smashwords.


Christmas At The Waffle House
By Cappy Hall Rearick
“There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake
Christmas morning and not be a child.” ~ Erma Bombeck

Babe and I intended to sleep in on Christmas Day. Our grown children were in South Carolina with their families, so St. Nick had no reason to drop down our Georgia chimney. We could sleep late because a visit with the kids was scheduled after all the live greens had wilted and the fat man had flown back to the North Pole.
Early Christmas morning while dreaming about a steam-driven train, my two hungry cats turned my stomach into a cushion. Their breathing sounded eerily like the huff-puff train in my interrupted dream.
I dragged myself to the kitchen pantry for non-smelly cat food. Since it was a holiday, my kitties would dine on turkey ala Fancy Feast instead of generic fish parts.
Babe was seated in front of the Christmas tree in the living room as if in a trance.
“Whatcha doing, Babe?”
He looked at me like I had glitter for brains. “Waiting to open our presents.”
I sat down, leaned over and kissed him smack on his smackers. He grinned. “Can we open ‘em now,” he asked. “Can we? Huh?”
“What are you, five? All right! Let’s do this thing.” My Starbucks had kicked in so I could handle anything.”
Later, after expressing gratitude for socks, ties and perfume we didn’t need, we found ourselves hungry for something outside of our own kitchen.
 “Where to,” Babe said as though he were a taxi driver asking his passenger her destination.
 “Waffle House,” I said. “They never close.”
The diner known to every man, woman and child South of the Gnat Line was packed, the parking lot jammed with cars, motorcycles and pickups.
A family of four got up to leave just as we arrived, so before it could be cleaned of leftover waffle crumbs, we commandeered their abandoned table.
“Cheese omelet,” I declared to Donna, the server dressed in a red T-shirt with Merry Christmas, Y’all stamped on her bosomy front. “And a ton of coffee.”
Donna, apparently unconcerned that her front tooth was missing, smiled real big at me, then winked at Babe. He ordered one of everything and winked back.
While waiting for my omelet to arrive, I took stock of the assorted people gathered at tables in the little house of pecan waffles and enough fat fuel to power us all to Uranus and back.
Taking up two tables and hanging off the end, a group of bikers dressed in red leather were smacking on waffles, hash browns and milk. Milk?
A mom and dad next to us were trying to keep their pajama-clad children from killing each other. Dad probably said, “Let’s eat out at the place that’s open 24-7,” to which Mom replied, “You had me at eat out.”
I noticed an elderly woman wearing a red wig that didn’t fit. She was too thin and her eyes matched her wig. She ate alone and looked sadder than anyone in the place. It broke my heart.
Donna refilled our cups, spilled some on the side. “Oops,” she sang.
Babe winked at me. Lots of winking was going on that morning. ‘Tis the season!
Old friends stopped by our table with holiday wishes. It had been too long since we’d seen them, making me wonder where the time had gone.
My omelet arrived loaded with cheese and animal fat. Babe dug into his eggs, waffles, bacon, sausage, grits and hash browns and then asked for whole-wheat toast. Go figure.
Between bites, I became more aware of pajama-clad kids and exhausted parents, evidenced by Dad’s blood-shot eyes and Mom’s droopy ones. I remembered being that young and having to search for missing screws for the unassembled toys.
Had it been that long ago when instead of cats jumping on my stomach, tiny hands shook me awake? Where had the time had gone?
We never ate breakfast out on Christmas when I was a kid. Mama fixed waffles and yelled at us to put down our toys and come to breakfast. Family life isn’t what it used to be and I think that’s good.
Seeing kids still clad in pajamas and eating breakfast at the Waffle House makes me smile. Donna, proudly wearing her Merry Christmas, Y’all T-shirt, makes me happy. And when Babe orders every item on the Waffle House menu without having a coronary, I ask, “Did you save room for fruitcake?”
“We are the new American family,” he replies, “and we eat breakfast at the Waffle House on Christmas, but fruitcake and meatloaf is something we eat at home. Let’s go!”



2012 Nominee, Georgia Author of the Year

"I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say. ~ Flannery O'Connor