A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Breakfast for Dinner

          It seems this blog has focused on the topic of food  for most of the month of November.  Considering that the Thanksgiving holiday falls in this month,  food is a very appropriate topic.  Today is no exception as Jennifer Johnston Crow returns with the final post of her series of three guest spots.  Jennifer writes a helpful blog called Pivot.   She also writes memoir.  Please visit her blog to say hello.  If you missed her previous posts be sure to visit Memories of Mighty Mouse and The PB & J Massacre.   My thanks to Jennifer for her contributions to Wrote By Rote.

Breakfast for Dinner

I don’t know for sure how old I was when I first saw The Wizard of Oz, but I know those flying monkeys shot shivers of fear through my body. Each year I’d sit transfixed, gnawed by worry, each time the intrepid group ventured through the gloomy forest and into the castle, Toto in tow.
I grew up with Dorothy and the gang (well, I grew up, they stayed eternally young), and by the time I was 13, the movie had been an annual televised event – and an eagerly anticipated one – for some 11 years.
I was a newly minted teenager then, and our sparkling color television was the focal point of our living room. It was a Sunday night and time again to visit Oz. The familiar movie took shape: the tornado (surely an F-5) still swept the house off its foundation, carrying Dorothy and Toto toward a wildly different world. Thunk! The house dropped, the wind died away, an expectant silence fell. As they had so many years before, Dorothy and Toto crept to the door, opened it, and stepped out into Oz.
Except this was no Oz I’d ever seen. It was bright! It was bold! It was fantastic. It was in color!
My jaw dropped. When had that happened? Had the color on our TV been off? Was our brand new TV going bad? What? What?
Spellbound, I sat raptly through the movie – literally a new movie to me. I never knew The Wizard of Oz was in color. I soaked up the sights – even the sound seemed somehow brighter. And those ruby slippers! Dorothy clicked them once, twice. “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”
And just as quickly as color had come, it was gone. We were back to black and white.
Many years later I realized the significance of how The Wizard of Oz was filmed. Real life is often black and white, a little dull, filled with routine. Pastures are greener somewhere else … but they carry their own set of troubles. It’s when we return to our black and white lives that we discover a new appreciation for all that’s good about familiar things.
It’s amazing what a change of perspective can do, but what’s even more amazing is that, when you tap into memories, there’s no telling where they’ll take you.
I was telling my friend Susan about my Oz epiphany, which managed to send her way back into the crevices of her life, rekindling the memory of the marching minions around the witch’s castle, which tripped her on down the lane to recalling how her mother always made her a milkshake during the annual Oz broadcast.
That’s a pretty special memory, and I have one, too.
For me and my sister and brother, it was breakfast for dinner (and not just during the Wizard of Oz, but nearly every Sunday).
Sunday at our house had its own kind of rhythm. Sometimes it centered around church and sometimes it centered around a Sunday drive. Whatever it was, we’d never eat lunch. We would, instead, have dinner in the middle of the afternoon. It’s a country thing, I think, that’s being replaced by quick lunches after church so we can run off to do this errand or that obligation. I miss them.
There we’d be, gathered around the dining room table, resplendent with mom’s good china and the Fostoria water glasses we hated because they were so heavy. It would be the middle of a lazy afternoon, time for our traditional Sunday dinner, which cut seriously into crucial kid activities. And those activities were usually, although not always, outdoors. Sometimes they involved a swing or a lounge chair with our noses stuck deep into a book (well, me and my sister, anyway. My brother definitely was outside, probably gathering up garter snakes. His only books were of the Rick Brant or Hardy Boys variety, and then only when he had a book report due the next day).
Even the luscious smell of roast chicken or maybe a pot roast with mashed potatoes and gravy, some of mom’s canned green beans (half runners only), and applesauce (because every kid likes applesauce) — even that beckoning, welcoming scent wasn’t enough to stir us.  Nope. We were waiting for night to fall and supper to arrive, because that meant breakfast.
Pancakes. Eggs. Cereal. Waffles from mom’s ancient, well-worn waffle iron. Not the kind with lights that turn green when the waffles are done, but the kind you had to have the nose for to know when they were perfectly toasted, golden and crispy. Butter and syrup and sausage or bacon. What wasn’t to like? We even got juice!
Some nights it might be eggs — scrambled, fried, frequently poached. Pancakes — buckwheat or buttermilk, we didn’t care. Or Coco-Wheats® cereal in all its chocolaty wholesomeness! And best of all, we could take them all into the living room and carefully arrange our ’60s-era tray tables for the best television viewing angle.
THIS was what we waited for. This, and the Wonderful World of Disney with its weekly family friendly feature, augmented once a year with a romp to the Emerald City with Dorothy and the gang. We never knew if we’d be in for a comedy, a cartoon, a heartwarming tale, a swashbuckling adventure, or a romp through the wild, wild West. What we did know was that breakfast for dinner was the highlight of our Sundays.

         Did you grow up with any unique meal traditions?  Are there any interesting meal traditions that have now?    Do you ever eat breakfast foods at dinnertime?   Or how about hamburgers for breakfast?

Jennifer Johnston Crow is a personal coach and a writer/editor with the federal government. She offers insights and commentary for living through her blog (pivot-coaching.com) and through individual and group coaching events. This year Jennifer captured second place in the West Virginia Writers Spring Writing Contest for her memoir, “Fear.” She’s passionate about storytelling, especially when it’s real, honest, and personal. A little humor doesn’t hurt,either!

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  1. Hi Lee and Jennifer - lovely memories .. I never got hooked on the Wizard of Oz - maybe because it was American ... and we didn't do that sort of play/theatre ... but food - now that's another story ...

    Good to read and all I can say is I'm glad it's not far away from evening time and food! Food changed so much in the intervening decades hasn't it - I remember the simple varieties of things ..

    Cheers - Hilary

  2. Breakfast for dinner was always better than breakfast for breakfast.

  3. Dear Jennifer, thanks for this delightful memory. I shared a food memory--not a food tradition--on my blog last Wednesday. I don't really recall any traditions, but I do recall Mom's waffle iron and her deft hand and nose! Her waffles were scrumptious. Peace.

  4. I don't know a soul that doesn't like breakfast for dinner. I think it taps into our childhood somehow, when such a thing was not only unexpected, but felt like our parents were breaking the rules.

  5. Thank you all for your comments. I think breakfast for dinner was very much like breaking the rules, doing something different and unexpected! Thanks to Arlee for hosting this blog!

  6. I really like this story. What a vivid picture. I love the Thanksgiving traditions at my mother in law's. We always sleep over the night before and cook together in the morning.

    As for The Wizard of Oz, that has warm memories for me too. It came on each year around my birthday, so I felt like it was a birthday present just for me!


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