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mickey mouse pancakes

My grandpa liked to claim he was a Cubs fan. I'm pretty sure he started following them only when he realized it would cause a reaction out of me and my sister. In the summertime, I would walk into my grandparents' house, and the first words out of his mouth were, "How about them Cubs?" followed by an uncontainable laughter. I must have explained to him 100+ times that the Cubs were the #1 enemy of my beloved Cardinals while he just smiled.

Sometimes, he would even have the game on their enormous big screen TV in the living room. Every few years, my grandparents would save up their money and combine their funds to buy a new TV for a Christmas or Anniversary. And every year, it was bigger than the previous TV by at least a foot. I would always ask him the score of the game, and he would give me some ridiculous answer; which proved to me that he hadn't actually been watching the game, but only flipped over from his usual programming of Family Matters (he loved Steve Urkel), Jeopardy (where he provided an answer to EVERY question, even though he rarely got any right), or some cheaply produced movie on the Sci-Fi channel.

Of course, grandpa had "his chair" in the living room to watch TV in. It's actually where I picture him the most, I suppose because I loved crawling into his lap when I was younger. As I got older, I would sit next to him and play cards; Kings in the Corner was our game, and my grandpa usually let me win. It's also from this chair that my grandpa stated his famous lines, attempting to give me advice on life. Whenever I was hungry, he would simply say, "There's some sardines in the fridge that'll make hair grow on your chest." If Jenna and I sang along to a TV commercial, he'd respond with, "What did you do with the money your mom gave you for singing lessons?" And anytime I would tell him about a boy I liked, he would ask, "Is that the boy with one ear longer than the other?"

I suppose now is the time to tell you that my grandpa was not REALLY my grandpa, although he's the closest thing to a grandpa I've ever known. A few weeks after I was born, a couple named Tom and Fran Morgan started watching me in their home while my parents were at work. Because they watched their grandchildren as well, I grew up calling them "grandpa" and "grandma", and never thought of them as anything different. When I finally realized they weren't my actual grandparents, they didn't allow me to call them anything different. My grandpa would introduce me as his granddaughter, followed by a "Doesn't she look so much like me?" People would agree, and we would laugh, knowing that we didn't share a gene pool.

There was never a day that I didn't know that my grandpa loved me and was proud of me. He told the stories of changing my diapers as if it was an honor. On my birthdays, he always called the local country radio station (which I NEVER listened to, but he never remembered that) and had the DJ that day make a special announcement. In the mornings when I'd arrive at their house before school, my grandpa would always put a little bit of his aftershave on me because I wanted to remember what he smelled like throughout the day.

Each year, my school would have a pancake breakfast to raise money for a cause I currently can't remember, and every year my grandpa would cook for it. I remember standing in line, waiting impatiently to get up to the window...because I wouldn't be handed a regular pancake like all the other kids. As soon as he saw his granddaughter, my grandpa would pour the batter into three circles on the grill and wait until they joined together to make the perfect mickey mouse pancake.

I will always love mickey mouse pancakes.

Tom Morgan
April 3, 1937--December 19, 2007

Reader Comments (1)

This was such a sweet post amy.

Jul 19, 2008 at 2:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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