If a little box holds butter, it has to be good.

There is so much to love about them, I am not even sure how to get underway. Perhaps the best place to start is at the beginning. So there it is, Monday through Friday. Every weekday of my entire youth. Sundays too. We ate eggs. This, was in no way a bad thing. I loved eggs. I still do. In fact, they are still my daily routine at that first meal of each day. And that’s what we had then.

But Saturday would roll around. Which meant one of three things. Pancakes. French Toast. Both of them glorious in their own right. OR, Waffles. Waffles. Wonderful, warm, whimsical waffles. The very name of them casts them high above the rest. The way they sound. Waffle. Waffle.

There was a mystery about those waffles too. It was the process. The heavy waffle iron, that Mom would have Dad reach out from one of the lower kitchen cabinets. He would set it on the counter, and Mom would always say, “Don’t plug it in just yet Paul.” Truthfully, looking back, I think this added to the entire anticipation of the event.

Here’s the other thing. Somehow, when Mom fixed our eggs, she was able to fry them all at one time. They all came out together, and we ate together. The waffle was a different beast. It was a one shot deal. We had to wait our turn on the first go around. Oldest to youngest. I was at the end of the line, so by the time my waffle rolled out, I was the equivalent of a rabid dog. And when I finally got that beautiful piping hot steaming waffle, it was like Nirvana. We could fix it however we liked, too. An incredible act of freedom and reverie at such an early age. My method was always slathered in butter and packed with powder sugar. Yet, there was always a little bit of a crap shoot with it. Mom was pretty much a master of the waffle, but every now and again, a bad waffle would appear. Stuck, or torn. Or. Burnt. God forbid, it would show up on your turn. But our SuperHero Dad would usually step in. “Lucille. I’ll eat that one.” His hands on his hips, cape flapping in the wind.

Of course, there is no waffle without the waffle iron. It has been around a long time. The ancient Greeks made waffles, and so did the early Europeans. They used iron plates on sticks that they held over the fire. But the modern version of the waffle iron, the one we all know and love, was invented by Cornelius Swartwout, about 150 years ago.

There is something about a waffle though. The ingredients are very similar to those of a pancake. In fact, if you use boxed mix varieties, they hail from the same flour bag. No, the thing that makes it “not a pancake” are the waffles in the waffle. The squares. In every waffle, there are multitudes of little boxes. Little containers. Built and designed, specifically, to hold the goodness of the toppings within.

With a pancake, you may butter it, and pour the syrup on. But the majority of the goo, due to the nature of gravity, just keeps running downward toward the plate. Lake Syrup, surrounding Pancake Island.

Not that waffle. It captures the goodness, holds it there, adding splendor to its own being.

I think, that is life, for those who have figured it out. The “Waffles” are the people who are able to capture the goodness from the world around them. They take that goodness, and make it a part of their own little selves. And when they do, all that amazing goodness is sitting there, waiting, for anyone who comes along to have it. The “Pancakes” are good people too. It just takes some mopping up around them to capture the good. And well, don’t even get me started on French Toast. Soggy cereal bowls are an entirely different matter.

Today, I celebrate the waffles in my life. There’s everything to love about you.


“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince


“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”
― Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God


“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
― Jane Goodall