The cast iron griddle is synonymous with Grams. My husband’s grandmother died eight years ago, but I can still conjure up vivid memories. That vintage seasoned griddle was used to make pancakes generously sprinkled with freshly picked huckleberries. The best pancakes in the world were churned out for grandkids, followed by the great-grandkids. I miss Grams. I miss summer vacations spent in the West Virginia mountains. I miss the childhood of my now grown boys. That cast iron griddle represented the sweet in home sweet home.
My husband and I were looking for home sweet home. We were ready to downsize from a big house to a comfortably smaller house. Plans were made. However, oftentimes life doesn’t go according to the best laid plans. Our old house sold before we could find a new one. As we continued our house search, we had to settle for the temporary arrangements of apartment living. Keepsakes, memories and the practical stuff we couldn’t fit into a too cozy apartment were tucked away in boxes piled from floor to ceiling in a storage unit. Our home sweet home of the past nine years, and actually, our entire married life, filled a ten by thirty foot space, waiting to be rediscovered at the opportune time.
I hadn’t used it in years. I wiped off the dust and then applied a coating of vegetable oil in a feeble attempt to add years of seasoning. Time can not be rushed, but it was the closest I could get to Gram’s griddle. My cast iron griddle was only fifteen years old with much fewer memories. However, it was now time to add some fresh memories: the memories of 2013. We welcomed a daughter-in-law into the family. We said goodbye to my mom. I reconciled with my sister. We sold our house. We moved into an apartment. Our kids festively decorated pancakes on Christmas Eve morning. It is the sweet memories and even the bittersweet ones that define life and fill our home.
Home is more than just a physical or permanent address. Home sweet home is found in the relationships of those dearest to us. The sweetest home is one where hearts are open to an ever-expanding circle of love through shared history, new traditions, genuine laughter, and in our family, a cast iron griddle. Come to think of it, we have been enjoying home sweet home all along.
1 Thessalonians 3:6
But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you.
I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.