Tonight as I was eating supper, I was reminded of the Sunday suppers when I stayed at my grandparents farm. Why? Peanut butter. (I had some peanut butter on celery to go with my salad supper.)
I learned early in life that if you were at Grandpa P's on Sunday evening and there wasn't a big group on hand, supper was going to be a bowl of cornflakes or other cereal with milk, buttered toast, and - if you were grandpa - a spoon of peanut butter. One of my enduring memories of my Grandpa P at ease is him sitting at the kitchen table, legs crossed, leaning back with a smile in his eyes and a spoon hanging out of his mouth as he slowly enjoyed his peanut butter on a Sunday evening.
Of course, all us grand-kids wanted to do what grandpa was doing and have a spoon of peanut butter as well. Grandma had a stricter (and saner) view and prohibited us from imbibing until we attained a more advanced age. When I finally reached an age that grandma deemed responsible enough to partake of the straight peanut butter, I was allowed to try my spoon of peanut butter just like grandpa. What a disappointment!
The actual experience left a lot to be desired versus the wonderful thing it had become in my mind from watching grandpa. If you have ever taken a spoon of peanut butter, you have discovered how sticky and gummy it really is - especially if you are young enough to be a bit impatient. Especially if you don't have a cup of hot coffee to help melt it on down the throat.
If I had been a brighter pupil, I would have learned my lesson then. But I didn't, and so a number of years later I can remember being given a bit chew by grandpa while we were out working in the shop. Although he took great pains to warn me not to swallow, I'm sure you know what happened. Yep, I have never had a worse self-induced bellyache in my life. That was the experience that finally taught me that it probably was not wise to want to emulate all of grandpa's habits, no matter how much I idolized him.
P.S. It amazes me that I can see the Sunday evening table setting with absolute clarity even now many years later. The white bowls and matching juice glasses that I think grandma got as part of a box top or Tang promo stand out and evoke all kinds of pleasant memories any time I think of them. They star in so many of my memories of Sunday and breakfasts and grandpa and grandma's farm ...